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Review: Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan


In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces. Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath. But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

My thoughts

It was not easy for me to rate this book and I’m still sad to only be able to give it 3 stars and not more. When I started reading Thief’s Magic I was sure I was going to love this story. The first few pages made me all excited, I enjoyed the story and loved the setting. Sadly only one half of this book, only one of the two POVs made me feel this way, the other half was rather boring.

Two very different POVs

Tyen and Rielle, the two main characters of this story live in two completely different worlds, literally. Their societies have different views on all things magic and who is allowed to use it. It was interesting to see the two distinct views on these societies and learn about the lives of these two characters. I enjoyed reading from Tyen’s POV a whole lot. He is an interesting character and he experiences exciting things in this story. It was fun to follow his adventure and learn the things he finds out about the past of these worlds. Rielle on the other hand was a very boring character in my opinion. She has no depth and her story wasn’t interesting enough for my taste. Where Tyen’s story was all about the magic and finding out about new things, learn new magic, hers was more about a girl whose parents want to see her get married and her of course falling for the wrong guy. At least she made some new friends I liked a lot and who were interesting to read about. If this book has been only Tyen’s story I would have given it 5 stars without missing a beat. Switching to Rielle’s story always made me want to stop reading or rushing through her part just to get back to Tyen’s story as fast as possible again.

Awesome worldbuilding

I have read quite a few books about magic now and love that Trudi Canavan can still make me excited about it. Trudi Canavan created an interesting magic system that was not new but with the societies and how they deal with magic, it has something unique about it. Here again, I liked Tyen’s world a lot more than Rielle’s. What made me all excited right from the start was this steampunk like setting mixed with magic. The combination of the two made for a unique and thrilling story and came with new aspects, a lot of things to discover. Rielle’s world on the other hand is about magic being forbidden because they see its use as stealing from the angels. Sounded like another interesting concept to me, sadly made for a rather boring story though with the lack of magic. Her world still had some aspects about it that caught my attention but it was never like Tyen’s world, that was fascinating.

Two different worlds, like reading 2 different books

On the one hand I loved that Trudi Canavan created not only one world, but multiple and shows us two of them. I didn’t mind switching between these two worlds, but it was definitely weird at first. The problem is that it felt like reading two completely different books. As if I switched one book for another when it switched POVs. That’s not only because of the different worlds but also because of something I have never experienced like this with multiple POVs: no time passes at all in one character’s story while reading about the other’s, especially with as long as these parts always were.   Had this story solely been about Tyen and his world, this would have been a raving review about me loving this book. His world that combines technology with magic made me all excited and his story was an adventure I had fun reading about. Sadly this book is also about Rielle who I didn’t really care about. Her story was flat and predictable and I was annoyed by her as a character. I’m still excited to see were this story is going and to learn more about the Millennium’s rule, something that has only been mentioned briefly so far but hopefully gets a lot more attention in the next book.

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  • I love finding new YA fantasies, I don’t think I would have picked this one just by the cover, and now your review has me a little worried. I was excited about the plot (technology mix with magic) I’m still curious, maybe I’ll add to my TBR for a rainy day.
    Thank you.

  • Unfortunately, it’s similar in the Black Magician trilogy. There are a couple of great and interesting POVs and some really annoying/boring ones. That’s why I had such a rough start but the books got better and better and I loved the last one sooo much. I’m definitely going to check this one out, too, I just won’t get it right away.

    • Ha, that’s funny, I recently finished the book and for me Rielle’s story was more interesting than Tyen’s. I found that I couldn’t really get to know Tyen as a character and his use of magic wasn’t explained as detailled as I would have liked. Also his flight looked a lot like the start of Sonea’s story to me and I did not even like that part of the black magician trilogy. Interesting to read another opinion about it :)

May 05, 2014