Sunday, 10 June 2007

‘The Magicians Guild’ – Trudi Canavan

Every year, the Magician’s Guild carries out their ceremonial purge of the streets of Imardin. This year will be different though, a common girl will discover that she has power to rival the mightiest magician. While she goes into hiding to escape the magician’s wrath they must find her before her burgeoning powers become too much for her to control. Even if she is found, her problems will only just be beginning…
Trudi Canavan’s ‘Magician’ trilogy is being re-marketed for the young adult market and I think this is a pretty smart move on the part of Orbit Books. ‘The Magician’s Guild’ has a lot to offer the younger reader who has probably seen the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films but may find the books a little dry and heavy going. There’s a likeable heroine who comes from a poor background and is destined for great things, a bunch of ‘loveable rascals’ who make fools out of the city guard and a college full of squabbling wizards. The problem however is that there isn’t much more than this which means that anyone who has read a lot of fantasy won’t find anything new here. It’s an entertaining ride but it takes you down roads that you may have traveled far too often already.
Apart from this, the only real problem I had with this book was Canavan’s use of ‘made up fantasy speak’. Now, if you’re a fantasy author then you will not be able to escape using made-up words to decorate and illustrate your fantasy kingdoms. It really does come with the territory. The problem is, if you’re not careful then these words will either appear blatantly made up or you will make up a word that actually exists in real life. King Kalpol was an ancient king in Trudi Canavan’s world, ‘Calpol’ is a cough medicine where I come from. They’re both spelt ever so slightly differently but it was enough to make me lose the ‘feel’ of the story and I couldn’t get back into it after that.
Potentially a great book for younger readers but it didn’t quite do it for me.

Six out of Ten


org said...

"King Kalpol" :)

Bet he was good at getting kids off to sleep.

John Dent said...

Oh man...King Calpol? Sometimes it's just easier giving people real names. Or foreign animal names, that reflect their characteristics.