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I have spent a decent amount of time in the universes that Trudi Canavan creates. I’ve read all of the Black Magician Trilogy, and then it’s sequel the The Traitor Spy Trilogy. I’ve also spent some time in the Age of Five universe, but I only read the first book. So it’s safe to say that I’ve experienced Trudi Canavan’s writing before, and know some of what to expect in terms of the writing and the set up. From the moment I’d read the synopsis of Thief’s Magic I had wanted to read this series, but have only recently got around to picking up the book.

Synopsis [GoodReads]:

In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

We are introduced to Tyen, a student of archeology and magic, working to find something valuable whilst on a dig. All her gets is a dusty old book, but it’s a little more than that. It’s a book that talks, in a sense. Think…. Chamber of Secrets and Tom Riddles diary. Except the book can’t lie. And can instantly know everything that the holder knows. Tyen keeps the book a secret from the Academy – the prestigious school where he is studying his magic and history – but of course, these sorts of secrets don’t stay secret for long and he’s quickly on his way as a fugitive, set up for a theft he didn’t commit.

There is also the story of Rielle. A dyers daughter in the city of Fyre. She’s sent to the temple to study and become fodder for a marriage into one of the more wealthy families. She can see magic, see the stain it leaves behind but she has never revealed this fact to anyone except her aunt who has instructed her to keep it a secret all her life. Naturally, this also causes some problems for Rielle, but not until after she is kidnapped by someone they call ‘tainted’ – someone who has learned magic but not through the priesthood. All Rielle wants to do is become an artist, but fate has other plans for her as she is accused of using magic herself, and thus become tainted, and sent away to the mountain temple to serve her sentence.

In both stories all is not what it seemed. I spent a good deal of time wondering how these lives were going to interlink. Is Rielle going to become the book, Vella? Or, if as simple as living in separate worlds, how will their lives interlink? Who would be crossing into who’s world – which is a possibility thanks to the knowledge divulged by Vella. Rielle is a powerful untrained magician, and Tyen is also a powerful sorcerer although not fully trained had greater reach with the magic than his professors realised.

There are some very typical Canavan elements in this book. From the empire of Leratia, the magic, the lesser status of women, and a typical evil doer it has all the basics for a good adventure. You could tell that this particular book was the set up book, the journey to get you to where the characters needed to be for the big plan to happen – which would have been better had something a bit more than the journey happened. I was disappointed that the characters didn’t meet, thinking that their journey would come together here, even if it was on a cliffhanger ending that is so popular these days.

I will read the next book in the series, that’s for sure and hopefully things will pick up a bit there. As mentioned, this book was about the whole journey to get the characters to where they needed to be… not a great deal happened otherwise. There was an interesting character that we were introduced to in Rielle’s world that I think maybe the connection to Vella and Tyen so hopefully this will be revealed in the next outing.

That’s all for now folks! What are you reading at the moment? I have yet to chose my next book, and I hate the anxiety I get from not knowing what’s coming up next!