The Ambassador’s Mission

I know, I know. I’m a terrible blogger. BUT on the plus side, I have a job now, and although that may mean 9 hours out of my day I can’t spend reading, it means that 9 hours is spent at a computer, so I’m more likely to come home and read at the end of the day.

Anyone who has known me for a long time or been following this blog will know of my love for Trudi Canavan, and in particular her bestselling Black Magician Trilogy. This blog will be a review of the first in her sequel trilogy to that trilogy, called The Traitor Spy trilogy.


Twenty years after the events of The High Lord, Black Magician Sonea is living in Imardin, where she has promised to remain peacefully – if she were to leave, the new rules protecting her as a black magician would be revoked and the old laws reinstated, and she would be exiled from the Allied Lands. Her son Lorkin, however, is not bound by these rules, and as a freshly graduated magician feels a need for adventure (as well as living up to the expectations of having two famous heroic parents), and decides to join the newly named Ambassador Dannyl on a trip to Sachaka for a couple of years. Sonea is worried that the relatives of the Sachakans killed during an invasion of the Allied Lands by her and her lover, the High Lord Akkarin, might seek revenge on their son Lorkin, as their tradition dictates they should. The Guild, of course, allow him to go (otherwise there wouldn’t be a book), and, naturally, he gets into some trouble very quickly.

Meanwhile, Sonea is contacted by her old friend Cery who is now a Thief (sort of like a gangster in this world, each Thief governing his or her own territory), because someone is killing Thieves, and it looks as though they’re doing it with magic. He also enlists the help of the new Thief and drug-dealer of dubious morality, Skellin. Together they search out the rogue magician, in the hopes of also discovering the identity of the Thief killer.

Things I liked

It will be very difficult to keep this short, so I’m mostly just going to sum up. Reading this book this week after starting a generally boring and slightly depressing job, and falling right back into this world I’ve loved since I was a teenager, felt like coming home and settling into a comfy imagination-armchair. It was lovely. The simple act of reading without restraint or expectation on top of that meant this was a book I enjoyed above many other books I’ve read in the last few months. I hope that feeling carries over.

Coming back to the characters. Many of my old favourites are still rocking it – I also enjoyed some of the relationship developments that are occurring, although when I was fourteen I probably would have been upset to know of some of them.

New characters. Lorkin is pretty great, maybe not too well-developed but you certainly get a sense of him as a collection of pieces from both parents. Anyi, Cery’s daughter, is great.

New political developments – relations with Sachaka are going well for once, but a new country outside the Allied Lands is looming, threatening… This also refers to the new developments in the Guild following the Sachakan invasion at the end of the High Lord.

New magical developments – but I don’t want to get into spoiler territory…

Things I didn’t like

The ending didn’t feel like enough to me. I know it’s only the first in the trilogy, but it was all a bit anti-climactic. Hey-ho. That’s it.

(As always, coming back to these now, the writing style feels a bit young again. But reading it this week, I didn’t care at all).

Should I read this?

If you have read and enjoyed the Black Magician Trilogy, then absolutely. If not, go out and read that. It’s a brilliant follow up, and I’m sincerely looking forward to reading The Rogue, ASAP.

* * * * *

The Book Depository

You can buy the book here:

Because I am trying not to use Amazon in my own half-arsed protest-y way, I’d like to recommend to people that they check out The Book Depository, which is a great, user-friendly site with affordable books ranging from brand new releases to classics, and in many different editions at less-than brand new prices. As I am now officially an affiliate of The Book Depository, I gain a small commission if you use my affiliate link to buy books! Please do check it out, even if you don’t buy anything right now.



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