From Publishers Weekly
In the captivating world conjured by veteran Lackey (Exile's Honor) and classical scholar Mallory (Merlin: The Old Magic) in this first of a high fantasy trilogy, there are three types of magic, each of which has its own rules, limits and variables. But it is the Wild Magic-anathema to Armethalieh, "the Golden City of the Bells," and considered by its residents to be heresy and truly evil-that has the most unusual aspects, for its practitioners must bargain for what they need and pay an often high price for power. Kellen Tavadon, son of Arch-Mage Lycaelon of Armethalieh, has been raised (indoctrinated, actually) to believe that High Magick is the only true magic and that his father and the Council of Mages have the final word. But Kellen isn't so sure. He's always been a bit suspicious of the council's tight control over the city. One day, while playing hooky from his lessons in magery, Kellen finds a set of books about Wild Magic. He knows he shouldn't touch them. To open the books and read them is to court a death sentence, no matter if your father is the Arch-Mage. But Kellen can't resist. And thus, after a bit of a slow start, Kellen sets down a road he never expected to take, on a journey of dire importance to both humans and nonhumans (the latter including elves, unicorns and other enchanting creatures). The narrative speeds to the end, avoiding a jarring halt while leaving the reader satisfied and wanting to know more.
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Bored to tears with the predictability of his life, Kellen has only more of the same to look forward to. As the son of the City's ruling archmage, he is high born and mage trained, intended one day to take his place in the City's governing body of magicians, who protect and shepherd its citizens by means of the very structured, closely held secrets of High Magick. Things change drastically for Kellen, though, when he discovers three volumes of forbidden magic in a used-book stall. Forbidden equals old, equals wild, magic, you see, and once Kellen realizes there is a world full of wonders, diversity, and people who think and live differently, he cannot return to the oppressive sameness of City life. When he refuses to give up the books, his father banishes him forever from the City and to a horrific death prearranged by the mages. The Wild Magic has another agenda for him, however, involving an acerbic unicorn and a woman--heavens!--to learn the Wild (but not sex) Magic from. Delightful. Paula Luedtke
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