Tor, Jan 2004, 19.95, 288 pp.
In the village of Amesley, seventeen year old Trevor Blake has won a scholarship to the university, much to the dismay of Mistress Hanley, who believes her daughter should have won it. Trevor and his friend Les Simonton visit Trevor's uncle and the neighbors catch them practicing Magic. With a little skilled magic the neighbors forget what they saw and Trevor is forced to give up his scholarship otherwise Mistress Hanley will reveal Trevor's powers.
Trevor's uncle sponsors Trevor and Les, in the teeming metropolis of Port-of-Lords. When they get off the train they meet Carl who steals their money and letters. After they end up in jail, Trevor sends a mental call for help and Veronica answers the summons. While Les likes Veronica, Trevor only wants to meet the man who will teach him to become an Adept. However, he becomes entangled once again with Carl and a power hungry sorcerer who tries to make then his slaves. It will take a miracle to defeat the evil Carl and his master Dr. Tenney.
Comparisons between Trevor and Harry Potter are inevitable but the latter is more youthful and cocky than Master Potter is. It is Les, who will do anything to save his friends, that is the real hero because the Adepts say he has magical powers but he doesn't believe them. The villains are stereotypical but it is a lot of fun to hope they fail. E. Rose Sabin has targeted her work for young adult fantasy fans but anyone who likes a good tale will want to read A PERILOUS POWER.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner