Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Ambassador's Mission (Traitor Spy Trilogy - Book One)

Title: The Ambassador's Mission
Author: Trudi Canavan
Series: Traitor Spy Trilogy (Book One) or Book Four in the Kyralia Sequence


Score: 10 /10
How long I would stay up reading: Long Past Dawn
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Eagerly awaiting it's release.


Trudi Canavan's name is synonomous with quality, and with this book she doesn't fail to meet the high expectations that her previous novels have set. It would seem that she has a way with sequels that few authors possess, and makes this book at least as readable as her first. In addition to the original Black Magician Trilogy, Canavan's latest book also draws quite a lot from the Magicians Apprentice (The one-novel prequel to the BM Trilogy). This exquisite entwining of plotlines across novels is something that only a master writer acheives regularly, and Trudi Canavan is one of them.

The book itself starts rather slowly, but in a way that builds tension rather than bores the reader. After that things begin to heat up. Ceryni is a much bigger player in this book than previously, where he appeared it seemed only where needed. In this he takes one of the major viewpoints, along with returning characters Sonea and Dannyl, as well as new character Lorkin. Each of them is quite different in their own way, although Sonea/Ceryni and Lorkin/Dannyl are closer to each other than the rest. But Each of the viewpoints explores a different relationship.

Without giving too much away there is Romance; beginning and ending, Family; Lost and Found, and Alliances with old and new enemies. The way that Canavan expresses these different relatinships from different viewpoints not only brings the characters vividly off the page, but also stirs the emotions and feelings of the reader. They yearn for love. They miss their children (Even if they have none). They are confused by their old enemy. Because Sonea's relationships become the readers. Lorkin's relationships, Dannyl's and Ceryni's too.

That just the way Canavan does things. She draws the reader in until they are not just in the story, they almost live it. They are the character, whichever one it may be, They are in Imardin, or Sachaka, or wherever the narrative takes them. There is nothing lacking in this book that I can think of.

In fact, there is only one thing I can think of that is even slightly off in this latest book, which is Sonea's age. The book is set twenty years after the BM Trilogy, yet whenever I read Sonea's sections, I imagine her as the same age. That's not true of Ceryni though. But I think Sonea could do with older descriptive language ascribed to her.

I always find it difficult to write much for excellent books, and this is no different. Normally I give a "how long would I stay up reading for?" rating, since I know I personally use that as a measure of a book's worth. Now here I was going to put "dawn" as the answer. However, Since the sun isrising behind me as I write this, It is well past dawn that I would stay up reading. I hate to sound cliché, but if there is one book you read this year, make it this one.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): Three Male, One Female
Main Antagonist(s): One Female, Suspected Others
Main Relationships: Homosexual (Male) and Heterosexual
Genre: Fantasy
Brief Description: (From Wikipedia)

Sonea, former street urchin, now a Black Magician, is horrified when her son, Lorkin, volunteers to assist Dannyl in his new role as Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, a land still ruled by cruel black magicians. When word comes that Lorkin has gone missing Sonea is desperate to find him, but if she leaves the city she will be exiled forever, and besides, her old friend Cery needs her help.

Most of his family has been murdered – the latest in a long line of assassinations to plague the leading Thieves. There has always been rivalry, but for the last decade the Thieves have been waging a deadly underworld war, and now it appears they have been doing so with magical assistance . . .

ISBN: 0316037834
Amazon Link: UK Site US Site
Pages: 528
First Published: 2010
Publisher: Orbit
Preceeded By: The High Lord
Succeeded By: The Rogue (due 2011)

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