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The Novice (2011)

af Trudi Canavan

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: The Black Magician Trilogy (02), Kyralia (02 (The Black Magician 02))

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4,162622,929 (3.92)46
Alone among all the novices in the Magicians' Guild, only Sonea comes from lowly beginnings. Yet she has won powerful allies-including Lord Dannyl, newly promoted to Guild Ambassador. But Dannyl must now depart for the Elyne court, leaving Sonea at the mercy of the lies and malicious rumors her enemies are busy spreading . . . until the High Lord Akkarin steps in. The price of Akkarin's support is dear, however, because Sonea, in turn, must protect his mysteries-and a secret that could lead a young novice mage deep into the darkness. Meanwhile, Dannyl's first order to resume High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge is setting him on an extraordinary journey fraught with unanticipated peril-as he moves ever-closer to a future both wondrous . . . and terrible.… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afNerena, momelimberham, Itroun, LlamaLinus, privat bibliotek, yuima, hannahp812, Lililu, tucktuck78
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Engelsk (56)  Fransk (2)  Spansk (2)  Tysk (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (62)
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This is volume 2 of Canavan's first fantasy trilogy, and a much more enjoyable read than volume 1 (which had very little plot). By contrast, in 'The Novice', a great deal happens and a lot of the subplots weave into the main plot, of Sonea's experiences and progress as a magician's novice. Due to her origins in the slums, she meets a great deal of bigotry from other novices and even magicians, and is bullied by a classmate, Regin, who manages to get the rest of the pupils on his side, and later to recruit older pupils too. Each day becomes a battle for survival as Sonea is stalked in the corridors after lessons and repeatedly attacked with magic by larger and larger groups organised by this malicious novice.

Alongside this, a subplot deals with the discovery at the end of book 1, that the leader of the magicians, the High Lord Akkarin, appears to be (illegally) using black magic. At first, Lorlen the administrator involves Sonea's guardian Rothen in keeping the secret, as Akkarin is so strong that an accusation could lead to a pitched battle between him and the Guild magicians, which he is likely to win. Eventually Akkarin learns that his secret is out and shared with Sonea and her guardian, and this leads him to forcibly read their minds in order to find out if they have told anyone else. He then takes over Sonea's guardianship and ensures she can never talk to Rothen or even Lorlen.

A third thread to the story is that Dannyl, friend and former ward of Rothen, is appointed Second Ambassador to the neighbouring land of Elyne. This has been arranged by Lorlen, who recruits Dannyl in investigating libraries and other sources, for information about ancient magic. He doesn't reveal to Dannyl the real reason for this interest, but it is actually to retrace the steps of Akkarin who ten years ago returned from a similar mission, and find out if he learned his black magic somewhere on the trip. All Dannyl knows is that it is inadvisable to let Akkarin know as it might look like prying into his private business, and Dannyl has always been intimidated by the High Lord so is happy to keep the research lowkey. He makes a friend, a scholar at the Great Library in his new land, and as the story goes on, it becomes clear that this friend is gay. In Elyne, this is frowned upon but tolerated whereas in Dannyl's own country it would result in disgrace and in being barred from high office etc. In other countries, it incurs the death penalty.

In a changed premise from book 1, the reason Rothen took on Dannyl's guardianship (most novices don't have guardians) is that rumours were threatening to spoil his chances, following a friendship with another novice who was suspected to be gay. In book 1, there was no mention of this - the reason being that Dannyl was lazy and neglecting his studies, and also spending too much time in a running feud with another novice (who became the villain in book 1). As Dannyl spends more time with his new friend he eventually undergoes an experience where he realises that he is actually gay and has been using his magic to suppress it.

A minor subplot is that strange murders are happening in the city which point to a rogue magician. Lorlen starts to believe that Akkarin could be responsible.

The storytelling itself seems a little better this time though Canavan hasn't entirely got rid of the superfluous adverbs whenever anyone speaks, and also there is far too much nodding, chuckling, smiling etc, again in character dialogue. People smile and chuckle in situations where things are quite serious and it jars. However, there is a bit more tension in this book, and a definite improvement on volume 1. One blooper is that at one point Canavan forgets to use her invented terms and refers to the network of hidden tunnels outside the University as a "spider's web" instead of the invented term she usually uses for arachnids. As with book 1, I don't know why she bothered to go through inventing new names for things that sound from context and the back-at-book glossary to be mice, rats, coffee, spiders and other everyday items.

