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Books by Trudi Canavan The Black Magician Trilogy The Magicians' Guild The Novice The High Lord THE High Lord The Black Magician Trilogy Book Three. The Black Magician Trilogy has 6 entries in the series. The High Lord The Black Magician Trilogy - [Free] The High Lord The Black Magician Trilogy. [PDF] [EPUB] The Black Magician trilogy is a.


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I have made an arrangement with one of the spies that he pass on whatever he can safely divulge to me. None of his information has been useful yet, but it might lead to something that is.

You said you wanted to examine the next victim. One was discovered tonight, so I had the body brought here. Barran gestured to the door.

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Would you like to see it now. The man remained silent as they descended a flight of stairs and continued down another corridor. The air grew distinctly colder. Stopping before a heavy wooden door, Barran unlocked and opened it. A strong medicinal smell gusted into the corridor, not quite hiding a less pleasant odor.

The room beyond was sparsely furnished. Bare stone walls surrounded three plain benches. On one was the naked corpse of a man. On another was a set of clothing, neatly folded.

Drawing closer, Lorlen studied the body reluctantly. As with all the recent killings, the victim had been stabbed through the heart, and a shallow cut ran down one side of the man's neck. Despite this the man's expression was unexpectedly peaceful. As Barran began to describe the place where the victim was found, Lorlen considered a conversation he'd overheard during one of the regular Guild social gatherings in the Night Room.

Lord Darlen, a young Healer, had been describing a patient to three of his friends. So I checked.

However, I detected another heartbeat. Small and slow, but definitely a heartbeat. He had two hearts? The third friend, an Alchemist, looked puzzled. They're poisonous. Did someone murder him? Some people like the effect. They suck on the reptiles. Seems the wife didn't know about her husband's habit. She became hysterical. Wouldn't go home for fear her house was infested with them, and one crawled down her throat during the night.

Lorlen almost smiled at the memory. Healers needed a sense of humor, though it was often a strange one. The conversation had given him an idea, however. A dead body was still full of life energy, but a body of someone who had been killed by black magic ought to have been drained of all energy. To confirm whether the murderer was using black magic, Lorlen only needed to examine a victim with his Healing senses.

As Barran finished his description of the scene, Lorlen stepped forward. Steeling himself, he placed a hand on the dead man's arm, closed his eyes and sent his senses out into the body. He was startled at how easy it was, until he remembered that the natural barrier in living things that resisted magical interference dissipated at the moment of death. Sending his mind outward, he searched the body and found only the faintest traces of life energy.

The process of decomposition had been interrupted—delayed—because of the lack of anything alive within the body to start it. Opening his eyes, Lorlen lifted his hand from the man's arm. He stared at the shallow cut along the victim's neck, sure now that this was the wound that had killed the man. The stab wound to the heart had probably been made later, to provide a more plausible cause of death. Looking down, he regarded the ring on his finger.

So it's true, he thought. The killer uses black magic. But is this Akkarin's victim, or do we have another black magician loose in the city? He slid it aside and looked out over the gardens. Spring had come early this year. The hedges and trees bore small blossoms, and an enthusiastic new gardener had planted rows of brightly colored flowers along the pathways. Though it was early morning, magicians and novices were walking through the garden. Rothen lifted his cup and sipped.

The sumi was fresh and bitter. He thought back to the previous evening and grimaced. Once a week he joined his elderly friend Lord Yaldin, and his wife Ezrille, for dinner. Yaldin had been a friend of Rothen's late mentor, Lord Margen, and still considered it his duty to keep an eye on Rothen—which was why, during the meal last night, Yaldin had felt he must tell Rothen to stop worrying about Sonea.

Rothen shrugged. She doesn't need you to monitor her wellbeing. He's only concerned about her academic progress. Life isn't only about magic. Don't you think she would have visited you by now?

It's been over a year. No matter how busy she is with her studies, surely she would have found some time to see you. He could not help himself. From their sympathetic expressions, he knew they had seen his reaction and thought he was merely hurt by Sonea's apparent abandonment of him. Leave it be, Rothen. He couldn't tell them his true reasons for watching Sonea.

To do so would place more than Sonea's life at risk. Even if Yaldin and Ezrille agreed to keep silent to protect Sonea, Akkarin had said no others were to know. Breaking that "order" might be all the excuse Akkarin needed to Use black magic to take over the Guild? He was already the High Lord.

What else could he possibly want? More power, perhaps. To rule in place of the King. To rule all of the Allied Lands. To be free to strengthen himself with black magic until he was more powerful than any magician who had ever existed. But if Akkarin had wanted to do any of that, surely he would have done it long ago. Rothen had to acknowledge, grudgingly, that Akkarin had done nothing to harm Sonea, as far as he could tell. The only time he had seen her in the company of her guardian had been the day of the Challenge.

