The Ambassador's Mission by Trudi Canavan

Warning: Review contains spoilers of the Black Magician Trilogy!

Book one of the Traitor Spy Trilogy, The Ambassador's Mission picks up 20 years after The High Lord ended (The Black Magician Trilogy) and we follow the lives of Black Magician Sonea who's forbidden to leave the city of Imardin, her son Lorkin and Ambassador Dannyl's travels to Sachaka, and Thief Cery's attempts to catch the Thief Hunter.

Dannyl goes to Sachaka with Lorkin as his assistant, but soon Lorkin disappears by the hands of the mysterious cult, the Traitors. Sonea wants to go find her son, but the restriction set on her by the guild to keep their Black magicians in place (who are believed to be practising a dangerous magic that must be tightly controlled) hinders her from even leaving the city. Cery, meanwhile, is busy trying to catch the rogue magician haunting the city killing off the Thieves, suspecting this is also the person who murdered his family.

The book has several point of views, following Sonea, Dannyl, Lorkin and Cery, and the 4 story lines are all equally interesting and well paced. I can't recommend reading it just yet if you haven't at least read the Black Magician Trilogy as it will make little sense without it, and I further recommend you also read the Magician's Apprentice, a recent book also by Trudi Canavan, published after the BM trilogy but story-wise set centuries earlier. There are many points and references in the Ambassador's Mission, which you will only understand if you've read the entire previous story and it's really a shame to miss out. Have you read these books though, read this one too!

It's well written (Canavan has improved over the years), it's fast paced (you don't sit around yawning reading this) and it's a welcome return to familiar characters in both new and old surroundings. The plot is fresh and, unlike other more unfortunate sequels, not just a carry on. There are new settings, new people and new dangers to deal with.

The next book in the trilogy, The Rogue does not have release date yet, but on the 28th of August Trudi Canavan announced on her blog that she had just sent it to the publisher, so maybe sometime next year? I personally cannot wait to read more. It's not my favourite book of all times, but it, like it's predecessors, holds a well thought out world filled with captivating people and their stories.

513 pages / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2010

Note: if you haven't before and decide to now pick up the Black Magician Trilogy, brace yourself. The first book is slow paced, but it is worth it to keep on reading. I really enjoyed the series as a whole. Furthermore, the Magician's Apprentice is a brilliant book, I read it just prior to setting up this blog, which is why I haven't reviewed it yet, but it is actually one of the best books Canavan has written. Set in the same world just hundreds of year before the BM trilogy it tells you the story that's been forgotten by the Guild about the origins of Black Magic, Higher Magic.


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