Sunday, 24 April 2011

Book: The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan

What i can't decide is whether or not he married above his station or below it! 

So I'vw just finished rereading The Magician's Apprentice which is the prequel to The Black Magician Triology (The Magician's Guild, The Novice and The High Lord) all by Trudi Canavan, after a reread of that trilogy.

And I was just thinking, it is implied in the Epilogue that Jayan and Tessia are married, we know for sure that they're having a baby so we can presume that they are married. So anyway, considering Jayan is a member of the houses is he marrying below his station by marrying Tessia who is a commoner (or more accuratly was before she became a Magician) or is he marrying above it as Tessia is the Magician who discovered healing magic? Its a strange question that one, I suppose they did start the guild so it may be that there is no matter of rank between them.

So anyway onto the books in general rather than an obscure detail that isn't really that important in the scheme of things! Anyway, so I think there are quite a lot of simularitys between Canavan's 2 main characters (and even between them and Auraya from The Age of the Five Triology) both Tessia and Sonea are from the lower classes, and both are female, at that young (as in teenage girls - again as is Auraya) and in a way even the people they turn out to love are simular, I mean its true Jayan was never Tessia's master, he was in fact just the older apprentice of Lord Dakon (Tessia's master) and later a Higher Magician in his own right, whereas Sonea falls in love with her (second) Guardian, High Lord Akkarin. But even so the stories are well written and I did enjoy the development.

I like the way that Jayan progresses throughout that Magician's Apprentice, at the start you can almost imagine him as 12/13, as in immature, arrogant, thinking he's better than Tessia, but by the end of the novel you really feel like he has matured and grown into a good strong character. In reality there is barely anytime between the start and the end of the novel, and I believe that it is a credit to Canavan that her character noticably, but believably progresses.

I also think that the character of Stara was a good choice to put in their, I mean she was there to show that though some men in Sachaka were bad and possibly even evil, men, there are some good ones, such as her brother and her husband, and that it was a regime that needed changing. I liked how to do this Canavan had Stara half Sachakan and half Elyne, it meant that she was part of Sachakan society but also that she could have a foreign upbringing (in Elyne) and so have a foreigners view on what Sachaka was like, as well as a natives.

The Magician's Apprentice is a great book to read after The Black Magician Trilogy I think, simply because I feel that you have more context to the book, and you understand the relevance of the Sachakan War in the Magician's Apprentice better. Also I believe that if you read this book first then some of the mystery's of the trilogy aren't so mysterious, and so may be ruined.

This book certainly answers questions, I mean it explains why the Sachakans didn't know how to heal themselves in The High Lord, it was simply because a Kyrilian (Tessia) discovered it and they kept the knowledge in Kyrilia. Also by reading the Magician's Apprentice second you may presume where the old ruins that the Elynes found the store stone is, I believe it is the same ruins that Dannyl and Tayend visit in The High Lord (though it may possibly be in The Novice) whilst on their tour of Elyne.

An issue that Canavan seems to like to raise (talking of Dannyl) is the issue of gay relationships. And I will make this very clear, I am in no way opposed to gay relationships for either gender, though I don't share their preferances if someone's happy with someone of the same gender then i believe that that is absolutly fine and that they, and the rest of the world should embrace it. However I will also admit that I am suprised that a fantasy writer included them in her books, it could have caused quite a lot of controversy in certain places, and certainly at one point of had her books banned! So anyway, there is the relationship of Dannyl and Tayend, in the High Lord, and it is done in a masterful way, from the first book, The Magician's Guild, we know of the rumours about Dannyl's sexuality that were spread when he was a novice and we watch as he realises that he is in love with Tayend, if you can get your head round them being a gay couple (as I can) then it is actually very sweet. However Canavan also shows the darker side of this coin, with that fact that in Kyrilia gay relationships were frowned upon and on their visit to Lonmar, Dannyl and Tayend see someone exceuted for being gay. This is also covered in The Magician's Apprentice with Stara's husband, Karicho and his suggested lover, it is also suggested that the practise isn't tolerated in Sachaka.

I could go on and on and on but I somehow think that that would be no good for me or for anyone reading, there are many many more issues covered in Canavan's books and they are well worth the expense and time to read!

Til Next Time,
L x