Yaldin and Ezrille had let the subject drop eventually. Rothen felt a small flash of annoyance at the memory. He looked at Tania, his servant. She was carefully wiping the dust off his bookshelf with a cloth. He knew Tania had told Ezrille and Yaldin out of concern for his health, and would never reveal his use of a sleeping drug to anyone else, but he still could not help feeling a little resentful.

But how could he complain when she willingly played the spy for him? Tania, through her friendship with Sonea's servant, Viola, kept him informed of Sonea's health, moods and occasional visits to her aunt and uncle in the slums. Clearly Tania hadn't told Yaldin and Ezrille of her own part in this, or they would have mentioned it as proof of his "worrying.

From letters, Rothen guessed that Dannyl had become close friends with his assistant, Tayend. The speculation regarding Tayend's sexual orientation had disappeared within weeks of it beginning.

Everyone knew what self-indulgent gossips the Elynes were, and the only reason the assistant's rumored tastes in lovers had drawn the attention of Guild magicians was because Dannyl had been accused of interest in other men in his youth.

That accusation had never been proven to be true. When no further gossip about Dannyl or his assistant arose, most magicians had forgotten about the pair. Rothen was more concerned about the research he had asked Dannyl to carry out. Wondering when Akkarin had found the opportunity to learn black magic had led Rothen to speculate on the journey Akkarin had made, years before, to study ancient magic. It seemed likely that Akkarin had discovered the forbidden arts during that time.

The same sources of information might also reveal any weakness black magicians might have that could be exploited, so Rothen had asked Dannyl to do a little research on ancient magic for a "book" he was writing. Unfortunately, Dannyl had produced little that was useful.

When he had returned to the Guild unannounced over a year before, to report to Akkarin, Rothen had been worried that he'd been found out. Dannyl had assurred Rothen afterward that he'd told Akkarin the research had been for his own interest—and to Rothen's surprise Akkarin had encouraged Dannyl to continue. Dannyl still sent research notes every few months, but each bundle was smaller.

Dannyl had expressed frustration at having exhausted all sources of knowledge in Elyne, yet, remembering how distant and evasive Dannyl had been during his visit to the Guild, Rothen could not help wondering occasionally if his friend was holding something back.

Furthermore, Dannyl had mentioned discussing something confidential with the High Lord. Rothen brought his empty cup back to the dining table. Dannyl was a Guild Ambassador and as such he would be trusted with all kinds of information he could not share with ordinary magicians. The confidential matter could have just been something political.

But he couldn't help worrying that Dannyl was unknowingly helping Akkarin in some dreadful, sinister plot. He could do nothing about that, however. He could only trust in Dannyl's good sense. His friend would not follow orders blindly, especially not if he was asked to do something questionable or wrong. No matter how many times Dannyl visited the Great Library, the sight of it still filled him with wonder.

Cut into a high cliff, the building's enormous door and windows were so large it was easy to imagine that a race of giant men had carved it out of the rock for their use. The corridors and rooms inside, however, were made to suit an ordinary man's proportions, so no race of giants had made them. As his carriage pulled up outside the massive door, a smaller door at the base of it opened and a striking young man stepped out.

Dannyl smiled and felt a glow of affection as he climbed out to greet his friend and lover. Tayend's bow was respectful, but was followed by a familiar grin. You Elynes should have built your city closer to the library. I'll suggest it to the King next time I attend court. Did the librarian already know about the matters covered in the letter Dannyl had just received? Had he received a similar letter himself? Mullioned windows dominated one side of the room, and groups of chairs were arranged informally along the length of the hall.

An elderly man sat in one of the closest chairs. As he began to push himself up out of it, Dannyl waved a hand. Well enough. How are you, Ambassador? There isn't much work at the Guild House at the moment. A few testings, a few minor disputes, a few small parties. Nothing overly time-consuming. Akkarin had begun a similar search, long before he became High Lord, which had kept him roaming the lands for five years. He had returned empty-handed, however, and Dannyl had initially assumed Lorlen had asked him to retrace Akkarin's steps in order to gift his friend with some of the information he had lost.

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But six months later, after Dannyl had travelled to Lonmar and Vin, Lorlen had abruptly informed Dannyl that he no longer needed the information. At the same time, Rothen had suddenly gained an interest in the same subject. This strange coincidence, and Dannyl's own growing fascination with the mysteries of ancient magic, had encouraged Dannyl and Tayend to continue.

Akkarin had eventually learned of Dannyl's project and ordered him home to report. To Dannyl's relief, the High Lord had been pleased with his work, though he had ordered Dannyl and Tayend to keep their strangest discovery, the Chamber of Ultimate Justice, a secret. The chamber, which they had found under the ruins of a city in the Elyne mountains, had contained a magically charged ceiling of stones that had attacked Dannyl, and nearly killed him.

How it worked was a mystery.

