In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen's world faces.
Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer's daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it - should she dare to risk the Angels' wrath.
But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands.
Not even the people they trust.
Trudi Canavan lives in the Melbourne suburb of Ferntree Gully. As well as writing fantasy, she works as a freelance designer and illustrator, and is Art Director for an Australian SFF magazine.
Thief's Magic: Millennium's Rule Book 1
Author: Trudi Canavan
Question: What inspired the story of Thief's Magic?
Trudi Canavan: There are two story threads following two main characters, each with their own inspiration source. For Rielle the story is older, and is my take on a multiple-world setting. Tyen's came out of a panel at Worldcon in Melbourne a few years back about other kinds of 'punk' than steampunk and cyberpunk. I got to wondering what 'magicpunk' might look like and liked the idea of a world where the industrial revolution was run by magic rather than coal and steam.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Tyen?
Trudi Canavan: Definitely the conversation between him and Vella, the sentient book he discovers at the start of the series. He's a naive, somewhat shy young man at the beginning and it is probably the first time he's had real, frank conversations with a woman.
Question: How much of your inspiration for characters comes from real life and real people?
Trudi Canavan: Most of it, though I expect I also draw from fictional characters. Though I don't base my characters on people I know. I once gave a character a friend's name, which became rather awkward when I later realised that character needed to become a bit of a villain.
Question: What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Trudi Canavan: Read a lot. Write a lot. Get feedback. And above all, enjoy yourself!
Question: What's next for this series?
Trudi Canavan: I'm currently writing the second book, Angel of Storms and next year I'll start the third and final one, Successor's Son. The story in Thief's Magic centres on two worlds, but as it develops in the following books readers will get to see many more worlds through Tyen and Rielle's eyes. And of course, I will make their lives as difficult as possible, as is the obligation of the author.
Interview by Brooke Hunter