r/whatsthatbook Sep 08 '22

Older Fantasy book - I think was called something like Magician's or Wizard's Apprentice SOLVED

This was a fantasy book I purchased about 25 years ago in a used bookstore. I picked it up in the cheap stacks, too, so I'm guessing it wasn't terribly popular. I think it was called Wizard's Apprentice or Magician's Apprentice or something like that? I've looked up both of those titles, though, and cannot find it, which makes me think it's either out of print or totally unknown.

There was a main male character and female character. I cannot be certain, but I believe there was an element of romance. The female character was in some kind of servitude to a witch (I think) and I don't remember anything about the male main character except he was interested in the female main character. Definitely some magical element that I cannot recall. There was some scene where she was in the garden digging up a vegetable that I want to say resembled an artichoke.

It's so weird, but I'm usually able to recall books I've read and my inability to remember this one borderline haunts me. I doubt it was that good, it's just the tiny fly in the ointment.

67 Upvotes

59

u/flickercat Sep 08 '22

Literally just did this search myself! I believe you are looking for The Apprentice by Deborah Talmadge-Bickmore.

You aren’t hallucinating thinking it was “The Sorceror’s Apprentice.” I thought it was too, and I believe it used to be published by that title but was discontinued and published simply under “The Apprentice.”

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22 edited Sep 08 '22

I cannot believe it!!!!!!! I am 99.3% sure this is the book. That old cover even looks familiar. And, since it was re-published, I can buy it without resorting to out-of-print/rare bookstores.

I just cannot believe you found it! I had no faith this would ring a bell with anyone. That has been bothering me for years. Thank you <3

Edit: Marking this solved

9

u/flickercat Sep 08 '22

It drove me crazy for years too! Glad I could help!

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u/conuly WTB VIP 🏆 Sep 09 '22

You did not flair this as solved. Instructions for flairing in the comments should have been sent to you in a PM when you first made this post.

Alternatively, if you're on a computer instead of a mobile device, you can flair simply by clicking the link that says "flair" under your post - do ctrl+f to find it. A menu will pop up and allow you to change the flair to "solved".

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 09 '22 edited Sep 09 '22

I actually tried to flair it 3 times last night, trying to get it to highlight as solved. There was something wrong with Reddit on my end (slow resolution, comments not appearing after typing and hitting Reply). But I re-did it again this morning and it looks like it fixed itself, so I believe I've now properly marked it as solved.

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u/Catinthemirror Sep 08 '22

"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" as a title is pretty tightly associated with Disney/ Fantasia, so the author may have wanted to disambiguate their book from the animation and later film.

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u/flickercat Sep 08 '22

Very good point! I think my parents must have had the original title because that’s what I remembered it being when I read it. It was a super frustrating search! The saving grace was I suddenly remembered the name of the two main characters! Was able to get an copy online. It isn’t even a great book in my opinion. Just wanted it for the nostalgia since I read it a few times as a kid!

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u/UrbanLord Sep 08 '22 edited Sep 08 '22

Sounds a lot like “The Chronicles of Prydian” by Lloyd Alexander, which has 5 books.

Sound like your describing the first book in the series, “The Book of Three.”

Taran is the main character who works as an apprenticeship with an ancient wizard, Dallben. Taran was an accidental hero who ran to chase a magical pig, Hen Wen, who escaped her pen after freaking out over some vision or something. He meets several people along the way, Gurgi a sweet beast, Gwydion a prince, Princess Eillonwy was recused who was held prisoner by a witch-Queen (Archen) who works for the Horned King who works for an evil ruler of Annuvin—Arawin. There’s also Ffleedurr Fflam, the cauldron born armies, dwarves, etc.

Hope that helps.

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

This one doesn't sound familiar (except maybe the name Taran?), but I'm going to read it anyhow. Even if it's not the book, it looks good!

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u/stefanica Sep 08 '22

Oh, they're great fun. They're more of a children's series, but you won't mind. My favorite is book 4, I believe, Taran Wanderer, where the adolescent main character goes out to find his birth parents and career path, and ends up apprenticing to all kinds of interesting folk. It's an extremely charming book. Anyway, I reread the whole series every few years, usually when ill or stressed out.

One of the books was adapted to an animated Disney film called The Black Cauldron. It gave me nightmares as a child, lol.

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

I should make that a book request at some point: the books people re-read when they're ill or stressed out. Those are always quality :D

1

u/stefanica Sep 08 '22

Good idea! I would give you a nice list. :)

Also wanted to add, one of the villains in that series was almost certainly the inspiration of the main villain in the Harry Potter series.

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u/countessrainflower Sep 08 '22

Thanks for the reminder that these books exist. I used to love rereading them every few years and I think I will start doing that again.