After Dannyl had returned to reseal the entrance, he had searched the Great Library in vain for a reference to it. Clearly it used a form of magic unknown to the Guild. You can't be sure how well you'd be received. There's sure to be magicians there. Though they would not be as skilled as you and your colleagues, they would pose a danger to a lone Guild magician. After all, the Guild left much of their land wasted. There's bound to be some lingering resentment for that.

So what will you do now? Irand drew in a breath and looked at Dannyl over the page. Irand handed the letter to Tayend. The scholar began to read aloud. Only recently have they had some success. Now that at least one of them has managed to develop his powers, the Guild is entitled and obliged to deal with them.

I have included information on this group with this letter. You will find your relationship with the scholar, Tayend of Tremmelin, helpful in persuading them that you can be trusted. Dannyl nodded at the letter. I will ensure that it is understood that I asked you to give them this information in order to achieve your goal' " Tayend stared at Dannyl.

How can he know? Or has he just listened to the rumors and taken a chance that they might be true? Who else have you allowed to know of your relationship?

Unless we have been overheard. He grimaced and rubbed his temples. For the rest of us, there are limits to mind reading. We can't read an unwilling mind, and we must touch another person to be able to read them at all. Akkarin once searched the mind of a criminal to confirm his guilt. The man should have been able to block him, yet somehow Akkarin got past his mental barriers. Some magicians believe Akkarin can even read minds at a distance.

Or maybe he did when he ordered me to return to the Guild. That he can read minds at such a distance is extraordinary. Once contact is established, however, he might have been able to see more than I intended. There is one more paragraph. He ought to be able to arrange an introduction. Some you talk about, some are best kept to oneself. When I declined, he assured me it wasn't what I thought, that there'd be no, ah, indulgences of the flesh or the mind.

He said it would be a scholarly gathering. But his manner was furtive, and I took that as a warning and didn't attend. It is no secret that I was once offered a place in the Guild, but declined.

And my inclinations are well known. It makes sense that these rebels approach all who decline or are refused entry into the Guild.

Perhaps he is more tolerant than the average Kyralian. He would have me risk much for the sake of finding these rebels.

Your role is to act on behalf of the High Lord in matters that are the domain and responsibility of the Guild. Sometimes carrying out that role means taking risks. Let's hope this task risks only your reputation, and not your life. Dannyl nodded.

You must plan this carefully, however," Irand cautioned. They began to discuss ways to approach the rebels. Not for the first time, Dannyl was glad to have the librarian's confidence. Tayend had insisted several months ago that they tell his mentor about their relationship, assuring Dannyl that he would trust Irand with his life. To Dannyl's consternation, the old man hadn't been at all surprised. As far as Dannyl and Tayend could tell, the rest of the Elyne court still believed Dannyl was oblivious to, and certainly didn't share, Tayend's attraction to men.

Rothen had told Dannyl that similar rumors had circulated in the Guild, but had been quickly forgotten. Despite this, Dannyl still feared that the truth about him would reach the Guild, and he would be stripped of his position and ordered home. Which was why he had been shocked and angered by Akkarin's request that he allow the rebels to find out the truth. It was difficult enough keeping his relationship with Tayend a secret.

Allowing the rebels to know was a risk he did not want to take. It was late when the knock came. Looking up from her desk, Sonea regarded the door of her room.

Was it her servant bringing a late cup of hot raka? She lifted a hand, then stopped. Lord Yikmo, the Warrior who had trained her in preparation for the Challenge, always said a magician should avoid the habit of gesturing when using magic—it gave away a magician's intent.

Hands still, she now willed the door to open. Takan stood in the corridor beyond. What did Akkarin want with her at this time of night?

Takan gazed at Sonea and waited. Pushing her chair back, she rose and approached the doorway. As Sonea entered the corridor, Takan started toward the library. When she reached the door, she peered through. A large desk stood at one side. The walls were covered in bookcases.

Two large chairs and a small table were arranged at the center. Akkarin was sitting in one of the chairs. As she bowed, he gestured to the other, where a small book lay. The book was small, bound in leather and very worn. She picked it up and opened it. The pages were filled with faded handwriting. She read the first few lines and drew in a quick breath. It was the diary of Lord Coren, the architect who had designed most of the Guild buildings, and who had discovered how to shape stone with magic.

His expression was serious, and his dark eyes bore into hers. As he moved into the corridor she found that Takan was watching her with uncustomary directness, as if he was assessing her closely. She met his eyes.

He nodded, as if to himself, then turned away. Two sets of footsteps faded into the distance. She looked down at the book in her hands. Sitting down, she opened the cover and began to read: I am Coren of Emarin, House Velan, and this is to be a record of my work and discoveries.

I am not one of those who writes an account of himself out of pride or habit or any need for others to know his life. There has been little in my past that I could not discuss with my friends or my sister. Today, however, I discovered a need to transcribe my thoughts to paper.

