Sonea is the primary protagonist of the Black Magician Trilogy, and one of the few noted Magicians to have developed their powers without the assistance of another. She is also the first sanctioned black magician in the Magician's Guild of Kyralia in over five centuries.
Sonea was born to a lower-class family in the slums of Kyralia's capital, Imardin. Early in her youth her mother died and her father abandoned her, and she was left in the care of her aunt Jonna and uncle Ranel. For two years prior to the beginning of the Black Magician Trilogy, they had been living within the city in a building of unsafe construction. The narrative begins shortly after King Merin of Kyralia has ordered such buildings abandoned for the safety of the tenets, displacing a fifteen-year-old Sonea and her relatives back to the slums, where the Magician's Guild is enacting the annual Purge. Joining other children in throwing stones at the combined shield of the gathered Magicians, Sonea unlocks her own latent magical potential. Fearing retribution from the Guild, she seeks the protection of the city's criminal underworld with the help of her childhood friend, Ceryni. In the ensuing months, Sonea struggles to gain control of her powers as she eludes the Guild Magicians seeking her, eventually being given up by her protectors for the sake of everyone's safety. After being exposed to the true nature of the Magician's Guild and the sincerity of many Magicians Sonea is convinced to join the Guild and learn how to use her powers.
Sonea is pragmatic by necessity, but good-natured at heart. Throughout the Black Magician Trilogy Sonea struggles with the necessity of violence and murder, and much of her thoughts are occupied by rationalizing the means with the greater good. Sonea is greatly concerned with relieving the suffering of the unfortunate, and protecting those without means to defend themselves. Sonea is also very modest, which is both a strength of character and a hinderance at various times throughout the Black Magician Trilogy, though she grows in bravery and confidence as events force her to further mature.
Sonea is also very sentimental, growing close to her mentor, Rothen's, son Dorrien and later falling in love with the tragic, anti-hero High Lord Akkarin. It is her impassioned dedication to those around her that often greatly assists her development, such as how she learned how to strike magically by envisioning that she was attacking the person threatening those she cared for, and learned advanced (and even forbidden) magic within a short period of time for the same sake. Throughout the series, she shows on numerous occasions that she is governed by her own moral compass rather than a specified codex of rules, a trait that both her guardians noted pointedly.
Power & AbilitiesEdit
The subject of Sonea's remarkable magical strength is a major element of her character. Strong enough to develop her powers naturally, Sonea demolishes several hundred feet worth of buildings the first time she exhausts her strength with the help of her future mentor. Sonea is determined to be stronger than many of her teachers within her first year of study at the Magician's Guild, and easily overcomes seven or eight of her classmates in a failed hazing attempt. As she continues to mature, her powers also increase, perhaps with added assistance from straining her limits to fend off more and more assailants rallied to her rival's cause throughout the course of her first year.
This enormous reserve of power is also a source of much trepidation for Sonea as she grows. After having witnessed the death of an innocent by devastating magic, she is fearful to use too much force and cause harm to those around her. With additional training, however, she becomes comfortable with the amount of strength she can safely use against others, and eventually overcomes her apprehension of combat to give a sound thrashing to her increasingly belligerent rival. After releasing nearly all of her magic in an incredible attack pattern that overpowered the shields of her rival and his guardian -- requiring the intervention of Akkarin, empowered by Black Magic, to save the target from destruction, some conjecture that Sonea may reach the strength of her guardian, who was estimated to be as strong as the entire guild combined.
In addition to her tremendous power, Sonea is highly talented and hard working. She is able to master two years' worth of knowledge in half the time, as well as devote additional practice to extra combat skills and even learn some even more advanced techniques such as levitation in the same period. She also proves not only strong enough to face twenty magicians in the arena, but smart and talented enough to develop a strategy for victory and successfully employ it.