Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Rogue The Rogue
by Trudi Canavan

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jo Foster

The Rogue is a direct sequel to The Ambassador's Mission; this review therefore contains a couple of mild spoilers for the first book.

The book is split into four intertwining stories; Sonea is still searching for the rogue in Imardin, ever mindful of the growing danger to Cery, whilst Dannyl is working with Achati and the new Eylyne ambassador to continue his research into the history of magic, and Lorkin is discovering more about the world of the Traitors. Meanwhile a new thread picks up with two novices at the Guild learning about the dangers of the drug roet.

Whilst 'The Rogue' of the title is the rogue magician, and all the dangers he represents to the people of Imardin, the story is filled with rogues, or people who are defying authority or the conventions of their particular society. Whether it is the novices, experimenting with new and dangerous things or the traitors within the Traitors, the theme plays throughout the storylines and helps drive the tension which pushes the pace along.

Once more, Canavan has written a book which picks you up by the scruff of the neck at the start and throws you towards the end. The story is brilliantly paced with the chapters being split between the different threads, and each thread breaking off, not necessarily at a cliff hanger, but at a point where you are eager to know what is about to happen to the characters. The characters themselves are well rounded and living, and the decisions they make are realistic and believable, avoiding one of my bug-bears of shouting at the page gWhy on earth did you choose to do that?h

The only complaint that I do have is that the twist of one storyline was broadcast almost from the beginning (too much emphasis laid on one small detail); I still enjoyed reading it, but it would have been even more fun without the knowledge of what was to happen.

As with The Ambassador's Mission, this is not a story which you can jump straight into; as the middle of the second trilogy, a new reader will not understand what is going on. However, fans of the previous books will also adore this one, and, like me, be sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the next one to be published (The Traitor Queen has a current release date of May 2012).

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