I have encountered something that I must keep a solemn secret, yet at the same time I feel an urge to tell of it that cannot be denied. Sonea looked to the top of the page and noted the date. She realized from her recent studies that at the time of writing this diary Lord Coren had been young, restless and in disfavor with his elders for drinking excessively and designing strange, impractical buildings. I had the chest brought to my rooms today. It took some time to open it.

I disengaged the magical locks easily enough, but the lid had rusted shut. I didn't want to risk damaging anything inside, so I took great care. When I finally had it open I was both disappointed and pleased. It was filled with boxes, so my first sight of the contents was very exciting. But as I opened each box I found only books inside. When I opened the last box I was greatly disappointed.

I had found no buried treasure. Just books. From what I have seen they are all records of some sort. I have been reading late into the night and much puzzles me. Tomorrow I will read some more. Sonea smiled as she pictured the young magician locked away in his room reading. His following entries were haphazard, often skipping several days. Then came a short entry, underlined several times.

I know what I have found! These are the missing records! He named some of the books, but Sonea did not recognize any of them. These missing volumes were "full of forbidden knowledge" and Coren was reluctant to describe their contents. After a gap of several weeks there was a long entry describing an experiment, the conclusion of which read: At last I have succeeded! It has taken so long. I feel both triumph and the fear I should have felt before.

I'm not sure why this is. While I was failing to discover the ways to use this power I was still somehow uncorrupted. Now, I cannot truly deny that I have ever used black magic. I have broken my vow. I hadn't realized how ill that would feel. Yet it did not deter him.

Sonea found herself struggling to understand why this young man continued to do something that he clearly saw was wrong. He seemed unable to stop, driven forward to whatever end this discovery was leading him to, even if it be the discovery of his crime. But it led to something else. All who know me know my love of stone.

It is the beautiful flesh of the earth. It has cracks and creases like skin, it has veins and pores. It can be hard, soft, brittle or flexible. When the earth spills forth its molten core, it is as red as blood. After learning of the black magics, I expected to be able to place my hands on stone and feel a tremendous store of life energy within, but I was disappointed.

I felt nothing; less than the tingling of water. I wanted it to be full of life. That's when it happened. Like a healer trying to will a dying man back to health, I started to infuse energy into the stone. I willed it to live. Then a remarkable thing began to happen. Sonea gripped the little book tightly, unable to take her eyes from the lines of text. This was the discovery that made Coren famous, and influenced Guild architecture for centuries to come. It was said to be the greatest development in magical knowledge for centuries.

Though what he had done was not actually black magic, the forbidden arts had led to the discovery. Sonea closed her eyes and shook her head. Lord Larkin, the architecture teacher, would give all his wealth for this diary, but he would be devastated if he learned the truth about his idol.

She sighed, looked down at the pages and continued to read. His writing was neat and elegant. The paper was quality, and the ink dark and black. Despite the slang terms throughout—he had requested that Serin teach him to read and write, not make him sound like a member of one of the Houses—and the fact that it was a request for the execution of a man who had cheated him and fled to the Southside, it was a fine, well-written letter. He smiled as he remembered asking Faren, the Thief who had hidden Sonea from the Guild, if he could "borrow" Faren's scribe for a while.

From Faren's mixed expression of reluctance and gratitude, Cery knew that the Thief would have refused if he hadn't desperately needed the boost to his position that the arrangement would bring. Faren's hold on his status as Thief had been precarious for the first year after he had turned Sonea over to the Guild. A Thief's ability to do business relied on a network of people willing to work for him.

While some worked for money, most preferred to "help out" and be paid back in kind later. Favors were the second currency of the underworld.

Read PDF The Novice: Book 2 of the Black Magician (Black Magician Trilogy)

Faren had used a lot of the favors owed to him while keeping Sonea out of the Guild's hands, but that should not have held him back for long.

People knew he had made a deal with Sonea to hide her from the Guild in exchange for her using her magic for him—a deal he had broken.

The other Thieves, worried by the Guild's warnings that her powers would grow dangerous if she wasn't trained to control them, had "asked" him to turn her in. While he could hardly have refused the request of the other underworld leaders, a deal had been broken. Thieves needed people to believe they had at least some integrity, or only the desperate or the foolish would do business with them.

Only the fact that Sonea had never used magic in any useful way, failing to uphold her side of the deal, had saved Faren from complete ruin. Serin had remained loyal, however. He had given Cery little information about Faren's affairs during the reading and writing lessons—nothing Cery didn't already know, anyway. Cery had learned fast, though he attributed that partly to having watched some of Sonea's lessons with the scribe. And by showing that he—Sonea's friend—was willing to deal with Faren—Sonea's "betrayer"—Cery had assured people that the Thief was still trustworthy.

Taking a slim tube of dried reed out of his desk drawer, Cery rolled the letter and slipped it inside. He stoppered the tube and sealed it with wax. Picking up a yerim—a slim metal tool with a needle-like point—he scratched a name on the side.

