Novice by Trudi Canavan (The Black Magician 2)

Sonea accept training at the Magicians Guild. But her troubles have just started. She gets resentment and harassmentfrom the other novices and even from some of the magician due to her lowly background. Worst is the aroggant Regis.

Meanwile the slums are haunted by a series of mystic murders that seems to have all the hallmarks of black magic. Administrator Lorlen assist the guards in the hunt at the same time he tries to find a way to fight High Lords powers. He sends Dannyl on the mission to retrace the young High Lords travels to find the source for his powers and maybe a way to counter them.

Sonea has a brief romantic period of happiness when Lord Darrien, Lord Rothen’s 24-year old son visits. Otherwise she is miserable most of the book.

The High Lord discovers that they know of his powers and claim Sonea’s Guardianship and separate her from Rothen and Lorlen. On the outside she is the favorite of the High Lord but on the inside she is his prisoner.

The magical duel between Sonea and her tormentor Regis is magnificent.