Brendan Vetch has always had a way with plants, and that is why the ancient wizard Od asked him to come to her wizards' school in the city of Kelior. When Brendan journeys there, he finds that Kelior is ruled by a king who fears magic, and the cold-hearted wizard Valoren. Any magic they don't approve is immediately outlawed, and strict rules are wound around the wizards' school.
As Brendan arrives, other things begin to happen -- rebellious Princess Sulys finds out that she's been betrothed to Valoren. A mysterious masked wizard and his ever-changing daughter arrive in the forbidden Twilight Quarter. And when Brendan's powers suddenly show themselves, he flees to a strange mountain -- where the most powerful magic of all is hiding.
"Od Magic" follows the basic template of McKillip's past novels: Rich prose, primal and exquisite magic, and several storylines that don't seem to be connected, but come together by the end. And while that end seems a bit too easy, it's a glorious ride to finally get there.
The wizards' school is only a setting for magic that many fantasy writers can only dream of -- a magical maze, a girl who does illusions, and the veiled wildness of the Twilight Quarter. McKillip's velvety prose softens up the royal intrigues, with smoke, mirrors, ribbons, word games and illusions. Calling it intoxicating isn't much of a stretch; writing this lush and dreamy is something you can get drunk on.Read more ›
Brenden Vetch has a gift. With an innate sense he cannot explain to himself or describe to others, he is able to connect to the agricultural world, nurturing gardens to flourish and instinctively knowing the healing properties each plant and herb has to offer. But Brenden's gift isolates him from people - and from becoming part of a community.
Until the day he receives a personal invitation from the wizard Od. She needs a gardener for her school in the great city of Kelior, where every potential wizard must be trained to serve the Kingdom of Numis. For decades the rulers of Numis have controlled the school, believing they can contain the power within it - and punish any wizard who dares defy the law.
But unknown to the reigning monarchy is the power possessed by the schools's new gardener - a power that even Brenden isn't fully aware of - and which is the true reason Od recruited him.
And so the adventure begins.