Putting the tube aside, Cery balanced the yerim in his hand, then, with a flick of his wrist, threw it across the room. It landed point first in the wooden panelling of the opposite wall. He gave a small sigh of satisfaction. He'd had his own yerim made to be well balanced for throwing.

Looking down at the three remaining in the drawer, he reached out to take another, then stopped at a knock on the door. Rising, Cery crossed the room to retrieve the yerim from the panelling before returning to his desk.

The door opened and Gol stepped inside. The man's expression was respectful. Cery looked closer. In Gol's eyes was a hint of This was an unusual woman, if Gol's manner was any indication. What would she be: It was not a typical Kyralian name, however. It sounded more like a Lonmar name. If she had lied about her name, why not make up an occupation as well? So she thinks I have a problem. Cery closed his desk drawer, then leaned back in his chair to wait. After a few minutes, the door opened again.

He and the newcomer regarded each other in surprise. She had the strangest face he had ever seen. A broad forehead and high cheekbones angled down to a fine chin. Thick, black hair hung heavy and straight past her shoulders, but her most startling feature was her eyes. They were large and tilted upward at the outer corners, and the same light gold-brown as her skin.

Strange, exotic eyes. He was used to this reaction. Most customers hesitated when they first saw him, as they noted his stature, and his name, which was also the name of a little rodent common in the slums.

Then they reminded themselves of his position and the likely consequences if they laughed out loud. Definitely not Lonmar. And you're Savara. If she had lied about her name, he doubted she would offer the real one now just because he asked for it.

A hint of a smile crossed her face and he caught his breath. If she fully smiled, she may just turn out to be astonishingly beautiful. No doubt this was the cause of Gol's suppressed excitement.

Cery narrowed his eyes. So she knows there is more than one. He hadn't anticipated the challenge and confidence that came with it, however. This one knew how to use her looks to get her way. If she knew who these murderers were, and believed she could kill them.

The smile vanished. She took another step closer. As for finding them," a crease appeared between her brows, "that will be harder, but easier for me than for you. I have ways of recognizing them. For now, I will tell you that the next one entered the city today. He will probably take a day or two to gather the courage, and then you'll hear of his first kill. If she didn't know anything, why offer this proof? Unless she planned to manufacture "proof by murdering someone herself.

He looked at her closely and his heart went cold as he belatedly recognized the broad facial features and that particular shade of gold-brown skin.

How had he not seen it earlier? But he had never seen a Sachakan woman before He had no doubt now that she was dangerous. Whether she was dangerous to him, or to the murderers from her homeland, remained to be seen. The more he could get her to reveal of herself, the better.

I will stay in my room and have food brought to me. I'll put a watcher on you now, and we'll have a chat once this man has done his deed. Happy with that? I'll set things out, and have a friend take you back to your place. Her clothes were plain, neither shabby nor expensive. The heavy shirt and trousers were typical of common Kyralians, but from the way she walked he doubted she had been ordered about much in her life.

No, this one did the ordering. Gol returned to the room promptly after she had left, his face tight with the effort of hiding his curiosity. Keep an eye on whoever brings anything to her, food or otherwise.

She knows she's going to be watched, so let her see two of the tags. Cery regarded it with mild surprise.

She had offered to kill the murderers, he reasoned. I doubt she plans to do it with her bare hands. He nodded. Gol carefully unrolled the cloth on the desk. Cery chuckled as he saw the array of knives and daggers. He picked them up one by one, testing their weight. Some were etched with unusual designs and symbols, some with gems set into the metal.

He sobered. Sachakan, most likely. He set the largest of the jeweled ones aside, then nodded to Gol. When the door had closed, Cery leaned back in his chair and considered this strange woman. If everything she had said proved true, she could be as useful as she claimed.

If she was lying? He frowned. Was it possible a Thief had sent her? She had mentioned speaking to the "other Thieves. Time must be spent considering all the possibilities. He would be questioning his watchers closely. And should I tell him? Cery thought. To communicate anything other than the arranged coded messages would require a meeting, and he was not about to arrange one unless it was absolutely necessary.

Was this important enough? A Sachakan woman who had contacts in her homeland. Of course it was. But something made Cery pause. Perhaps he should wait and see if she proved herself useful first. And he had to admit, he didn't like consulting someone else every time he changed his tactics slightly. Even if he did owe that someone a great debt. It was time he came up with a few strategies of his own. As Sonea waited for Warrior class to begin she closed her eyes and rubbed them, then fought off the urge to yawn.

She had finished Coren's diary late in the night, drawn on by the architect's recollections and half afraid that, if she left it there unfinished, she might return the next night to find it gone and never know how the story ended.

