Od Magic [NOOK Book]

Overview

Brenden Vetch has a gift. With an innate sense he cannot explain to himself or describe to others, he connects 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 ...
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Od Magic

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Overview

Brenden Vetch has a gift. With an innate sense he cannot explain to himself or describe to others, he connects 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 school’s new gardener—a power that even Brenden isn’t fully aware of, and which is the true reason Od recruited him...
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Editorial Reviews

Paul Di Filippo
McKillip shines in her presentation of the characters, the city of Kelior, and in her depiction of what magic really means. The varied districts of Kelior, including the mysterious Twilight Quarter, are nearly tangible, rich in sensory heft. And in her evocation of magic as a ceaseless pursuit of knowledge and art, not power, McKillip draws subtle parallels with her own mission as a writer.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Delicately skirting the edge of preachiness, World Fantasy Award-winner McKillip (Alphabet of Thorn) demonstrates once again her exquisite grasp of the fantasist's craft in this slender stand-alone novel. Generations ago, the seemingly immortal wizard Od saved the city of Numis from destruction, not out of altruism but because it seemed like a nice place to found a school of magic. Over the years, the practice of magic has come more and more under the king's control. Deciding to stir things up, Od recruits Brenden Vetch, a gardener from the northlands with tremendous raw power and no taste for politics. As Brenden arrives in Numis, so does a fabulous street magician, Tyramin, whose sleight-of-hand looks suspiciously like unauthorized wizardry. King Galin's attempts to control Brendan and arrest Tyramin only scare them away and earn him the scorn of his daughter, Sulys. As with the Narnia books and other fantasy classics with religious or political agendas, if you can shut off your awareness of worldly context, you'll find this an otherworldly delight. Agent, Howard Morhaim. (June 7) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
In this well-crafted fantasy, loner Brenden Vetch finds solace in studying plants and tending his garden. One day, a mysterious, otherworldly woman approaches him. She is accompanied by mice, lizards, cats and numerous other creatures. This entrancing woman is the elusive Od, a magician so powerful that she alone stopped the siege of Kelior and restored peace to Numis. In exchange for her aid, the king provided Od with her own school of magic and allowed her to walk freely throughout his land. The school is currently in need of a gardener so Od invites Brenden Vetch to work at the school. When Brenden opens the "door under the shoe," he discovers that Od hasn't been seen in many years. The school has been controlled by the rulers of Numis, and a fear of wild magic plagues the government. Readers will discover whether Od has set her own agenda in place as Brenden learns of his incredible raw magic and rumors abound of the presence of Tyramin, a magician thought to unlawfully teach magic, in the Twilight Quarter. Lyrically told, the novel evokes an enchanting atmosphere and thoughtful tone while presenting a comforting, fairy tale-like setting. The conflicting philosophies regarding controlled vs. unfettered magic and the nature of illusions provide readers with a chance for discussion while the character of Od offers a mythical quality to the story. This leisurely paced title will appeal to fans of Caroline Stevermer as well as fans of Patricia McKillip's previous work. KLIATT Codes: SA--Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2005, Penguin, Berkley, 315p., $14.00.. Ages 15 to adult.
—Ginger Armstrong
Library Journal
In the land of Numis, all wizards were taught to serve the king and country, and uncontrolled magic was forbidden. When the legendary wizard Od summons the reclusive Brenden Vetch to her school of wizardry to serve as gardener, she knows that the young man's talent for growing things hides a gift powerful enough to challenge those who pull the wizards' strings. McKillip (In the Forests of Serre) finds poetry in every story she tells, crafting tales that are both personal and universal. Featuring unusual and compelling characters, her latest belongs in most fantasy collections and should appeal to both adult and YA readers. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
More enchantments and wonders from McKillip (The Tower at Stony Wood, 2000, etc.), here displayed in a tale where almost everybody forlornly carries secrets and sorrows they cannot share. Brenden Vetch carries his grief like a sack of stones as he wanders far and wide, learning about plants by literally becoming them. In the snows of distant Skrygard Mountain, he comes upon a strange group of ancient, charred stumps, clearly alive and compellingly magical but impervious to his talents. Then the tall, semi-legendary, 400-year-old wizard Od tells him to go to King Galin's school of magic, where they have need of a gardener. At the school, Brenden meets unhappy teacher Yar Ayrwood, constrained by King Galin's chronic mistrust of unknown magics and unable to entirely rely on his lover, Ceta Thiel, whose cousin, the wizard Valoren Greye, enforces the king's rules. Sulys, Galin's daughter, is engaged to marry Valoren but finds he won't listen to her; Sulys works her own small magics with needle and thread, water and wax, inherited from her grandmother but not approved by the school. In the Twilight Quarter, meanwhile, the dazzling but mysterious magician Tyramin again takes up residence. Tyramin's public face is that of his beautiful daughter, Mistral, who must pretend that her own potent magic is nothing but illusion and spectacle, because it lies outside the royal purview. Od, clearly orchestrating affairs, must prompt a wholesale reorganization of events into a somewhat less melancholic configuration. McKillip's hallmarks are charm and elegance, diminished here by busy, fussy plotting, lack of suspense and little expectation that the characters might solve their problems by their ownefforts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101208403
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/7/2005
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 648,870
  • File size: 350 KB

Meet the Author

Patricia A. McKillip is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and the author of many fantasy novels, including The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, Stepping from the Shadows, and The Cygnet and the Firebird. She lives in Oregon.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    terrific fantasy

    In the Northern Country of the Kingdom of Numis, the giantess wizard Od asks Brenden Vetch to come to the capital of Kelior to become gardener at the Old School of Magic that she established years ago after protecting the city from invaders. Living in sorrow since his parents died and his brother Jode and his girlfriend Meryd left the sadness behind by moving on, Brenden accepts the position. Brenden arrives at the school after walking for several months, but shocks instructor Yar Ayrwood by entering through the door under the big shoe; a portal not used in almost two decades and not seen by most people. The students are mostly the sons and daughters of the ruling class hoping to gain an edge in their loyal support of King Galin. Former student Wizard Valoren arrives as the monarch¿s chosen one to spy this year¿s students to insure none display disloyalty. Valoren is unaware at this time that the real threat lies in a reticent new employee who talks and listens to the plants as he speaks their language. --- OLD MAGIC is a terrific fantasy tale starring a delightful protagonist, a vile villain, and an assortment of eccentric supporting characters including the mysterious wonderful Wizard of Od. The story line grips the reader from the moment that a befuddled Brenden enters the school through an unused for two decades portal and though wizardry driven, mesmerizes readers until the final spell is spun. Patricia A. McKillip writes a charming tale that showcases why she consistently one of the best fantasists on the market today.--- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    Magical

    Od Magic is a book that I am happy to give a permanent space on my bookshelf. The characters are fascinating, the story is lovely and the imagery, Patricia A. McKillp's words bring to the mind, is just beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If I have one disappointment it is that it ended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    Beautiful and Fantastic

    I love Mckillip's style of writing, and am drawn in to her stories by their depth of imagery and rich magical threads. So much of life and inner workings go with each book. This one was especially wonderful the way the characters wound around each other, and brought beauty to everyday life by showing how much magic there is in our own perceptions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006

    A Waste of a good story

    The story and plot might of had a chance of being great. But, the characters were poorly developed and the telling of the story jumped around from character to character. Yes, in the end, it did all tie together, but I felt the authour never took the plot to the next level the level in which you want to keep reading. This was a good example of fantasy gone bad.

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