The Brightworking by Paul B. Thompson

Mikal, a blacksmith’s son, is chosen in The Gleaning to become a servant to the sorcerers at the Guild of Constant Working in the capital city of Oranbold. Unfortunately, the children who have been taken in The Gleaning are attacked by Night-gaunts on the way to Oranbold. Fortunately, Mikal finds that he has a special ability to evade magical spells. Unfortunately, a girl named Lyra tricks him on his first night in the guildhall. Fortunately, Lyra becomes a resourceful and loyal friend. Unfortunately, she’s also dirty, “not entirely brave, not entirely trustworthy.”

I could go on, but you get the picture. Mika survives the vicissitudes of life in a city where the wizards of the Guild are fighting each other for power and influence. He gains the friendship and help of both Lyra and of a clockwork talking head named Orrichalkon. The sequels in The Brightstone Saga are to be titled: Book II, The Fortune-Teller January, 2013) and Book III, The Battle for Brightstone (2013).

Other voices:
For Those About to Mock: “This book seems designed with reluctant readers in mind, from the conceptual level down to the simple, uncomplicated prose. And for that audience, I think it’s remarkably successful.”

Paul B. Thompson’s blog, Brightworking.

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