This is the third book in the ‘Black Magician’ trilogy and is a solid entry. I feel that I enjoyed book two, The Novice, more but The High Lord is certainly still better than book one and is a satisfying conclusion to the series.
My main issue with it is actually the opposite to what I complained of in ‘The Magician’s Guild’ and that is that the plot moves too quickly. Book one’s pace was slow and grueling but book three tries to run in order to fit in everything it wants and conclude all of the points. This meant that things happened pretty fast and characters had to change to fit the circumstances instead of growing and developing steadily. Sonea goes from hate and fear to love in a very short time for example. The final battle could have been built upon and turned into something grand but felt more like a skirmish than a climax.
All of the characters are interesting and have become developed and strong in their own ways so it never feels like a chore to read. We finally get the big showdown that the previous two books have been building up to and we get to see the magicians in a real fight that demonstrates their full abilities. The writing itself is up to the same good standard as book two and the antagonists were threatening and powerful.
Despite all of these good points, the book was just too rushed. It was good but could have been better if given more time and length. Characters were introduced then killed off, characters with major roles in the other books became sidelined by more powerful characters and character arcs were tied off in a rather clumsy manner with little lead up to their conclusions. All in all though, it is a good book that has left me interested in reading more from Trudi Canavan. I would love to see more from this particular world too.
7/10 Super Saiyan mages with a fetish for blood.