Author: Trudi Canavan
Release Date: November th, 2004 (originally February 2003)
Pages: 656 (Paperback)
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Magic
Series: The Black Magician’s Trilogy #3
Read: from August 14 to 20, 2011
Source & Shelf: Purchase | Own
“You want to know the truth.”
Sonea has learned much since she was but a penniless urchin possessing an awesome untapped ability. She has earned the grudging respect of her fellow novices and a place in the Magicians’ Guild. But there is much she wishes she had never learned – what she witnessed, for example, in the underground chamber of the mysterious High Lord Akkarin… and the knowledge that the Guild is being observed closely by an ancient fearsome enemy.
Still, she dares not ignore the terrifying truths the High Lord would share with her, even though she fears it may be base trickery, a scheme to use her astonishing powers to accomplish his dark aims. For Sonea knows her future is in his hands – and that only in the shadows will she achieve true greatness… if she survives.
*This review might contain spoilers*
Oh my God… Trudi Canavan, I can’t believe how much I adored your magical universe. Seriously, I just couldn’t put it down or stop wishing I was reading it to know what was going to happen.
Though it took a long way to arrive, the wait for the final book from The Black Magician’s Trilogy was definitely worth. The High Lord was a big book but for me it wasn’t big enough. As soon as I closed it, the last sentence still echoing on my mind and tears kept falling from my eyes, I cursed myself for reading it so fast.
This book follows the same story as its predecessors, Sonea finds herself hostage of her guardian and High Lord of the Guild Akkarin but her idea of his mentor soon changes when she learns the truth about him. After deciding to help him, and with that Kyralia and the Guild, she learns black magic. After knowing the truth, the Guild exiles them both to the only place in the world that doesn’t belong to the Allied Lands: Sachaka which is the last place Akkarin wishes to be. With that the Ichani reunite themselves and enter Kyralia to try to overthrown the Magicians’ from the Guild so they could rule Kyralia and be powerful again.
Sonea grows a lot since book one, her character here getting a higher position and importance leading us to a discovery in the end that will make our thirst for more even stronger. Akkarin changes from the secretive and mysterious High Lord to a true human being with a great heart despite all the sorrow and pain he went through in the past. The romance between these two might be quick and somewhat shadowed by what begins to happen, but it’s strong and powerful leading to Akkarin’s death – a scene where I’ve cried like a baby but at the same time felt extremely proud.
I found myself screaming with certain characters. When Akkarin and Sonea are exiled to Sachaka, there were moments when Lord Rothen and other magicians kept saying they couldn’t trust him and they didn’t believe his story. In those moments I just wanted to slap them – and I respect Rothen a lot – and shake them to open their eyes.
I admit feeling a little bit shocked with Lord Dannyl, my favourite character throughout the entire saga. His reasons for not admitting being a lad where soon put aside and he let his heart rule his mind. Though I felt happy for him and Tayend, I was also worried with that might happen if the others found out. I didn’t want him to be expelled or something since his role as Ambassador has always been great.
Cery proved to be a great Thief, his relationship with Savara being a pure delight to me since I was praying for him to get over Sonea and find true love. Though they didn’t end up together in the end, parting ways in a very romantic moment even if sad due to the destruction, I felt like they really liked each other. Savara’s role, however, was a little bit of a letdown since I found myself frowning whenever she appeared… I feel there is so much more to be told about her and so little do we know.
Administrator Lorlen’s death was also a shock to me. I wasn’t excepting it since I’ve always thought he could be a nice High Lord some day. When Akkarin appeared and Lorlen refused to be safe, I was sure he would indeed be a good High Lord after Akkarin if he ever survived the war. My eyes began to prickle with tears in that scene and at the end, I was sobbing and crying and cursing Canavan for killing him off.
The last battle, the one between Sonea, Akkarin and the Ichani, was somewhat quick and straightforward. I was expecting a big fight, loads of bruises and curses and spells, but it just ended rapidly with Akkarin’s death. I felt so lost when I’ve read it I had to turn back the page and begin it. I felt like I had lost something. And in fact I had; Akkarin. His character deserved so much more, he deserved to live after all he went through and now with Sonea being his love and all… but I understood the reason for Canavan killing him as I understood with Lorlen.
One of the things Trudi Canavan has that amazes me is that she never leaves things behind. Everything she writes is important, even the smallest details. She grabs things she wrote in the very first book and applies it in here, giving us not only a flashback of the previous book but also a bright sense of knowledge.
Overall, the story never lacked pace, each chapter introducing us to a new subject or mission, the characters always “in a run” and the themes within them always moving forward instead of stagnate like some stories do.