June 4, 2010

The Magician's Apprentice

The Magician's ApprenticeTitle : The Magician's Apprentice
Author : Trudi Canavan
Reading Dates : 2 Jun - 4 Jun 2010

Book Summary of The Magician's Apprentice.
The Magician's Apprentice focuses on Tessia, the daughter of a healer, who aspires to be one as well despite the prejudices against women healers in her time.Her ambitions however takes an unexpected detour when she is discovered to be able to wield magic. Lord Dakon, the lord and magician who presides over their village, proceeds to take charge of her magical education. 

At first Tessia is resigned to postponing her desires to be a healer until she wields some form of influence as a magician herself but soon realizes the possibilities of using magic to aid in healing, an area still unexplored. She  has the unenviable opportunity to put her own theories to the test when Sachakan magicians invade and attack Kyralia. 

As the Kyralian magicians accompanied by their apprentices and servants attempt to track and drive out the invaders, Tessia being the rare individual with both healing and magical knowledge finds herself being called upon to exercise her abilities with increasing frequency. Through a combination of sheer luck, desperation and curiosity, she soon stumbles upon a better method of healing using magic.
The end of the war also signifies the start of the next phase in Tessia's life as she helps to form the Magician's Guild which was first envisioned during the war.

Book Review of The Magician's Apprentice.
The Magician's Apprentice is set in the same world as Trudi Canavan's The Black Magician trilogy, though many years earlier. Here, we learn how certain events such as the the war between Sachaka and Kyralia as well as the formation of the magician's guild transpired. Some of which are not as clear-cut as remembered by their descendants. But then as we are reminded at the beginning before the story even starts :
"History is written by the victors." - Winston Churchill

But more specifically, this tale focuses on one new apprentice magician, Tessia who in time becomes the first to experiment with and teach magical healing. Tessia is a likable heroine. Not only smart enough to realize the difficulties she faces in pursuing her goal to be a healer, but also in recognizing that there are other methods than direct confrontation. And when events occur which would seem to have ended her ambitions, she is patient enough to wait for years if need be to seek another opportunity. Most of all, she truly has the heart of a healer and wants nothing more than to help everyone regardless of their status or nationality should they need it.She is also no pushover and can give as good as she gets when necessary.

Aside from Tessia, there are also other likable and interesting characters like Lord Dakon, Jayan, Hanara and Stara. Lord Dakon was truly a noble and caring master. One who holds on to his principles even when the lines of right and wrong are seemingly being blurred. As for Jayan, I found him to be rather self-centered and too status conscious at first. He changed over time and so did my opinion. The one I pitied the most was the Sachakan slave Hanara. Perhaps given enough time and understanding, he could have overcomed his conditioning. Finally, there is Stara. I couldn't help wondering what would become of her and the Traitors. And most intriguing of all, what part if any would they play in the future ?

Recommended reading for anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction populated with strong, likable characters.


  1. Is it better to read The Black Magician Trilogy first? This sounds like it might be a prequel.

    I will have to put this on my TBR list. I really enjoy fantasy with strong female protagonists. I think that's why Anne McCaffrey's Pern series is one of my favorite series of all time.

  2. Hi Carin

    Yup, while this is a prequel, I think its actually better to read the trilogy first. It makes things interesting as they've forgotten or gotten their history wrong.


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