The day the rains came was like any other, blistering air coating the canyon in a heavy stillness….
Just as the rains come after ten long, dry years, a young wizard, Wayland North, appears, to whisk Sydelle Mirabil away from her desert village. North needs an assistant, and Sydelle is eager to see the country – and to join him on his quest to stop the war that surely will destroy her home. But North has secrets – about himself, about why he chose Sydelle, about his real reasons for the journey. What does he want from her? And why does North’s sworn enemy seem fascinated by Sydelle himself?
I was fully prepared to give this book three stars, because there are some problematic elements, but I ended up really enjoying it despite its flaws. Sydelle lives in a remote village that has suffered from extreme drought since she was seven years old. One day when she is sixteen, a wizard named Wayland North shows up, and it begins to rain. He offers Sydelle’s father, an elder in the village, to give them rain if he can take Sydelle in return. Sydelle is furious, as I would be, and rails against North at every opportunity. I hated North during this part as well. He’s eighteen, only two years older than Sydelle, but he’s condescending and treats Sydelle like a little girl. It’s like he expects her to be grateful when she was essentially sold to him. She sees herself as a slave, and I did too. But pretty soon what I affectionately refer to as Stockholm Syndrome sets in and Sydelle is determined to help North in his quest.
Someone has killed Palmarta’s king, and North has information about it. He needs to get his notebook to the Sorceress Imperial before the two-month deadline, but they must go by backroads. Wizards in Palmarta are required to be registered and ranked, but North has evaded that constriction. You’ll find out why later.
It’s hard for me to review this seriously because this book is complete and total fluff. There’s no onscreen death, so to speak, there’s a tiny bit of romance that doesn’t go beyond kissing, and there’s a war that we never see the front lines of. There’s a lot of telling instead of showing. This isn’t a book that will make you think nor will it even surprise you. It’s entertaining and light, not to mention short, and it’s a lot of fun. Untwisting North’s secret past was my favorite part of Sydelle’s journey with him.