The Magician's Apprentice

Trudi Canavan, Author
Trudi Canavan, Author Orbit $24.99 (593p) ISBN 978-0-316-03788-4
Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009

This prequel to Canavan's Black Magician trilogy (The Magicians' Guild , etc.) fails to distinguish itself from other magical coming-of-age tales. Tessia treads the well-worn path of a girl in a low-tech monarchy, determined to be a healer like her father but discouraged from pursuing a career. When her insistence on practicing medicine brings her up against the arrogant Sachakan wizard Ashaki Takado, Tessia discovers a natural talent for magic in self-defense. She hires on with magician Lord Dakon, competing with his more experienced apprentice and hoping to combine her powers with her interest in healing. Meanwhile, the encroaching Sachakan army threatens Tessia's hometown, forcing her thoughts to turn to war. Although the plot is well paced and Tessia is a sympathetic protagonist, Canavan never manages to make the world and other characters distinctive or memorable. (Feb.)

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