Half the Thieves in the city are dead. While factions and rivalries still exist within the group, nothing can account for the randomness and the inventiveness of each death. Now the Thieves are waging a deadly war, and it appears they have been doing so with magical assistance. Cery, a Thief who has slowly risen through their ranks, becomes the next target.
Sonea, now a Black Magician of Kyralia, knows she is needed to help hunt down the rogue magician killing the Thieves. But Sonea has problems of her own. Her son is now the assistant to the new Guild Ambassador of Sachaka and will be in deadly danger when he sets foot on their ancient enemy’s soil. As a Black Magician, however, her every action is watched – and monitored. Any attempt to leave the city will result in her exile, and lose her any chance of helping her friends – or her son.
This book is the first in the Traitor Spy Trilogy, the newest chapter in Canavan’s world of Kyralia. Before reading this book, you will definitely want to read the previous trilogy, The Black Magician Trilogy (and possibly The Magician’s Apprentice) as the ENTIRE back story of The Ambassador’s Mission is never explained and referenced throughout the entire book. It very much reminded me of Maria V. Snyder’s Study and Glass trilogies in that you never fully understand what is going on in Glass unless you have already met the characters in Study.
Sonea’s son, Lorkin, is bored at the University where he has lived all his life with his mother and Rothen. Growing up on the stories of his father’s death and the part Sonea played in it, and continues to play, Lorkin feels pressured to make his own mark on Kyralian history. This leads him to volunteer as an Ambassador’s assistant to Sachaka, a land of Black Magicians and deadly feuds. While he believes he is ready for this, it isn’t until he learns that Sonea is forbidden to leave the University that he begins to understand the gravity of his situation. When his life is threatened, Lorkin flees with a member of the mysterious Traitors society, a land ruled by women (this is where reading The Magicians Apprentice will REALLY come in handy!!) and divided in two. One side holds him responsible for his father’s wrong and wants him to pay the price, in either his life or his knowledge. But can he give them what they want? And if not, what price is he willing to pay?
This book flip-flops between Lorkin’s struggle in Sachaka and Sonea’s struggle in Kyralia. Now that lower class citizens are able to join the Guild and learn magic, the Guild is going to have to make some changes in its policies. And now that a new, addictive and untreatable drug is on the market, the Guild is beginning to realize that you don’t have to come from the lower class to participate in “dubious” behaviour. Which, I thought was about time. Considering that it has taken it 22 years to reach that conclusion.
While the abrupt switches between Sonea and Lorkin can be a tiny bit… confusing and/or disruptive (depending on how well you can remember what happened to Lorkin twenty pages back), I enjoyed reading this book SO MUCH. As I have read all the other books on Kyralia and Sachaka, it was really cool to see how the societies have evolved over the time spans outlined in the books. And it was very cool to finally see what became of the original Traitors and how they have grown as well. It will be interesting to see where Trudi takes the remaining two books of this trilogy. Are we in for another epic magical battle?? Will Cery and Sonea finally become an item (this is not alluded to in the book, but I can’t stop myself from hoping)? Or (and I have no idea of what to think of this… the concept triggers a mixture of “OMG” and “REALLY? What is this?”) will Sonea and Regin discover they are more alike than they originally thought? Will the Guild survive the roet (that addictive drug) that cannot be healed from the system like everything else? Because honestly, that sounds like scary stuff. No matter what you do, you will NEVER lose your dependence on it?? Yikes!
If you’ve read all of the other books, don’t miss out on this one!
“We’d better leave,” Dannyl said.
“Yes,” Sonea agreed. She frowned, her expression becoming distracted. “I have something rather urgent I need to attend to.” She glanced at them both, and managed a thin smile. “Don’t go leaving without saying goodbye, will you?”
Without waiting for a reply, she strode away toward the door. Dannyl and Lorkin followed, though at a slower pace. Lorkin watched as his mother disappeared through the Guild hallway.
“I have no intention of dying in Sachaka,” Lorkin said. “In fact, I’ll be keeping as low a profile as possible. After all, if the slightest hint of foolishness gets back here, she’ll come fetch me back.”
“Actually, she can’t,” Dannyl replied.
Lorkin turned to frown at the tall magician.
“Remember, she’s a black magician. She’s forbidden to leave the city. If she breaks that condition, she’ll be exiled from the Allied Lands.”
A small but sharp stab of fear went through Lorkin. So she can’t come and save me if I get in trouble. Well, I had better not get into trouble then. Or rather, I had better be ready to get myself out of it again.
Check out the numerous reviews of this book on GoodReads, HERE
Other Important But Boring Info!
Reading time: 8 hours give or take. Whenever I had to put it down I would forget what had happened earlier, so I ended up re-reading sections.
Re-Readability: 3/5 – only because I feel that I would need uninterrupted time… which I just don’t have.
Price: Chapters- $21.99 (HC – PB coming out soon!) / Amazon – $17.15 USD
Note: Not currently out in e-book format