Thief's Magic by Trudy Canavan

I struggle to review this book, because it's a good book - but unlike most good books it slowed my reading almost to a halt. It took me close to 3 months to finish! That's an absurd amount of time for me to spend on a book, even one of 560 pages.

So why was this? Initially it just didn't pull me in. I enjoyed the two story lines, one more than the other admittedly, but I only read a few pages at a time, not even a full chapter. This didn't change until after page 300. From then on I was engrossed and finished the rest in just a few days.

In Thief's Magic we follow to separate story lines; in a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, discovers a sentient book. Once a young sorcerer/bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a book by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then, throughout centuries she's collected information, including some that may prove vital to the disaster Tyen's world faces.

In the other story line, we follow Rielle, a dyer's daughter, in a land ruled by priests where using magic is a sin - it is theft from the Angels. But Rielle has the talent and a corrupter is willing to teach her how to use it. Meanwhile she's fallen in love with a man, her family can never accept.

Nothing is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands.

I of course assumed at some point the two characters worlds would collide. But they don't. I sat waiting for so long until I realised that that won't happen till the next book - if even then. They are two characters, chosen to show and reflect upon their separate lands and upbringings. One comes from an industrial revolution of kinds, the other is practically ancient or medieval. One relies on his magic, the other dares not touch hers.

All in all, it's a genuinely good book, well written and thought through. But also vastly different from anything else I've read by Canavan. Or perhaps it resembles a sort of merger of her two major series. I much look forward to reading the sequel Angel of Storms which was published in 2015. A third book is also planned.

Millenium's Rule
by Trudy Canavan
ISBN13: 9780356501109
560 pages / Published in 2014

Review by Iben Jakobsen, Borough of Books, 2016


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