Dayven has passed the test he wanted most desperately to fail he's been proven to have the powers of a wizard.
He had promised never to become one of the deceitful, disloyal sorcerers who believe in nothing and alter people's true destinies but now he has no choice. Thrown into an apprenticeship with a roguish wizard, Dayven discovers that loyalty and trust are never simple, and wizards are more deceptive than he could ever imagine.
The path that was once clear his friendships, his future, his destiny is now shadowed with dangerous twists and turns, and the world he knows must change forever.
About the Author
Hilari Bell used to work as a reference librarian, but she now writes science fiction and fantasy for kids and teens from her home base in Denver, Colorado.Hilari’s favorite activity is camping, when she spends all her time reading and hiking. She says, “Camping is the only time I can get in enough reading. Well, I take that back—when it comes to reading, there’s no such thing as enough.”
Read an Excerpt
The Wizard Test
By Hilari Bell Eos
Copyright © 2006 Hilari Bell
All right reserved.
Dayven reached for his sword hilt as he spun in search of the speaker. Early in the morning the courtyard was crowded - not only with Watcherlads like Dayven, who'd come for a little extra sword practice, but also with adult Guardians, who were there to increase their skills with sword and lance. Someone had put a lot of effort into that hissing whisper, to make it audible over the clang of metal on metal ... but who?
Was it Marret, who was so busily examining his practice blade for nicks? Or perhaps Benen, who was gathering up discarded shields for the Sword Master. Or maybe it was Thell, or Ryn, or ... Dayven's shoulders sagged. It could have been any of them.
"Ignore it," his cousin Soren advised coolly, laying a hand on Dayven's shoulder. But his eyes also searched the crowd for the source of the whispers. Whispers that had been dogging Dayven for months, ever since the other Watcherlads realized that his fourteenth birthday was approaching.
"No," said Dayven. He raised his voice. "I want the stinking coward to show himself! Whatever my grandmother may have been, at least I have the courage to face my opponents, not whisper behind their backs like ... like a wizard."
The whisper, though it had reached both Dayven and Soren, hadn't been loud enough to attract adult attention. Dayven'schallenge rang through the yard, leaving silence in its wake, and several of the Guardians turned to stare. "He turns fourteen today," one of them murmured.
There was nothing but sympathy in the Guardian's voice, but Dayven's heart was too raw for him to be reasonable. His hand clenched on his sword hilt and he stepped forward, as Soren's grip on his shoulder tightened. But before he committed the insanity of challenging a full Guardian, another voice intervened. "What goes on here?"
Dayven froze under Lore Master Senna's stern gaze. "Nothing, sir."
The old Lore Master limped forward. He had been a Guardian himself, before a Cenzar blade had cut his leg so badly that even wizard healing hadn't been able to mend it completely. It was rumored that he hated the wizards for that, though he had never showed that hatred to the Watcherlads, when he taught them the history of the Tharn and the Guardians' creed.
The Lore Master turned to the waiting crowd. "If nothing is happening, then I suggest you go about your business. Surely you have better ways to serve the Lordowner than by gawking at ... nothing."
The irony in his well-trained voice scattered the Watcherlads like chaff in a brisk breeze. He turned back to Dayven.
"Go. It will soon be resolved, and this trouble will end." The words were kind, but the Lore Master's eyes were cool and assessing - as they had always been when they looked at Dayven.
"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir," said Soren, pulling on Dayven's arm.
Dayven managed a respectful nod before his cousin dragged him away.
"Well, that should keep them quiet for the rest of the day," said Soren, as they turned their swords in to the armorer. "And by dinnertime it will never be a problem again."
"He said 'resolved,'" said Dayven bitterly as they headed up the spiraling stone stair to the room they shared. "He didn't say how."
"Resolved in your favor," said Soren confidently. "That's what he meant, of course."
Dayven thought that bards were more careful with words than that - especially the bard who was the official keeper of the history of the Tharn - but he said nothing.
Unfortunately, his cousin had always been able to read his silences. "Why don't you like him?" Soren asked.
"He watches me," said Dayven.
"He keeps an eye on all of us," said his cousin. "He's one of our instructors. It's part of his job."
"I know," said Dayven. It was true, too. But perceptive as Soren was, he didn't see that while Lore Master Senna observed all the boys he taught, noting the strengths and flaws in their characters, it was only Dayven that he watched for signs of magic. And never more so than he had in these last few months, as Dayven approached his fourteenth birthday. This afternoon, while Soren and the others were working at the tasks the Lordowner's steward would set them, Dayven would be going to take the wizard test.
Dayven stared at the rusty gate separating the wizards' compound from the rest of the Town-within-the-Walls.
His stomach twisted and he took a deep breath. Despite the rumors that abounded among the common folk, even Lore Master Senna admitted that magic wasn't hereditary. And besides, Soren had taken the test last year, when he'd turned fourteen. If Soren hadn't inherited their grandmother's power, surely Dayven hadn't either. He was certain he couldn't work magic. Almost certain. The ability was rare. Every Tharn had to take this test, some time in their fourteenth year, and in Dayven's whole memory only one other Watcherlad had shown the gift - a clumsy, awkward boy who could never have been a Guardian. Dayven heard that there were some people who actually wanted to be wizards, but not boys who had a chance to become Guardians. Not Dayven.
He pushed the gate open and approached the great stone tower where the wizards worked. Green scents from the neat herb garden filled the air. Wizards needed herbs for the medicines they made. So did the respectable surgeons, but they practiced no magic and were part of a man's destiny, not an intrusion, a thwarting of fate.
And yet, the sorcerer's medicines worked better - that was why they were tolerated. It was a rare man who, injured, ill, in pain, would put his true destiny above his life ... as Dayven's mother had.
She had died when he was only nine years old, refusing the wizard's healing that might have saved her, in her shame for what her own mother had done. Dayven had begged her ...
Excerpted from The Wizard Test by Hilari Bell Copyright © 2006 by Hilari Bell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dayven really doesn't want to pass the test that will prove he is a wizard. When it is affirmed that he does have wizard blood, he is heartbroken and embarassed, but then his Lord asks him to spy on the wizards, and explains that as long as he does no magic to alter another's destiny, he will still be allowed to be a solider. In the process of spying on the wizards, and learning to be one, Dayven realizes they are not as bad as he thought. He ends up using his healing powers to save the life of a Cenzar who befreinded him, and realizes life is nowhere near as simple as he initially believed it to be. He has obviously grown up.
This book has the true meanings of what it is like to know something that you thought you would hate and another you thought you would know what to do is right. A truly one of a kind book!!! :)
this is one of the best books ever written. it has it all. if you dont belive in destiny, you will glance again and if you do you will still second-guess it. it is a tale of somone who must betrey somone in order to save his oath. and if he had left his oath, he would still betrey another. this book truly makes you think.