Set in the fictitious town of Imardin, the capital city of Kyralia, “The Magician’s Guild” by Trudi Canavan starts with a bang. It begins focusing in our main character Sonea, where she and her family are being driven away from their place in the slums. Each year the city streets are purged of the the poor or lower class citizens (also referred to as dwells) by the magician’s guild. Though most have no choice but to leave and find new homes, many refuse to go without a fight, hoping that they can force the magician’s to let them be — or at the very least make their point become clear– that the dwells and slums are a part of Imardin, no matter how much they hate it.
During these purges, often times young gang members and Dwells gather around to throw rocks at the magicians in a form of protest. Though it usually does little good — the magicians are protected by a magical shield, things soon change as our main character, young Sonea steps up to the plate. Forcing her anger and rage into the stone which she clutches so desperately; young Sonea broods with hate as she angrily hurls the rock towards a group of Magician’s that gather nearby. That’s when a real shock occurs; one that takes everyone by surprise, including Sonea herself. With the force of her throw and the will of her mind, the rock plunges straight ahead, breaking through the magical barrier; the invisible shield that was set in place — the shield that no one could penetrate through without the use of magic — a magic Sonea never knew she had. And in that moment, the rock hits Lord Fergun with great force, knocking him unconscious.
And this is where the story really begins.
“The Magicians’ Guild” is a creative story that takes a few twists and turns. Not only is this novel about the wonder of Magic, it is also about self discovery, self control, love, friendship, and betrayal. The main character Sonea is easily likable, and even relatable to. Though the majority of the story is indeed compelling, I felt a few areas were a bit slow. I also felt that some of the other characters could have been explored a bit further — given a bit more depth. Despite these issues, I found this unique story to be an easy and pleasant read. One that kept me curious and engaged, even after I finished the last page.
All in all, if you like fantasy that is a bit *light*, with little violence and no sex, you’ll enjoy this magical tale. “The Magicians’ Guild” is a friendly read for people of all ages. It’s a creative and original piece, written by a writer who clearly has a feel for the fantasy genre. I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good, though a bit lighter, type of fantasy tale.
(3 and a half out of 5)