Sixteen-year-old orphan Seph McCauley is a wizard, one of the Weir, an underground magical society first introduced in companion novel The Warrior Heir (2006). But Seph has had no wizard training, and magical mishaps occur wherever he goes. When one such accident causes a death, Seph is sent to the Havens, an exclusive boys' school in rural Maine, where he finds the Alumni—a student group of wizards led by Headmaster Leicester. Seph is excited to explore his gifts, but when Leicester attempts to initiate him with a terrifying blood ritual, the teen realizes that this training comes at the price of his soul. In his combined independence, bravado, and vulnerability, Seth is an appealing character, making the psychological torture Leicester inflicts upon him all the more horrifying. Unfortunately, the pace lags once Seph escapes Leicester and the Havens, at which point new and returning characters appear, and the chaotic politics of the Weir come to the forefront. Persistent readers will find that the momentum picks up again, though, and most will emerge satisfied by this absorbing, suspenseful follow-up. Hutley, Krista Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
In this companion to The Warrior Heir (Hyperion, 2006), orphaned Seph, 16, is an untrained wizard who can fling fire from his fingertips. After one of his many accidental fires kills a friend, he's sent to a secluded boys' school in Maine. The headmaster, Dr. Leicester, a powerful wizard, offers to train him. Initially, Seph agrees but then changes his mind after he's nearly forced to participate in an initiation where he's made to swear an oath to Leicester and allow him to link Seph's power to his. For refusing, Leicester tortures Seph with hallucinatory dreams that nearly drive him insane. When he finally finds a way to communicate with the outside world, Linda Downey, an enchanter, rescues him and takes him to the town of Trinity, OH, a sanctuary for wizards and other members of magical guilds. There, he meets many of the characters who appeared in the first book, including Jack Swift, Ellen Stephenson, and Leander Hastings, as well as a new character, Madison, who can draw power from wizards. Seph and his new friends must find a way to stop an impending war between the two great wizard houses. This exciting page-turner is darker than The Warrior Heir and, because of its depiction of Leicester's love of inflicting pain and frequent violence, is more appropriate for older readers. SLJ"
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