The Wizard’s Apprentice – Jackie French Koller

The second book in “The Keepers” series, “The Wizard’s Apprentice” continues the story of Nell, the princess who wants to become a magician and possibly even the apprentice to the Keeper. A prophesy has gone forth that the Chosen One will soon emerge, and Nell, so far, has met all the requirements. But the current Keeper can’t accept that the Chosen One might be a girl, and has told Nell that he will only take her as his apprentice if she will get the Mantle of Trust from her father, something generally only passed from father to son.

Nell is upset. She doesn’t think her father will ever bestow the mantle upon her, but in the absence of a son, what choice does he really have? But Lady Fidelia of the court makes a startling announcement. Nell is actually a twin, her brother having been hidden away at birth for his own protection against would-be assassins. His identity is no secret to her, for she hid him. Nell’s twin brother is Owen, the street boy Nell hired to take her place in school while she went off questing.

Now Owen has been abducted by enemies of the king, and Nell must do all in her power to help save him from death. Her pet demidragon, Minna, is seriously injured in a battle and must stay behind, but mounting her albino dragon Beauty, Nell sets off to prove that she is the rightful heir to the mantle and to save her brother’s life.

This intermediate series is a good way to introduce young readers to the fantasy genre. I enjoyed this book more than I did the first in the series – I won’t lie – Minna gets on my nerves and I was glad we went on a quest without her. My daughter and I are reading these books together and recommend them for your family as well.

(This book was published in 2003 by Aladdin Paperbacks.)

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A Wizard Named Nell