As the night turned to the earliest hours of morning, she had read the final entry: I have decided. When the foundations of the University are complete I will secretly bury the chest, with all its contents, in the soil beneath it. Along with those terrible truths will go my own, in the physical form of this book. Perhaps, by carrying out this act of concealment, I will finally smother this nagging guilt at what I have learned and used.

If I had the courage, I would destroy the chest and its contents, but I fear to judge differently from those who placed it in the ground in the first place. They were most definitely wiser men than I. The chest must have been rediscovered, however, or she would not have had Coren's diary in her hands. What had happened to the rest of the books?

Did Akkarin have them?

Or was the diary a fake, created by Akkarin to persuade the Guild that black magic was not as bad as it was thought to be? He might be testing it on her, to see if it would convince her. If that were so, then he had made a mistake.

Coren had believed that black magic was wrong. Reading the account, whether fictional or not, was not going to persuade anyone otherwise. If it was real, why had Akkarin given it to her?

Sonea frowned down at her notebook. He would not have allowed her to know of its existence on a whim. He must have a reason. What had he revealed to her? That Coren had used black magic and that it had led him to discover how to manipulate stone.

That another magician—a famous magician—had committed the same crime as he. Perhaps Akkarin wanted her to consider that he, too, might have learned it against his better judgment. Perhaps he wanted her sympathy and understanding. Coren hadn't held a novice hostage to keep his crimes secret, however.

Would he have, if he had been faced with losing his powers, position, or even his life, as punishment? Sonea shook her head.

Perhaps Akkarin simply wanted to destroy whatever illusions she might have of the famous figure that Coren was. The sudden appearance of Lord Makin interrupted her thoughts. The teacher placed a large box on the front desk, then faced the class. The most important thing to remember with illusion is this: An illusion cannot harm you, but it can lead you into danger. I'll demonstrate this with a story. All sounds of boots scuffing the floor or novices shifting in their seats ceased.

Lord Makin's stories were always interesting. Grind and Lond were both magicians skilled in battle. One day a caravan of travellers passed, led by a merchant named Kamaka. His daughter, a beautiful young woman, travelled with him. The two brothers saw the caravan and descended from their mountain home to buy goods. When they laid eyes on Kamaka's daughter they both fell instantly in love.

The two brothers could not resolve their dispute with words, so they began to fight each other. It is said the battle continued for days which is unlikely and the brothers found themselves evenly matched in strength and skill. It was Grind who broke the stalemate. Seeing that his brother stood by a cliff on which was poised a large boulder, he contrived that this boulder should fall, but preceded it with another, illusory boulder.

He looked up to see a boulder falling toward him, and instantly dismissed it as the illusion it was. Of course he did not see the second boulder, which was concealed behind the illusory one.

When he realized he had killed his own brother, he became distracted with grief. The caravan was able to continue on its way, taking Kamaka's daughter with it. So you see," Makin finished, "while illusions cannot hurt you, allowing yourself to be deceived by them might. That is what I will be teaching you today. We will start by copying the objects I have brought with me.

Seno, come to the front of the class. When the demonstration was finished, Seno passed Sonea's desk on the way to his own. He looked at Sonea and smiled. She let the corner of her mouth curl upward in response.

He had been particularly friendly toward her since a Warrior practice session some weeks before, in which she had taught him a trick that weaker magicians could use against stronger ones.

As the lesson continued, she turned her mind to learning the illusion techniques. Just when she had managed to form an illusion of a pachi fruit something appeared in the air in front of her. It was a flower, the petals made of bright orange autumn leaves. She reached out and her fingers passed through the strange blossom.

It shattered into a thousand sparks of light that spun in a quick dance before vanishing. At the front of the class, Lord Makin cleared his throat loudly.

Sonea turned back to see the teacher regarding her sternly. She shrugged to protest her innocence. He looked pointedly at the fruit in front of her. She concentrated until an illusory copy appeared beside it.

It was a redder shade than it ought to be, and the texture of its skin was suspiciously like the veins of a leaf.

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She sighed. It would be easier if she didn't have a memory of autumn leaves so fresh in her mind. She pushed away her annoyance. Seno hadn't intended to distract her.

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He'd just been showing off. But why flaunt his success to her and no one else? Surely he wasn't trying to impress her. Or was he? She resisted the temptation to turn and see what he was doing.

Seno was a cheerful boy, talkative and easy to like, and she was probably the only Kyralian girl who didn't tower over him What am I thinking? She scowled as she realized her illusion had changed into a shapeless glowing ball. Even if I didn't have Akkarin to worry about, what of Dorrien? A memory flitted into her mind of Rothen's son standing by the spring in the forest behind the Guild.

Of him leaning closer to kiss her. She pushed it away. She hadn't seen Dorrien for over a year. Whenever she found herself thinking of him, she forced herself to concentrate on something else. There was nothing to be gained from regret—not when it would have been an impossible relationship anyway, with her stuck in the Guild until graduation, and him living—all but a few weeks each year—far away, in a village at the base of the mountains.

