Circle of Magic (Macdonald and Doyle novels)
The Wizard's Apprentice in the United Kingdom, released as The Circle of Magic elsewhere, is a series of six junior novels written by James D. Macdonald and Debra Doyle. The books are set in a high-fantasy pseudo-medieval era. The series protagonist is young squire Randal Of Doun, whose life is changed forever when he meets the Master Wizard, Madoc The Wayfarer, and forsakes his home to pursue the study of magic. The series chronicles his apprenticeship at the Schola Sorceriae, the School of Wizardry, through his status of Journeyman and finally to his rise as a full Master of the Art.
Book I. School Of Wizardry
The protagonist, Randal, a young boy preparing for knighthood at Castle Doun, leaves his old life behind and follows Madoc the Wayfarer, who takes him to study at the Schola Sorceriae in the city of Tarnsberg. He struggles with his studies, aided by an elder student, Nick, and comforted by a young orphan lutenist, the girl Lys. After he narrowly squeals through exams, the young and charismatic Master Laerg takes an interest in Randal, tutoring him in private; but his motives are less than honest.
Book II. Tournament and Tower/The Secret of the Tower
No longer an apprentice, but a journeyman, Randal leaves the Tarnsberg to travel the world. Forbidden by the Regents of the Schola to use magic, Randal travels with Lys and his cousin Walter to gain the absolution of the retired Master Balpesh at his isolated tower. But more than a master wizard is waiting for them there.
Book III. City by the Sea/The Wizard's Statue
Traveling with Lys to visit Nick, who gave up wizardry for carpentry, Randal is left a mysterious ivory figurine by a dying journeyman wizard. Suddenly, he is pursued by numerous parties all of whom want the statue. Meanwhile, the statue may have intentions of its own.
Book IV. The Prince's Players/Danger in the Palace
Wrought with grief, Randal journeys South with Lys to her native land of Occitania, augmenting her music with magical displays of color. However, his skills with illusion attract the attention of the court wizard of Peda; and before he knows it, Randal is flung headlong into court intrigue, where no one is who they appear to be.
- Randal Of Doun – A young boy, twelve at the beginning of the series. A squire under the castle of Doun, Randal's life is forever changed when joins the Schola Sorceriae, the School Of Wizardry in Tarnsberg.
- Demoiselle Lys – A young girl the same age as Randal. Forced onto the streets after a band of brigands raided her family and killed all of her relatives, she met Randal while on the run from an angry mob after stealing food and has been his friend ever since.
- Sir Walter of Doun – Randal's cousin, a knight
- Nick Wariner- A friend of Randal's that had left the Schola to become a carpenter. He meets Randal once again in Book 3.
Books in the Series
- School of Wizardry, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
- Tournament and Tower/The Secret of the Tower, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
- City by the Sea/The Wizard's Statue, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
- The Prince's Players/Danger in the Palace, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
- The Prisoners of Bell Castle/The Wizard's Castle, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
- The High King's Daughter, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
- Mystery at the Wizardry School, Troll (Metuchen NJ), 2003. [This book and the following were not written by Doyle and Macdonald]
- Voice of the Ice 2003