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THE WIZARD TEST by Hilari Bell

THE WIZARD TEST

By Hilari Bell

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: March 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-059940-5
Publisher: HarperCollins

Right and wrong turn out to be more complicated than a wizard’s apprentice supposes in this ruminative fantasy. Taught to despise wizardry despite its ability to heal wounds, warrior-in-training Dayven is horrified to discover that he has magical abilities. His “Lordowner,” however, takes the opportunity to plant him as a spy among the local wizards, to test their loyalty. He instantly finds himself, along with his newly designated master, Reddick, dispatched to spy in turn on the neighboring Cenzar, who are massing to reclaim the land Dayven’s people had seized three generations before. Wondering which side Reddick is actually on, Dayven finds himself liking the Cenzar, particularly mischievous new acquaintance Vadeen, more and more, as he also learns that suppressing his newfound talents and perceptions isn’t as easy as he’d prefer. Action takes a back seat to Dayven’s internal struggles and Reddick, who turns out to be much more than the wisecracking drunk he seems at first to be, is the most memorable character here. Still, readers will feel Dayven’s conflict, and applaud the fiber that at last allows him to make hard choices that are, by his lights, both right and honorable. (Fantasy. 11-13)