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Delicately skirting the edge of preachiness, World Fantasy Award–winner McKillip (Alphabet of Thorn) demonstrates once again her exquisite grasp of the fantasist's craft in this slender stand-alone novel. Generations ago, the seemingly immortal wizard Od saved the city of Numis from destruction, not out of altruism but because it seemed like a nice place to found a school of magic. Over the years, the practice of magic has come more and more under the king's control. Deciding to stir things up, Od recruits Brenden Vetch, a gardener from the northlands with tremendous raw power and no taste for politics. As Brenden arrives in Numis, so does a fabulous street magician, Tyramin, whose sleight-of-hand looks suspiciously like unauthorized wizardry. King Galin's attempts to control Brendan and arrest Tyramin only scare them away and earn him the scorn of his daughter, Sulys. As with the Narnia books and other fantasy classics with religious or political agendas, if you can shut off your awareness of worldly context, you'll find this an otherworldly delight.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Some 400 years earlier, Od, a formidable magician, broke the siege of Kelior and saved the land of Numis. She was allowed to found a school of magic in that city, and then she left to wander, surfacing only occasionally. Later the school became part of the king's palace and was controlled over the years by the rulers, who deemed wild magic dangerous. Along comes Brenden Vetch, invited by Od herself to become the school's gardener because of his intimate knowledge of the ways of plants. His talent, which he isn't aware of, is old magic, and his arrival triggers a rebellion at the school. There are no evil villains here, just misguided leaders who circumscribe magic. With lyrical prose, well-limned characterizations, vibrant action, a sense of the wonder of magic, and a generous dollop of romance, this is a story that will bind readers in its spell. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This story had a lot of similarities to her Riddle master trilogy, but without the depth of character, plot and scenery those novels had. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
(Review for Audio Verson)
I love Patricia McKillip. Her books have a lovely fairytale whimsey, so if you like that kind of thing, you'll love her, too. Read more
Part of McKillip's wonderful magical tales. This is a tale of a magical school, a kingdom, and a strange magician named Od. Read morePublished 6 months ago by E.P. McLean
One of my favorite fantasy books! Love the lush imagery and twisty story line.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Being a fan of Patricia McKillip’s exquisite style of writing, I read the reviews and wondered if I was wrong in wanting to read this book. Read morePublished 11 months ago by kestrelwatcher-HollyB
McKillip is irresistible - a sense of magic taking many different forms in her books, but always with understandable rules and a sense of greater possibilities beyond these. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Paul A. Danaher
I love Patricia McKillip's work, absolutely love it. So, I was predisposed to love this book, but it was just okay. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jane Hinrichs
This fantasy story is about a young man who doesn't know the extent of his magical powers.
Brenden lives in the far north and has an innate connection with plants. Read more
I always feel more hopeful after reading one of her books, and this one is no exception. I found this book very soothing.Published on October 6, 2012 by Jack Verser