Sighing, she concentrated on the fruit, and began restoring her illusion. As Lorlen reached the door of his office he heard a familiar voice call his name. Glancing behind, he smiled as he saw his assistant striding forward to meet him. Lorlen stepped aside and gestured for Osen to enter, but his assistant hesitated as he looked inside the room, his expression changing from surprise to a scowl.

Following Osen's gaze, Lorlen saw the black-robed man who was relaxing in one of the room's comfortable chairs. Akkarin had a way of turning up in locked rooms, or unexpected places, but this did not explain Osen's scowl. Lorlen looked at his assistant again. The young magician's expression was respectful now; no sign remained of the fleeting disapproval Lorlen had glimpsed.

I hadn't noticed his dislike of Akkarin before, Lorlen mused as he walked to his desk. I wonder how long he has nursed it. Lorlen sat down at his desk and looked up at Osen.

Captain Barran says he has something interesting to show you if you are free. Lorlen suppressed a shudder. Deep creases had formed between Akkarin's eyebrows. He looks genuinely concerned, Lorlen thought. Very concerned. Enlisting the help of the Thieves and slum-dwellers, Akkarin and Sonea defeat the Ichani.

In their final battle, however, Akkarin is fatally injured by Kariko and dies by giving all his power to Sonea,while fighting with the Ichani. Sonea is left alone bearing his child. Since Sonea is the only magician who has the knowledge of the black magic, she becomes the Black Magician of the Guild.

She also sets up a hospice to help the people living in the slums. Background[ edit ] Canavan notes that inspiration for her writing comes from "books I've read fiction and non-fiction , the news, TV, radio, films, music, people I talk to — be they friends or just some stranger I struck up a conversation with.

There are stories everywhere. She saw a news report which explained that before the Olympics started, trucks drove around the city gathering homeless people and took them to other cities.

Later that night she dreamt that she "was one among hundreds of people being driven out of a city However, Canavan threw magic instead, inspiring Sonea's actions.

The basis of the book, Magicians with latent magical abilities requiring "expert tuition", was an idea she had already stored away. Her guardianship belongs to Lord Rothen, and they develop a strong father-daughter bond. She discovers it was the High Lord using black magic Administrator Lorlen read her mind and believes he is evil or attempting to gain power.

When he finds out he has her taken away from Rothen as his apprentice as a hostage, leading her to hate him. This is changed when she discovers his real reasons for doing this, after which she offers to help.

Initially he refuses but gives in, and after a time they are discovered and exiled. During this period they fall in love, though Akkarin attempts to resist in loyalty to his first dead love, a Sachakan bed slave.

He gives in and for the remaining time of his life, they are together and deeply in love. She comes back to Imardin to fight the Ichani invasion, during which Akkarin is killed, after which she discovers she is pregnant with his child.

Her parents are both dead, though she has an aunt and uncle still alive. Ceryni — Cery is Sonea's friend who finds himself infatuated with her during her time in the slums and in the University. He later becomes involved with an Sachakan woman when he realizes Sonea is in love with Akkarin. He is quick-witted, and a skilled street fighter, attributes necessary to his line of work first as a pickpocket, but later as a Thief.

Cery's father worked for the Thieves until he "squimped", or betrayed them, a fact that he keeps to himself. Cery's life goal is to set foot in every important building in Imardin, a goal he eventually achieves. Although his strength seemed to match his friend Lorlen's, he left the Guild soon after graduation to explore though he claimed he was gathering information on ancient magic. When he returned he was exceptionally stronger.

Until he takes over Sonea's guardianship, no one in Kyralia except the Sachakans - including his servant Takan knows why, but he reveals to Sonea that it is because he practices forbidden black magic. Akkarin is a dark character whose silent and mysterious demeanor was influenced by his travels after his education during which he was captured by a Sachakan Magician and forced into slavery. It was during this slavery that he fell in love with the bed-slave of his master and learned black magic in order to escape.

When the Ichani began sending spies to Imardin to discover truths, he finds and kills them in order to dissuade rumours spread by the brother of the Sachakan Ichani he killed to escape slavery that the Guild has banned Higher Magic which includes the absorption of another's power - which can regenerate - in order to gain immense power beyond the natural level and have called it "Black Magic", this would mean the guild is weak and Kyralia vulnerable.

Due to his love and loyalty for the slave-girl whose master killed her for extra power and secret life, he never married or had children, though many women have ambitions regarding him and he is frequently described as extremely handsome.

However, he is eventually framed for the murder of a guild magician, and while he is with Sonea killing a Sachakan spy soon to be revealed as the first Ichani to be sent to Kyralia his residence is found empty, and searched. Here the Guild discovers books on black magic in Sonea's room, since the learning or seeking of learning of black magic is forbidden, the magician's are encouraged to break into the basement of the residence, protected by a magical lock, and here a trunk full of books explaining black magic is found.

