Trudi Canavan

bestselling author of The Black Magician Trilogy

Trudi's Blog

Musical Influences

Some years ago, when my website had a much simpler blog program, I wrote a blog post about songs and albums that have sparked story ideas or set the mood for writing particular scenes. Unfortunately those early posts are long gone, though I have a plan to add some of them to this site as pages one day, when I have time.

Since then wonderful sites like YouTube and Pinterest have come along, enabling me to create a page of links to music videos or audio tracks. Though I wasn’t able to find video for all the music in that original blog, I have pinned links to a few more influences that have come along since. No doubt I’ll add to it as I made new discoveries. My musical tastes are fairly eclectic, though generally what works best as story mood setters is more ballady/soundtracky.

So if you’re curious, head on over to my Musical Inspiration board.

In the Mailbox: Brazilian & Spanish Editions

A couple of foreign editions have arrived in the post lately:


A Brazillian The High Lord


… and a Spanish The Traitor Queen. Both the final book in their respective trilogies. I hope my Brazillian and Spanish readers enjoy them!

(And a little bird on Twitter tells me that La Regina Dei Maghi, the Italian The Traitor Queen, was also released last week.)

A Good Yarn – In Fabula-Divino


A few years back, while having dinner with some publishing peeps in the USA, I jokingly said I was going to write a fantasy knit lit book next. What is knit lit? It’s a novel that features knitting. It’s not about knitting, it just happens to contain, say, a knitter. And plenty of yarns. (And bad puns.)

The marketing guys got excited because knitting is ‘huge’ – more people knit than play golf, and probably spend more on it too – and then disappointed that I wasn’t serious (though my editor was relieved). Though I was kidding about writing a knit lit book, I did have a great idea for a story and eventually got around to writing it down.

The problem then was finding the right market. From time to time I’ve looked around for a knit lit one, but it was a very specific market and I found nothing currently open. The story would fit just as well in a fantasy anthology, however, or even a romance anthology.

Then my friend and fellow writer, Nicole Murphy, asked if I had anything I’d like to submit to an speculative fiction anthology she was putting together that included the stories she’d published as part of her In Fabula-Divino project. I sent it to her and she pronounced it an ‘utterly gorgeous story’. “A Good Yarn” had found a home.

The anthology has been printed and Nicole will be doing a whole lot of cool things this weekend to launch it into the world, including giving away copies. So head on over to the blog or the Facebook page.

Here’s the table of contents:

Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta – Sea Dreams
Lily Ariser – A New Ever After
Trudi Canavan – A Good Yarn
A E Decker – In The Wood
Janett L Grady – Stay Out of the Park
Holly Kench – The Secret Life of a Zombie Fan
P J Keuning – Crossroads
S G Larner – Regret
Tony Owens – Digging Out the Ribs of Gold
Joseph W Patterson – Franklin’s Rainbow
Angela Slatter – Dresses, Three
Kaaron Warren – White Bed

With such a great mix of exciting new writers and fabulous established ones, it’s sure to be a wonderful collection.

Book Reading Order

“Which order should I read your books in?” is a question I’m often asked. Though I’ve answered it here before, I’m posting again for new readers. To someone wanting to try my work it’s not obvious where to begin.

I’ve tried to write most of my books so that if there are only a few in a bookstore you have a couple of starting point options. To get the most out of my books, you should read the ones within a trilogy in the right order. Otherwise, the only recommendation I’d give is that you read the Black Magician Trilogy before its sequel, the Traitor Spy Trilogy.

The Black Magician Trilogy consists of:
The Magicians’ Guild
The Novice
The High Lord

The Traitor Spy Trilogy consists of:
The Ambassador’s Mission
The Rogue

The Traitor Queen

The Magician’s Apprentice also relates to this world. It is a stand alone prequel to the Black Magician Trilogy, set six hundred or so years earlier. You don’t have to read it first, you don’t have to read it between the trilogies, or after. It can be read at any point and not spoil the plot of books you read later.

The Age of the Five is set in a different world and is aimed at a slightly older audience. It consists of:
Priestess of the White
Last of the Wilds
Voice of the Gods

So you have three books you can begin with: The Magician’s Guild, The Magician’s Apprentice and Priestess of the White. And soon there’ll be a fourth option: Thief’s Magic, the first book of the Millennium’s Rule trilogy, which is set in an entirely new universe.

You can find back cover blurbs and the first chapter of all currently released books under the Books menu above. But do remember that reading the blurbs and extracts of later books in a series can spoil the plots of earlier books. If you haven’t read a series, just read the first book’s blurb and chapter.

Sword & Laser Interview


It’s up! It’s live and wriggling! The Sword & Laser interview is here!

Thanks to everyone who left questions. I had a ball answering them and chatting to the lovely Veronica and Tom.

