Title: Priestess of the White
Author: Trudi Canavan
Published by: Orbit
Year Published: 2005
Priestess of the White is an intriguing first book, in a fantasy series that deals with magic, politics, and religion. Auraya has been chosen to be the fifth member of the White, an order of priests chosen by the five gods. At the same time, a threat from rogue sorcerers has the potential to turn into an all out war. Priestess of the White is a good introduction to a series, that promises many twists and turns.
Trudi Canavan has created a fantasy world, which successfully deals with the themes of authoritarianism and religion. Power is central to the plot of this book; where control over who wields magic, causes conflict. Consequently, Auraya gets caught in the middle of antagonism between the Circlian and Dreamweavers. Multiple characters threads are explored, to enable the reader to get a wide view of the world. On the other hand, the constant shifting between different characters within a chapter makes the narrative, difficult to follow at first. Although, past the halfway point, the plot of the book starts to unfold and the shifting perspectives begin to make sense.
Auraya is an intriguing character because she believes in the gods, but is also friends with a Dreamweaver. Dreamweavers reject the authority of the gods, preferring to practice their magic free of the restraints of religious authority. Leiard, the Dreamweaver, has to deal with the conflict between, trusting Auraya and his mistrust of the White. I like the way that Trudi Canavan fleshes out complex characters, which engage the reader more. The characters feel like real people existing in a secondary world, rather than plot devices associated with plot driven novels.
It takes some time to become immersed in the world of the Power of Five, trilogy. But, it is worth persevering, because the story of the book begins to become more engaging, in the latter stages of the book. The way Trudi Canavan writes Auraya as the main female character is masterful because, one gets to know Auraya from her own perspective, and the perspectives of other characters.
The ending was epic and worth reading. I will be interested in seeing the direction of Emerahl’s story in the next book in the trilogy. Priestess of the White delivers the action-filled story, which is commonly associated with fantasy.
Priestess of the White is a well-written fantasy novel. Many themes are explored in an entertaining way. The constantly shifting between characters was annoying at first, but you get used to it. Moreover, the introduction of various characters makes sense, when their stories intersect.
Rating: 4/5 Stars