Saturday, 6 February 2010

The High Lord by Trudi Canavan

"'Why are you showing me these books?' Akkarin's eyes bored into her own, and she looked away. 'You want to know the truth,' he said. He was right. Part of her wanted to ignore the books. But she did want to know.
Sonea has learnt much in the Magicians' Guild. Over the past year, Regin has come to ignore her and the other novices treat her with a grudging respect. But she can never forget what she witnessed in High Lord Akkarin's underground room, or his warning that Kyralia's ancient enemy is watching the Guild closely.
Her old friend Cery now has an influencial position among the Thieves, and good connections in high and low places. When an exotic stranger offers to help him with a secret task, Cery knows he should refuse, but then . . .
As Akkarin reveals more of his knowledge, Sonea does not know who to believe, or what she most fears. Could the truth be as terrifying as the High Lord claims? Or is he trying to trick her into assisting him with his dark schemes?"

The High Lord is the final book in the Black Magician Trilogy. It's been a year since Sonea defeated Regin in the arena and life has settled down for her. She's not happy, still living as the High Lord's favourite when she's anything but, and unable to talk with her friend and mentor Rothen, but she's learning a lot. High Lord Akkarin isn't satisfied with her distance from him though, and begins to request more of her time. He tells her stories behind his use of black magic and despite her fear of him, Sonea finds herself wondering if they could possibly be true. And if they are, what they mean for the Guild.

Meanwhile Cery, her old slum friend, has found himself in a high and respected position among the Thieves. He's been hunting those responsible for the ritualistic murders and been successful, but now they're coming more often and he's approached by a stranger who offers him help with them. But could this 'helper' actually be working with the killers? And what do the killers have to do with Akkarin and his stories?

I loved the first two books in this trilogy, and this (happily) wasn't a let down in any way! Actually, it's easily my favourite of the three, I completely love it! Like the previous two it's told in third person, from the perspectives of Sonea, Cery, Lorlen and Dannyl for the most part, with a little from a couple others. All blended together carefully to make a great story, with some good twists along the way.

The emotions the characters were going through came across well through the book and I couldn't help feeling for them as they all made tough decisions. They all wanted to do what was right, but not always with all the information they really needed. The unfolding events built increasingly to the action packed ending. I both love and hate the ending because there is one thing I wish hadn't happened, yet I know it wouldn't have been right happening any other way. It wouldn't have had nearly the same high impact, or been so good either. I think that this is the best put together of the three books, blending together the stories of the various characters and tying up loose ends. I had a really hard time putting it down, despite it's length. I'm really, really looking forward to the Traitor Spy trilogy which follows some of the characters from this trilogy, several years later.

Rating: 9/10

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