The Traitor Queen – Trudi Canavan
This is the third book in the “Traitor Spy” trilogy, and the seventh set in the world that Canavan has created [The others being the Black Magician” trilogy, and then “The Magician’s Apprentice”].
As always, beware spoilers if you haven’t read this book/series yet.
This book picks up fairly quickly after the second one ended:
Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels. The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the huge task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors. Lorkin has also had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians – or make Lorkin an outcast forever.
I felt that with this book there was a potential for so much more, and that it just wasn’t delivered. For the first time in 20 years [as we are regularly reminded] Sonea leaves Imardin to find her son, who at first is a prisoner, then not, then a Guild Magician, then not… Before she left, as a “feared” Black Magician, she took power from other Magicians [with their permission] to build up her stores of magic for what is built up to be a confrontation between Sonea and the Sachakan people… that just doesn’t happen. At all. She’s just swept aside and that’s that really.
Another part of the plot was the tying up of the situation in the city itself, with the Thief Skellen and his mother. Again, we spend much of the book with the characters involved, Cery, Gol, Lillia, building up to what should have been a big confrontation with magical battles around for it to go out in a whisper of magic. Lillia used her [immature] Black Magician skills on a trained magician and his mother and solved the whole thing in an instant? I know it’s fantasy, but considering Lillia has been one of the most useless characters from the start it just didn’t seem all that realistic how her storyline came around.
I disliked that Cery constantly moped about his age, the aching in his bones, and the constant clinging onto the past as well.
The best bits that happened were in Sachaka, but it was still lacking. I felt that this book, which was the concluding book of the trilogy, despite not reading like it, was mediocre at best. The very last chapter introduced an interesting concept that could have made the whole series something much, much more interesting… the people who don’t have magical powers had developed a gun like mechanism. That is interesting. But I was always taught in school that the conclusion shouldn’t introduce something new! Which just makes this a frustrating read from beginning to end.
It was far to slow to begin with, and then rushed towards an extremely anti-climatic ending.
Have you read this series? What did you think?