The Ambassador’s Mission
Orbit, May 18 2010, $25.99
The Magicians’ Guild had always feared that one day during their annual sweeps for rogues that a commoner with untrained power would surface. Their worst trepidations occurred when Sonea the commoner displayed talent. She was quickly brought into the Magicians' Guild, but her ancestry made her a pariah until she has become a Black Magician of Kyralia with one foot tentatively inside the ruling Guild establishment and the other deeply embedded in her heritage.
Her son is a chip off the rebellious block, but more volatile than his mother. Lorkin resents the bias towards him and his family. Thus Lorkin joins the support team of powerful Lord Dannyl who is Guild Ambassador to the enemy Sachaka for two reasons. First he wants to get away from the prejudice shown to commoner mages and second he hopes to influence behavior in a place run by abusive black magicians with slaves. No one in Imardin trust the Sachakans whose belief is that the Black Magicians should rule the world and those of Sachaka should rule the Black Magicians. When Sonea learns Lorkin vanished, she fears for her offspring, but knows if she leaves the city she cannot return as that is Guild law. She promised her concerned friend Cery to investigate a recent slew of homicides as a serial killer using magic as a weapon assassinates the leaders of the Thieves Guild though no one knows why or who, but Sonea has some internal fears about what she will learn.
The latest Black Magician fantasy is a super tale filled with several great twists that make the second tale in the prequel saga (see The Magicians Apprentice) a standout. The story line is fast-paced with two well written prime subplots starring mom and son. This is a terrific magical whodunit where mom the Black Magician amateur sleuth investigates the killings and readers are shown a deep look at the culture of magically dominated Sachaka as seen through the lens of the missing son. The audience will relish this strong entry into the world of Trudi Canavan.