This is the story of Rolf Hynasson, a country boy visiting the city. But the city is Ponticar, a "cesspool of power and corruption," and Rolf is no ordinary country bumpkin. He has powers of special sort -- he can smell magic. With the aid of a special mentor by the name of Dark, Rolf's unique gift allows him to quickly surpass the other wannabe magicians.
Rolf has the misfortune of making a powerful enemy, and is forced to escape from Ponticar with Dark and Elena, a poor but street-wise savvy young woman. During their forced flight, Rolf gets an education -- in magic from the inscrutable Dark; in love from Elena.
Against this backdrop, Seaborg deftly weaves a tale of politics and war that pits Ponticar's mayor and magicians against the mysterious Charians, who have magical powers that dwarf the Ponticars.
By juxtaposing the personal coming of age of a magician with warfare between governments, the author keeps the pace moving, the characters growing, and the fantasy world of Ponticar evolving. You can almost smell the magic.
This report prepared by Paul Petrucci