Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan
Thief’s Magic is the first book I’ve read by Trudi Canavan. I was really looking forward to it and it didn’t disappoint.
The story brings us two protagonists, two different plots and two different worlds both of which revolve around magic, the use of it and the consequences in doing so.
We meet Tyen on an archeological dig where he discovers an artefact that whilst at first appearing to be of little significance soon reveals it’s true worth. Tyen has uncovered a sentient book with a very intriguing history. A book that can literally communicate and answer questions, not only storing information from the past thousand years, and unable to lie but gathering new information all the time from whoever happens to be currently holding the book. The book’s name is Vella and her skills at reading people’s minds make her a very valuable object. It also puts her in great danger. Tyen finds he’s become attached to Vella and wishes to protect her and so begins his adventure story.
We meet Rielle on a journey home from the school at which she is taught by priests. During her journey she is abducted by a person who is corrupt. Using Rielle as hostage this man hopes to evade capture but Rielle manages to assist the priests in capturing the man at once bringing her to everyone’s attention and raising her status temporarily to that of a hero. Her escapades lead her to make the acquaintance of a local artist who wants to paint Rielle’s portrait – something that would be frowned upon by her family who seek to elevate their status by achieving a successful marriage for Rielle to one of the higher families sons. I won’t go into more detail but this is the start of events that will change Rielle’s life completely.
The two stories are undoubtedly different. Tyen comes from a world where inventions are powered by magic. The Cities are industrial and the use of magic leaves sooty deposits. In fact magic is becoming depleted whilst the scholars of the world argue about it’s true source. It could be that Tyen’s discovery of a sentient book could be more important than ever. In Rielle’s world the use of magic is strictly guarded. Only priests use magic and harsh punishments are meted out to those using it – the corrupt. The priests search the corrupt out and are aided by the ‘stain’ residue that remains after it’s use. The priests teach that magic originates from the angels and using it will condemn your soul in the afterlife.
What I felt this book really excelled at was character representation. I cared about both characters and I enjoyed the way the stories were split, going back and forth between Tyen and Rielle but giving ample time with each character before switching to the other. This gave you a good chunk of stories before being taken from the story. As the tension rises towards the conclusion the chapters alternate more frequently which cranks up the tension. Yes, I did care for the two. Tyen’s is a fast paced adventure story which sets off quickly and seems to go from one will he/won’t he get away situation to the next. Rielle’s is decidedly slower to come to the boil. There is more about the family and their expectations, the fear that the majority of people seem to live with and the lies and secrets that are kept behind closed doors. I think that the slow build was necessary here in order to understand the reasons behind Rielle’s decisions and also in order to fully comprehend the consequences of her action. I really did feel for her! She’s young, naive, far too trusting but ultimately a good person. You could also say Tyen is similar – he’s also too trusting and doesn’t always go with his real instincts.
I really enjoyed this and would like to write so much more about it but it’s difficult to do so without giving away spoilers which I don’t want to do . I think it’s a really positive start to a series that I will definitely continue to read. Full of magic, mystery, corruption, possibly different worlds, angels and love. It’s going to feel like a long wait for No.2
I received a copy of this courtesy of the publishers in return for a honest review. The above is my own opinion. I am submitting this for one of my reads for the Once Upon a Time Event over at Stainless Steel Droppings.