REVIEW: Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan

Posted on July 27, 2015


thiefs magicThief’s Magic

Millennium Rule 1

Trudi Canavan



ISBN 9780356501123

This review was first posted over at A Writer Goes On A Journey.

When the young student Tyen unearths an ancient book, it opens the door to a realm of mystery and danger. For it holds a clue to a disaster facing the world. Elsewhere in a land ruled by priests, Rielle has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she has a talent for it, and desperate times may force her to risk the Angels’ wrath. But not everything is Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic – and not even the people they trust.

I have been reading Trudi Canavan’s books for what seems a long time now and it was one of her books that I was sent when I first began reviewing. So I was looking forward to taking part in a recent blog tour for her latest title, Thief’s Magic. Unfortunately something went astray with the post and I did not receive a copy in time for the tour. But Orbit was good enough to try getting it to me a second time and while too late for the blog tour extravaganza, here is the belated review.

For me, Trudi Canavan’s really big strength is her world building and Thief’s Magic is no exception. A lot of effort goes into development of her worlds and it shows when you are reading. In this book we see a return to her concept of magic being a naturally occurring element and all magic in any one place can be soon depleted and needs replenishing. I quite like that that concept as it gets away from the magic doing everything we see so often elsewhere, providing a practical limitation as well as setting the scene for a much greater problem.

The story is progressively told through the points of view of the two protagonists. Both have exposure to magic but in very different ways. And both find things to eventually be other than what they have thought or been lead to believe. And both Tyen and Rielle are betrayed, facing consequences neither of them could have expected nor warranted but in different ways. The two stories unfold in a good pace, in two clearly different voices and styles with greatly contrasting worlds in which they live.

Both protagonists’ stories are independent of the other. But by the end of the book, I was unable to see where or when their stories are going to intersect which I found a bit frustrating.

I did have two small issues. At the start of things when Tyen realises he has a book that is literally talking to him via the page, he seemed a bit too accepting of it. If it were me, I probably would have freaked. And almost at the beginning we meet Beatle, a small insectoid construct built by Tyen. I was given the impression that this was a purely physical construct, perhaps like something run by an equivalent of a clockwork mechanism which never runs down. We are not exposed to how Beatle actually operates. I was fine with this until I realised Tyen was able to train Beatle to do new things. This made it seem that Tyen had created a new form of self-aware sentience which was inconsistent with it being a simple construct within the abilities of that setting. However these were both little aspects of the story and I was able to put them one side without any difficulty.

Thief’s Magic is the first instalment in a new series, Millennium Rule and so far it has all the ingredients that were present in Canavan’s other successful series. For me the test is do I want to read more and the answer is a definite yes.




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