With this book, I´ve read something by the author for the very first time. And I have to admit, I needed to get used to her style, her way of thinking, and her fantasy. I fell in love with the cover of the German edition, which you can see at the end of this review.  And since I´ve never read a book by Trudi Canavan, but heard so many good things about her, I wanted to give it a try and find out myself. 

Thief´s Magic*
by Trudi Canavan
Millennium´s Rule Series #1
Publisher Orbit/Little Brown on May 13, 2014
Genre Fantasy
Pages 553
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

When the young student Tyen unearths an ancient book, it opens the door to a realm of mystery and danger. For it contains a clue to a disaster threatening world. Elsewhere, in a land ruled by priests, Rielle has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet, she has a talent for it, and desperate times may force her to risk the Angel´s wrath. But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic – and not even the people they trust.
Tyen finds on an excursion a book. Actually nothing unusual, but this book has a soul. Under normal circumstances, Tyen would have to give it to the academy, but his instincts tell him to keep it. When he finds out, that the book contains a soul and has a name, he is more convinced than ever, that he can´t hand her over. So Pergama stays with him and a journey of the special kind begins. Another place and world. Rielle, a young woman is forced to use magic to get herself out of danger only to find herself within no time in yet another dangerous situation. But when she finds out the truth behind the priests, she is forced to leave her home, family, and everything she´s known.

I don´t know what I expected, but maybe it was more than I got at the end of this fantasy novel. From the beginning till the end, I was hoping and searching for at least a few answers what Trudi Canavan´s unique style looks like and why she´s called one of the best and most famous high-fantasy writers. Well, I got one answer for sure: She has an uncommon writing style. This first book of her Millennium’s Rule Trilogy seems to be one big foreplay and introduction of her main figures. Two plots that never come across show the reader two worlds that couldn´t be more different than they are. Tyen´s world is one where magic is all around and men are allowed to do everything, but women aren´t. Tyen´s professor at the Academy plays a false game with him, accuses him of being a thief, and that he´s stolen a magic book which Tyen found during an expedition but didn´t hand over right away to the Academy. The story of Tyen and his attempt to save the magic book from being misused or, even worse, destroyed leads him to the sea and to two women, who are totally different from what he´s used to.

Trudi Canavan shows a world of great fantasy. She uses a light tone and develops a melancholic and sometimes a bit dull atmosphere. Her language is clear; she shows a very old woman picture and has a great way of building new landscapes.

Although I liked her landscapes very much and how she describes them, I wasn´t too happy with the way the women in this novel are shown or treated. Yes, her characters are very strong, have their own mind and she shows both sides from men and women, but for my taste, the background was a bit too ancient. On the other hand, Rielle makes a change and gets to see the real truth behind all those things she learned at the temple. At some point, I was wondering if she and Tyen would somehow come together, but no, it didn´t happen. Only, in the end, the author gives a little glimpse that there could be a chance in the next book of this trilogy – and I hope they will meet.

Maybe my expectations were too high after all those enthusiastic reviews I´ve read. This novel was my first Trudi Canavan book I´ve read and I hope very much, that the author will answer at least a few questions in the second book of this trilogy and bring the story forward. Despite my low rating, and I´m not sorry about that, I´m looking forward to reading the next book.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition November 10, 2014, by Penhaligon

Trudi Canavan
Trudi Canavan ©private

Trudi Canavan published her first story in 1999 and it received an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story. Her debut series, the Black Magician trilogy, made her an international success, and all three volumes of her Age of Five trilogy were Sunday Times bestsellers. Trudi Canavan lives with her partner in Melbourne, Australia, and spends her time writing, painting, and weaving.


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