And I have to admit, seeing as I was at my own interview and knew what happened, what I was most anticipating was seeing Aaron’s whiteboard review. I may be biased, but I think he’s outdone himself with this one.

I’ll be popping into the Sword & Laser Goodreads forum too, so head on over if you have more questions.

Got a Question?

Tomorrow morning (Melbourne time) the lovely Veronica and Tom from the Sword & Laser video show will be interviewing me. They have a forum over at Goodreads, and you can post questions for them to ask me. So if you there’s anything you’ve always wanted to ask me, head on over here.

Of course, I’d rather you didn’t ask spoilery questions. Well, not in a spoilery way. There’s always the ‘Why did you do you-know-what to you-know-who?’ option.


I’ve added another event to my list of events for 2013:


A convention for “… types of fiction that get relegated to their own corner of the bookstore.” So science fiction and fantasy, horror, crime, romance and more. Even romance fantasy knit lit would fit in here. Last year’s GenreCon was raved about by many a participant. I’d have gone if it hadn’t been on the weekend before the Brisbane and Adelaide Supanovas, and I didn’t think I’d survive three fun but exhausting weekends in a row.

I don’t know yet if I will be there this year. I’m considering going to a convention in the USA that weekend on the way to World Fantasy Con in Brighton, UK. I’d love to go. Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

Fearsome Journeys

This one’s a bit late as I’ve been immersed in writing Thief’s Magic and reorganising our library.


The wonderful Jonathan Strahan has put together an anthology of fantasy with a tilt toward the military and sorcerous, and I was delighted to be invited to submit to it – not just because it’s nice to be invited, but I had the perfect story waiting for exactly that sort of anthology*. And I don’t write short stories very often.

Look at this fabulous table of contents:

Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
“The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats”, Scott Lynch
“Amethyst, Shadow, and Light “, Saladin Ahmed
“Camp Follower”, Trudi Canavan
“The Dragonslayer of Merebarton “, K J Parker
“leaf and branch and grass and vine”, Kate Eliot
“Spirits of Salt: A Tale of the Coral Heart”, Jeffrey Ford
“Forever People”, Robert V S Redick
“Sponda the Suet Girl and the Secret of the French Pearl”, Ellen Klages
“Shaggy Dog Bridge: A Black Company Story”, Glen Cook
“The Ghost Makers”, Elizabeth Bear
“One Last, Great Adventure”, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce
“The High King Dreaming”, Daniel Abraham

I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on this one!

* The story is not set in the same world as any of my books.

In other news, the anthology I blogged about a few weeks back, Epic: Legends of Fantasy, made it onto the Locus 2012 Recommended Reading List. A big congratulations to John Joseph Adams!


Things are quiet here at the moment. I’m working away on Thief’s Magic whenever the weather isn’t stupidly hot, and my New Year resolution to read more traditional fantasy (after a couple of years of sampling around the edges – steampunk, urban fantasy, fantasy knit lit).

Aus/NZ Events in 2013

It’s that time of year again. The one where I try to work out some sort of schedule for the year. So far it goes like this

Jan-June: Finish writing Thief’s Magic
July: Start writing Angel of Storms
Late Oct-Early Nov: World Fantasy Con in Brighton, UK
Mid Nov: Continue writing Angel of Storms

But there’s a lot more fun to be had down under. Lots of tempting, distracting conventiony fun. Unfortunately, most of it happening in the last 2-3 months before my deadline so I’m going to have to be very choosy about which events I go to. Here’s the list:

Perth, Mar 29-Apr 1: Swancon 2013
Melbourne, Apr 12-14: Supanova
Gold Coast, Apr 19-21: Supanova
Canberra, Apr 25-28: Conflux 9 (We have memberships & hotel booked, so I’m definitely going to this.)
Sydney, May ?: Aurealis Awards
Melbourne, Jun 7-10: Continuum 9: Contraindicators (We have memberships, it’s in my home town and N K Jemesin is a guest, so I can’t miss this one.)
Sydney, Jun 21-23: Supanova
Perth, Jun 28-30: Supanova
Wellington, New Zealand, Jul 12-14: Au Contraire
Sydney, Oct 11-13: GenreCon
Brisbane, Nov 8-10: Supanova
Adelaide, Nov 15-17: Supanova

When it comes to choosing which Supanovas I’m going to, I’m torn. I wanted to go to a different pair of them each year so I regularly move around the country. But I attended the Brisbane and Adelaide one last year, and the other four are not just within the difficult deadline time but match up with two conventions I’m already committed to. Conventions wear me out. Two conventions in a row wipes me out.

But I reckon I could manage the Melbourne one since it’s in my home town, and maybe the Perth one as it’s right at the end of June and would be a fabulous way to reward myself for finishing Thief’s Magic. In both cases I get a two week break between cons. Hmm, I might just have a plan…