The old magician paused. ‘If this young woman is a natural, we should expect her to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.’
Each year, the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no ordinary lowlife can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as imprenetrable as they think.
Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, throws a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. She is amazed when it sails unrestricted through the barrier and knocks a magician unconscious.
The Guild’s worst fear has been realised . there is an untrained magician loose in Imardin who must be found before her uncontrolled powers can destroy herself and the city.
Found this an interesting reading and could not put the book down. Mostly I’m reading to find the characters interesting and believable and don’t try to evaluate the style, “moral” of the story type scenarios. If I don’t get into the characters or storyline within the first 10% of the book I don’t bother finishing reading the book. This book grabbed me from the first few pages.
The story of a young person from the wrong side of town putting the fear in the establishment because of her abilities but not for the same reason by everyone. There are those in the establishment who want to help her while others are driven by fear and self interest. There are twists and turns in the story and the presence of a black magician leaves you wondering whether he is a friend or foe.
The story begins with the traditional winter purge of the streets of Imardin, the capital city of Kyralia, of the “dwells”, the city’s poor under-class, by magicians who drive away the inhabitants of the city’s slums. The young gang members gather to throw rocks at the magicians who are protected by a magical shield —until Sonea, a young dwell, hurls a rock through their barrier and injures the magician Lord Fergun.
The Guild begins to fear that there is a rogue magician and begins searching for Sonea. Benign Lords Dannyl and Rothen lead the search into the slums as they are worried that Sonea’s increasingly-uncontrolled magic will harm her and those around her. Sonea though both distrusts the Guild for their apparent lack of compassion for the poor dwells and fears their reprisal for her accidental injury of Lord Fergun. She flees with her friend Cery seeking the aid of the shady Thieves, who see the value of having their own magician and take her under their care. With Cery, she sneaks into the Magician’s Guild in an attempt to gain knowledge of how to control her magic, and observes a black-robed magician covered in blood performing a strange rite on a servant. However, her attempt is unsuccessful, and Sonea continues to lose control of her powers, setting fire to her surroundings repeatedly, before Lord Rothen at last locates her.
Lord Rothen and the sinister Fergun fight for her mentorship, though Sonea herself is uninterested in training and only wants to return home to her friends and family. Lord Fergun attempts to sway Sonea to betray the Guild and thus “prove” that dwells are not fit to enter the Guild and goes so far as to kidnap and threaten Sonea’s friend, Cery, but Fergun’s plans are discovered and he will have to stand trial. In order to prove Fergun’s guilt, Sonea submits to a mental examination, or ‘truthreading’ by Administrator Lorlen, who, finding the memory of the black-robed magician, reveal it to be Lord Akkarin, head of the guild, practising black magic – which is forbidden in Kyralia. Sonea decides then to join the Guild and train her magical potential