This volume didn't make 5 stars for me because it was difficult to believe that a supposedly tough slum girl would have been so timid in facing down her tormentors. Also, she seems very naive, for example, when she first has a meal with the other novices, she answers their nosy questions frankly, admitting that she stole when a child, and when asked if she ever killed someone, that she might have because she defended herself with a knife from sexual assault once. A character who has grown up with such experiences would surely be more shrewd in her responses to the questioning by what turns out to be a bunch of spoiled brats - she could, for example, have said that she helped her aunt and uncle make clothes for a living (true) and that not everyone in the slums steals, using a suitably offended tone. And just said 'no' about the killing. As it is, the other novices immediately turn against her and follow Regin because she has put them all off. I found it hard to believe that she wouldn't have learned to be ecconomical with the truth if not an outright liar on occasion, when she had spent quite a few childhood years in a gang, where surely such skills would have been lifesaving on occasion. Possibly the truth could subsequently have been discovered and put round about Regin, given his obsession with getting her expelled, but it seemed ridiculous that she handed over this ammunition against herself.

The bullying sessions also go on for a very long time: she initially tries to escape by extra tuition that allows her to rise to the previous class who at least are not bullies, but Regin does the same and follows, and he then recruits more and more novices to join in his attacks. The magicians do absolutely nothing, even though this is a definite breakdown of discipline on a large scale which they might be expected to frown on for its own sake despite any personal feelings about having a 'slum girl' in the University. And although she acquires a coach to help her with warrior skills (that is, being able to defend against and make her own attacks), she doesn't go to him for help (she can't ask Rothen or Lorlan due to the situation with the High Lord) which would seem the obvious thing to do - she wouldn't even have to explain why, just that she needs to improve those skills, which is one of the threads in the story. In fact, at one point, the tutor is discussing the situation with Akkarin (who knows about the bullying but allows it to go on, to help develop Sonea's powers) and says her problem is that she is 'too nice'. This seems very odd for a girl who is meant to be a tough city kid, rebellious, and defiant of the magicians in book 1, a girl who is handy with a knife on occasion - almost as if she has turned into a sheltered rich kid herself. There is also a slight element of 'Mary Sue', in that Sonea is already stronger than a novice of her age would normally be and showing signs of developing into a magician powerful enough to eventually oppose Akkarin, though I suppose being the protagonist, she couldn't just be an average magician. But the character change isn't very convincing, and therefore I can only give the book 4 stars although I enjoyed other aspects of it.


( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Overall a pleasant reading, I just pity that Sonea’s bullying episodes take so much space and hold a large part of the intrigue. Those are clearly aimed at the most teenage share of the audience and the least interesting of the story. For the rest I feel the author has upped her game compared to the first volume, notably the characters of Akkarin and Dannyl who have striked interest, notably thanks to Dannyl’s long quest for ancient magic which was clearly well thought. It remains an easy reading fantasy series which lacks a bit of a style to make its mark.
Strong points
1. Some excellent characters
2. Fantastic quest for ancient magic
3. A climax at the end which anticipates an epic 3rd volume
Weak points
1. Poor style
2. Storyline loses itself in Sonea’s bulling episodes
3. Too many shallow scenes ( )
  corporate_clone | Aug 17, 2023 |
2552
  freixas | Mar 31, 2023 |
In "The Novice", Sonea, a girl from the slums, starts her studies at the university to become a proper magician. She is the only student who is not a member of a genteel family, and the other students as well as some of the teachers are giving her a hard time. So much of this novel feels like a high school novel, mainly revolving around bullying, pranks and exams. I must say that I did not enjoy these aspects very much, mainly because it was too repetitive, because it is not what I look for in a fantasy novel, and because it was just too frustrating. The other storylines - Dannyl becoming ambassador and traveling to other countries, and of course, the dramatic plot line about the High Lord - held my attention, though, and I enjoyed these chapters very much. There are a few new characters that bring new aspects to the novel, as well, and I just felt at home in this world and rooted for my favorites.
All in all, what I wrote about book 1 goes for the second installment of this series as well: There were several things I didn't like so much, but still this is a great read and I am looking forward to continuing this series! ( )
  MissBrangwen | Sep 4, 2022 |
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Canavan, TrudiForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Aspel, RichardFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Stawicki, MattOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Stone, SteveOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Dit boek draag ik op aan moeder, Irene Canavan, die me altijd voorhield dat ik door inzet en hard werken alles kon worden wat ik wilde.
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Alone among all the novices in the Magicians' Guild, only Sonea comes from lowly beginnings. Yet she has won powerful allies-including Lord Dannyl, newly promoted to Guild Ambassador. But Dannyl must now depart for the Elyne court, leaving Sonea at the mercy of the lies and malicious rumors her enemies are busy spreading . . . until the High Lord Akkarin steps in. The price of Akkarin's support is dear, however, because Sonea, in turn, must protect his mysteries-and a secret that could lead a young novice mage deep into the darkness. Meanwhile, Dannyl's first order to resume High Lord Akkarin's long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge is setting him on an extraordinary journey fraught with unanticipated peril-as he moves ever-closer to a future both wondrous . . . and terrible.

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