I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Thief's Magic (Millenium’s Rule, #1) by Trudi Canavan
Series: Millennium’s Rule #1
Published by Orbit on May 13th 2014
Number of Pages: 553
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, discovers a sentient book in an ancient tomb. Vella was once a young sorcerer-maker, until she was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been gathering information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.
Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests since a terrible war depleted all but a little magic, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows from her ability to sense the stain it leaves behind that she has a talent for it, and that there are people willing to teach her how to use it, should she ever need to risks the Angels’ wrath.
Further away, a people called the Travelers live their entire lives on the move, trading goods from one world to another. They know that each world has its own store of magic, reducing or increasing a sorcerer’s abilities, so that if one entered a weak world they may be unable to leave it again. Each family maintains a safe trading route passed down through countless generations and modified whenever local strife makes visiting dangerous. But this is not the only knowledge the Travelers store within their stories and songs, collected over millennia spent roaming the universe. They know a great change is due, and that change brings both loss and opportunity.
This book takes turns telling Tyen and Rielle’s stories from their point of views. The first handful of chapters are Tyen, then the next handful are Rielle, and so on. I liked getting to know about both characters and the people and world around them. However, when it came time to switch to the other character? It always seemed to ‘end’ the chapter on a cliffhanger! There were very few times this didn’t happen. Switch between characters by all means, but not in places that you leave the reader yelling out loud (literally in a few instances!) because of where the previous character left off.
I’m not sure who I liked better between Tyen and Rielle. They are so completely different in nearly every way that I can think of. Tyen is poor, and attends the magic academy to learn magic and one day hopes to teach at the school. He’s also adventurous and skilled at making mechanical things.
Rielle is sheltered and well-off. She attends a temple school where she is supposed to be searching for a husband from the other wealthy families. Magic is forbidden to all but the priests. She’s smart and a clever painter, and quite devout. She sees nothing wrong with magic being in the hands of only the priests.
It never states it, but just from how society works for each of them, I would guess they are from two different worlds. Literally. It would be interesting if they ever met each other. Both Tyen and Rielle don’t always make the best decisions. Most of their decisions are made due to the circumstances making them for them. Which leads to interesting situations. The few times they do actually take their fate into their own hands, it doesn’t end well. Leading to more interesting situations as well as plot twists.
I loved Vella. Why I’m not exactly sure. As a sentient book who has self-admittedly lost a lot of her emotions due to being turned into a book, she didn’t have as much personality as the other characters. And yet at the same time she did. I like the way it was explained that she came to be, and how her book-self works. I’m hoping Tyen’s quest succeeds.
I also really enjoyed reading about Beetle. As well as the people Rielle came into contact with. The different magic systems were well thought out, and made sense for each world. There was world building, but not as much as I would have liked. You really only learn about one city in Rielle’s world, and that one isn’t very well fleshed-out. In Tyen’s you learn about more cities, but it’s still mostly bits and pieces. As this is a first book in a series, perhaps there will be more world building to come.
I can hardly wait to pick up book 2, and I would highly suggest you try this book if you haven’t read it yet.