The Magician's Apprentice
Orbit, Feb 2009, $24.99
In isolated Mandryn, Tessia wants to be a chip off the old block by becoming a healer like her father Veran. However, her family including her dad who appreciates his daughter’s assistance pleads with her to forget that dream as being undesirable for a young girl; her father and others fear for her life if Tessia steps out in pursuit of her aspiration.
She Obstinatly refuses to back away from her desire to heal others. Her push to practice healing leads Tessia to haughty Sachakan wizard Ashaki Takado, who scoffs at a young female healer. However, Tessia learns she has great skill in self-defense magic. Hoping to understand her innate ability, she becomes a junior apprentice to master magician Lord Dakon. Her ambition to use her powers to heal remains steadfast even as Sachakan’s army invades Tessia’s village.
Although similar in tone to many coming of age young adult fantasy mage sagas, THE MAGICIAN’S APPRENTICE is an exciting thriller especially for fans of the Black Magician Trilogy as readers obtain a glimpse of a much grimmer environs six centuries earlier. Magic at that time came in one flavor, dark as magical healing had not been invented at that time. Tessia in a sense starts a revolution on the level of the Fosbury Flop in high jumping when she reengineers medicine and magic by combining what she learned from her dad helping him on amputations, etc with what she learns from Lord Dakkon. Fans of Trudi Canavan will enjoy this engaging prequel.