A clichéd plot, predictable twists, too many loopholes … VISHNUPRIYA B.
Title: The Magician’s Apprentice
Author: Trudi Canavan
Price: RS. 395
After J.K Rowling decided to seal Harry Potter’s fate, the world has lost much. Novels have come and gone and not one has come close to even grabbing my attention. Trudi Canavan’s The Magician’s Apprentice unfortunately is just another fantasy fiction full of clichés. This book is a stand-alone prequel set 200 years before The Black Magician trilogy. The Black Magician trilogy is pretty mundane by its own standards and this prequel seems unnecessary.
Trudi Canavan is a good writer but has failed to do justice by being unoriginal. There was practically nothing in the book that made me jump up in excitement, magic never looked and felt more commonplace and there was absolutely no element of surprise. The warfare reminded me of scenes from old Indian mythological films in Indian languages where Rama and Ravana fight each other using magical bows and arrows, only there were no invisible forces, fireballs or even thunderbolts —disappointing! The narrative has every character those fantasy-fiction-for-dummies professors taught in their first lesson!
Tessia, a healer’s assistant who turns out to be a ‘natural’ magician. Jayan is another apprentice of Lord Dakon and sometimes rival partner to Tessia. Dakon is the quintessential Mr. Miyagi of fantasy novels, a teacher, friend and the village ruler. Takado is the classic villain who obviously gets killed by Lord Dakon later! Hanara takes respite in functioning as a sidekick to Takado. Painfully predictable and packed with boring romance sequences; the characters come across inert, dreary and plain uninteresting. It took a Herculean effort to get through the 600-odd pages.
The plot is disconnected with many loopholes and loose-ends like the feministic subplot about harassed women. The tone borders on banal and sententious. Even for fans, this novel is dowdy because it combines a detached tone and a detached story – about a war between two enemies with the apprentice stuck in between. The author offers nothing new, all the magical battles reek of ‘been there, done that’. The Magician’s Apprentice is a book with a lot of potential. Pick it up if you want a dose of pseudo-fantasy or just find something more fun to do! Bowling perhaps?
Vishnupriya is a IIIrd Year BA Journalism student at Madras Christian College.
Popularity: 1% [?]