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Circle of Magic
Author Debra Doyle
James D. Macdonald
Country United States
Language English
Genre Science Fiction Fantasy
Publisher Troll Communications
Publication date 1990 - 2003
Media type Paperback

Circle of Magic, also known as The Wizard's Apprentice in the United Kingdom, is a series of eight junior novels written by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald. The books are set in a high-fantasy pseudo-medieval era. The series protagonist is young squire Randal of Doun, whose life is changed forever when he meets the Master Wizard, Madoc The Wayfarer, and forsakes his home to pursue the study of magic. The series chronicles his apprenticeship at the Schola Sorceriae, the School of Wizardry, through his status of Journeyman and finally to his rise as a full Master of the Art.


Book I. School of Wizardry

The protagonist, Randal, a young boy preparing for knighthood at Castle Doun, leaves his old life behind and follows Madoc the Wayfarer, who takes him to study at the Schola Sorceriae in the city of Tarnsberg. He struggles with his studies, aided by an elder student, Nick, and comforted by a young orphan lutenist, the girl Lys. After he narrowly squeaks through exams, the young and charismatic Master Laerg takes an interest in Randal, tutoring him in private; but his motives are less than honest.

Book II. The Secret of the Tower / Tournament and Tower

No longer an apprentice, but a journeyman, Randal leaves the Tarnsberg to travel the world. Forbidden by the Regents of the Schola to use magic, Randal travels with Lys and his cousin Walter to gain the absolution of the retired Master Balpesh at his isolated tower. But more than a master wizard is waiting for them there.

Book III. The Wizard's Statue / City by the Sea

Traveling with Lys to visit Nick, who gave up wizardry for carpentry, Randal is left a mysterious ivory figurine by a dying journeyman wizard. Suddenly, he is pursued by numerous parties all of whom want the statue. Meanwhile, the statue may have intentions of its own.

Book IV. Danger in the Palace / The Prince's Players

Wrought with grief, Randal journeys South with Lys to her native land of Occitania, augmenting her music with magical displays of color. However, his skills with illusion attract the attention of the court wizard of Peda; and before he knows it, Randal is flung headlong into court intrigue, where no one is who they appear to be.

Book V. The Wizard's Castle / The Prisoners of Bell Castle

When they vow to guard a shipment of gold, Randal and his friends, Lys and Walter, encounter lethal enemies who could keep them trapped forever in the castle of a powerful warlord.

Book VI. The High King's Daughter

Randal helps a princess that can't return to her own world and to the throne until the spells that guard her are broken.

Book VII. Mystery at Wizardry School

Randal, now a court wizard for Queen Diamante, agrees to tutor an apprentice who has been struggling with his studies at the Schola Sorceriae. However, he quickly begins to suspect that the apprentice has unknowingly been tainted by dark magic.

Book VIII. Voice of the Ice

Randal and his friend Lys, the court bard for Queen Diamante, journey to the land of Vaskinna so that Lys can participate in a musical contest that takes place once every 10 years. After surviving attempts to prevent Randal from making it there, they discover that the true reason the contest is held is more sinister than they would have expected.


  • Randal of Doun – A young boy, twelve at the beginning of the series. A squire under the castle of Doun, Randal's life is forever changed when joins the Schola Sorceriae, the School of Wizardry in Tarnsberg.
  • Demoiselle Lys – A young girl the same age as Randal. Forced onto the streets after a band of brigands raided her family and killed all of her relatives, she met Randal while on the run from an angry mob after stealing food and has been his friend ever since.
  • Sir Walter of Doun – Randal's cousin, a knight
  • Nick Wariner- A friend of Randal's that had left the Schola to become a carpenter. He meets Randal once again in Book 3.

Books in the Series

  • School of Wizardry, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
  • Tournament and Tower/The Secret of the Tower, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
  • City by the Sea/The Wizard's Statue, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
  • The Prince's Players/Danger in the Palace, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
  • The Prisoners of Bell Castle/The Wizard's Castle, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
  • The High King's Daughter, Troll (Metuchen, NJ), 1990.
  • Mystery at the Wizardry School, Troll (Metuchen NJ), 2003.
  • Voice of the Ice 2003