18 October, 2007

Book Review – The Novice

The Black Magician Trilogy - Book Two.
We meet up with Sonea on the eve of her Acceptance Ceremony. Rothen is her guardian and they have built a strong relationship. Sonea has been worried about when school started as she is the first dwell (slum dweller) to ever be admitted to the Guild. Rothen assured her that once folks got to know her and she had a few friends she would feel better. Unfortunately all of Sonea’s classmates are from rich, high profile families and they shun her because of where she came from. It gets a lot worse when Regin takes a disliking to her. With his charisma he is easily able to turn not only all of her classmates against her, but many of her teachers as well. Regin is a master of the dirty underhanded trick, and is constantly pulling something on Sonea. At first it was just mean pranks, ruining an experiment, getting her robes wet, but as he gests not satisfaction from her it quickly escalates to Sonea not only getting accused of stealing from a fellow student, but also cornered and attacked by several students.

As if that isn’t enough, the High Lord finds out about what Sonea saw that night and binds Lorlen, the High Lord’s administrator from speaking to Rothen unless absolutely necessary. He also takes Sonea away from Rothen as assurance to both of their good behavior. The High Lord becomes Sonea’s guardian. Sonea and Rothen are also not allowed to speak, the High Lord even manages to remove Rothen as a teacher for Sonea.

Not all is bad. Sonea meets Rothen’s son Dorrien and the beginning of a beautiful friendship or something more takes hold. Dorrien seems to be just what Sonea needs, a friend.

Dannyl plays a much bigger role in this book than he did in the last. He has become the “Second Guild Ambassador fro Elyne.” He befriends Tayend, who becomes his assistant. Tayend was at the great library when the High Lord visited Elyne years before and is an invaluable help in Dannyl’s research. What Dannyl doesn’t know is that it is research on behalf of Lorlen, to try and find out how the High Lord became a practitioner of Black Magic.