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Delicately skirting the edge of preachiness, World Fantasy Award–winner McKillip (Alphabetof 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.
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ISBN-10:  0441013341
ISBN-13:  978-0441013340
Author:  Patricia A. McKillip
Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher:  Ace Trade
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review by . October 15, 2012
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. He doesn't so much talk to them as instinctively nurture them and understand their healing properties. One day, he is visited by the great wizard Od, who invites him to become a gardener at her wizard school in the city of Kelior, far to the south.      The Kingdom of Numis, with Kelior …
review by . June 22, 2006
Od is a gray-haired giantess who wanders the land of Numis, healing animals with her magic. When her wizardry saves the life and throne of the king, she asks only that she be allowed to set up a school of magic in an old cobbler's shop, in the Royal City of Kelior.    The school expands and thrives, and Od wanders off into the world. She is sighted so infrequently that succeeding generations of students believe she is a legend. The kings of Numis keep the magic in their kingdom …
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