When Akkarin returns, he is trialed. He explains his past and the threat from Sachaka, yet is still exiled for his use of black magic which is better than the original punishment of execution.

He is sent to the nearest country, not of the Allied Land. This is Sachaka. Sonea is offered to stay with the Guild, though she may never leave its premises and can never have a position of authority. Sonea, enraged that they, knowing the hatred of Sachakans and the Ichani, would send Akkarin to his death, yet keep her here in case the threat was genuine , angrily refuses and is sent to exile with Akkarin.

This she accepts in hopes of being able to be used as a source of power by Akkarin so he may remain alive, and still be able to save Kyralia when the time comes. While in the Sachakan wastelands, it is discovered that Sonea has had feelings for Akkarin as he has had for her, and once confirmed, they fall in love, though he attempts to resist any relations, and says it is "improper" for the 13 year age difference, when in truth, Sonea has been testing his loyalty with his first love.

After minutes of consideration, he gives in. Akkarin, still intending to help prevent the invasion, travels back to Imardin with Sonea.

They work with the Thieves to prevent the invasion and are successful, though many are killed, including Akkarin. He dies protecting Kyralia. He is tricked into allowing a weapon into his shield and is stabbed by the Ichani's dagger. He does not let Sonea use magic or time healing him, arguing that if she does, they will both die and fail. Sonea defeats two of the remaining three Ichani but finds her power failing. Feeling one last slither of power, she uses it to kill the last.

She looks down at Akkarin still in her arms, to find him staring past her, his eyes open and out of focus, with a smile on his lips. Realisation hits her, she sends her senses within him and finds no life energy. She realises he had given her that last vital sliver of power in order to kill the Ichani, and left nothing in himself, to maintain his life. Sonea cries, with herself cradled over his body, never knowing she is pregnant with his son.

Rothen, although a widower, has a son who lives in a small village at the edge of Kyralia as a Healer. He is the first to witness Sonea's use of magic during the Purge, and leads the investigation to find her in the slums.

Rothen is kind and accepting, as shown by his willingness to take Sonea in despite public opinion of her and his efforts to help his former Novice, Dannyl, overcome his problems as a student, not realizing the stories were true and Dannyl was gay.

Administrator Lorlen — A Kyralian magician and former Healer who runs the day to day aspects of the guild and organizes the University. Close friends with Akkarin, he is devastated when he discovers Akkarin using black magic, not knowing the reason.

He used to be of similar strength before Akkarin surpassed him on his travels, and Akkarin hinted that they were both similar in strength to Sonea, hinting that they were potentially naturals. He is unmarried and cares for Sonea as a father, and feels helpless when she is "taken hostage" by Akkarin.

Akkarin forces him wear a blood gem in the form of a ruby ring. This ring enables Akkain to hear and see what Lorlen sees, hears and thinks.

Akkarin uses this to prevent Lorlen exposing him, although when Akkarin is exposed regardless, he uses it to soften his sentence and communicate with Akkarin. Loren begins to believe Akkarin's story during the trial. Lorlen dies protecting Imardin. Soon after killing one Ichani with the help of surrounding magicians - one Ichani is all they can manage before exhaustion another Ichani causes a house to collapse with him inside.

Once Akkarin arrives he refuses to let him heal him as his broken bones and ruptured organs would take much time and power to heal, and every slither is needed in killing the Ichani.

He dies in peace after questioning Akkarin briefly with his last breaths. He dies knowing why Akkarin had not replied to the many calls he had sent to ensure the Ichani could not find out, ensuring an element of surprise. He is in peace knowing that his friend has returned and Imardin is safe, and that Sonea is alive. He then dies leaving Akkarin, his closest friend for 18 years, in pain. Lord Dannyl — A Kyralian magician who specialises in Alchemy; his hobby is devising a way to transfer mental images onto paper.

A former novice of Lord Rothen, Dannyl is charming and friendly but has few friends. He is later elected as the Second Guild Ambassador to Elyne.

Throughout the second and third books, Dannyl struggles with his sexual orientation, and it is revealed that he has been suppressing any "unnatural feelings" he felt towards men.Sonea, a slum girl, discovers that she has magical ability during the city's annual Purge, in which slum-dwellers are forced out of the outer-circle of the city and back into the slums.

In rl, any teacher worth their credential would escort a student and provide safe harbor, and with current media pressure, administrators don't dismiss these issues.

Akkarin is a dark character whose silent and mysterious demeanor was influenced by his travels after his education during which he was captured by a Sachakan Magician and forced into slavery. But is she safe now? Sonea shook her head. The caravan was able to continue on its way, taking Kamaka's daughter with it. Late that night, after seeing much that fascinated her, she had approached a gray building set apart from the rest.

Unfortunately, this made it appear to the Thieves that Cery was failing at his task. The answer is on my Recommended Reading pages.

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