Part 1 of the Black Magician Trilogy
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Sonea is a girl who has lived most of her young life in the slums and who hasn't any sympathy for the upper classes who too often abuse the poor. During the yearly 'Purge', when the magicians drive the poor and homeless out of the city before winter to make it safer and prettier for the rich, she is among a group of youngsters w... Sonea is a girl who has lived most of her young life in the slums and who hasn't any sympathy for the upper classes who too often abuse the poor. During the yearly 'Purge', when the magicians drive the poor and homeless out of the city before winter to make it safer and prettier for the rich, she is among a group of youngsters who throw stones and rotten fruit at them. But while the others' stones can't get through the magicians' protective shields, Sonea's goes through and strikes a magician, Fergun, unconscious. At this moment, Sonea and the magicians find out that she has magical talent, which nobody expected from a slumdweller since only the upper classes are tested for this. Sonea is afraid that the magicians want to kill her for the attack, so she hides in the slums with the help of friends and the Thieves' Guild, who expect her to be useful if she can develop her talent. But the magicians know that her uncontrolled powers will soon become a danger to her and everyone near, and when she begins to start fires and earthquakes without wanting to, she soon has to face the fact that she will need the help of the Magicians' Guild if she wants to survive. But while some magicians really want to help her and teach her, there are others who want to get rid of the unwanted slumdweller. And Fergun wants revenge for the humiliation of being struck down by a poor girl's stone... This is a suspenseful fantasy novel set in a city where the gap between rich and poor is very strong and the magicians are so far removed from the lower classes that they can't even imagine some of them to have any magical talent. The confrontation between these often arrogant, though sometimes well-meaning, magicians with a poor girl with unusual talents is well-written and entertaining. I also found both the worlds of the poor and the rich well-developed and interesting. The idea of a young outsider with unusual talents is nothing new, but the story is still a lot of fun and original enough to be a good book. I look forward to the other novels in the trilogy, 'The Novice' and 'The High Lord' and would recommend this one as a good fantasy novel.