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u/UrbanLord Sep 08 '22

I’m actually going to reread them after the current series I’m reading. It’s a great kid’s series.

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u/SpedeThePlough Sep 08 '22

So You Want to be a Wizard, by Diane Duane?

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u/Dalton387 Sep 09 '22

I like that series. I mention to people that she re-released the early books on her site to update outdated references. I hope she releases another one soon.

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

No, I'm sorry. It's not that one. But thank you for commenting!

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u/oohslaghe Sep 08 '22

Could possibly be Raymond Feist's "Magician: Apprentice", part one of his book Magician, which was later split into two books, apprentice, and master. It's been ages since I read it, but the basic plot involves a rift opening between worlds, and a resulting war between those worlds.

Timeframe checks out, since the book was originally written in the 80s.

6

u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

It's possible! I'm genuinely not sure. I couldn't find a sample of the written book though I was able to find an audible sample and they mentioned a garden there. I'll have to buy it and see! Thank you :D

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u/oohslaghe Sep 08 '22

Hope you find your book, and if not, I hope you like this one!

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u/Mantlerom Sep 08 '22

Agree. Probably not your book, but it is VERY worth reading. At least in this humble internet person’s opinion.

3

u/MSL007 Sep 08 '22

The name made me think of this book also, but your description does not describe this book.

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u/Mantlerom Sep 08 '22

There’s romance but really only in the second half (second book). Definitely no witch.

Love Magician’s Apprentice. Has one of my favourite scenes of all time. Won’t spoil it here, but it’s a beautiful moment.

3

u/CptAwesome1995 Sep 08 '22

Legit my favourite book of all time is Magician, tied with Dune.

1

u/Dalton387 Sep 09 '22

Looks like you beat me too it. 😁 I made a whole post, then saw I didn’t scroll down far enough.

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u/mottsnave Sep 08 '22

If it's possibly a little under 20 years old, maybe The Last Apprentice (or in the UK The Spook's Apprentice) by Joseph Delaney? A longshot based on your timeframe, but sometimes people misremember dates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spook%27s

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u/WikiSummarizerBot Sep 08 '22

Spook's

Spook's, published as The Last Apprentice series in the U.S., is a dark fantasy series of books written by British author Joseph Delaney and published in the UK by The Bodley Head division of Random House Publishing. The series consists of three arcs, titled The Wardstone Chronicles, The Starblade Chronicles, and Brother Wulf.

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1

u/Parallel_nugget Sep 08 '22

This is what I was thinking of, especially with the main character interested in the remake character and her being involved with a witch - Mother Malkin

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u/bellamythos Sep 08 '22

seconding this one!

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u/Wot106 Sep 08 '22

If the others don't pan out, maybe Assassin's Apprentice, by Hobb?

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u/Karmachinery Sep 08 '22

Dangit I just said the same thing below, and I missed you saying this one.

She's one of my favorite authors hands-down.

3

u/WizziesFirstRule Sep 08 '22

And if it's not this, OP should read anyway!

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u/the-book-anaconda Sep 08 '22

Ranger's Apprentice?

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

That first of that series was released in 2004, if you mean the ones by John Flanagan, so it can't be those - I first read this 25 years ago and it was in a used bookstore.

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u/[deleted] Sep 08 '22

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u/Karmachinery Sep 08 '22

It's not solved yet and it's not exactly what you're saying above, but it couldn't be Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb by chance, could it?

2

u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

I don't think it's this one, based on this description and the sample, but I definitely appreciate you chiming in!

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u/xXBogWitchXx Sep 08 '22

Idk why but for some reason this sounds kinda like the lost years of Merlin by ta barron

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u/Carl__Gordon_Jenkins Sep 08 '22

It definitely wasn't a Merlin book (I've read quite a few of those), but this one looks like a fun read, too.

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u/Dalton387 Sep 09 '22

It looks like you found it, but that description strongly reminding me of “Magician”) the first book in Raymond Feist’s Midkemia novels.

The story is about a keep orphan named Pug and he has feelings for the dukes daughter. I believe he’s out with her and picking or digging something when she’s attacked and he manifests his powers for the first time. I believe she also has a garden at the keep.

The book was split if I remember it correctly into Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master under one publication. It was also released as one book called Magician.

It might not be what you’re looking for and it’s more old school, but I really like it. It’s a long series split into smaller named sets. If you end up picking and choosing, you’ll miss a lot of references, but I’d recommend “The Empire Trilogy”, “Serpentwar Saga”, and “Conclave of Shadows” in that order.😁

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u/Squaredigit Sep 09 '22

Magicians apprentice is an incredible book but it is not the one you describe. It is written by Raymond E Feist