Title says it all. I’m looking for works set in modern times that go into decent detail about the process of apprenticing as a mage (western/hermetic variety) and the relationship between mage and apprentice. Preferably not romantic. Anyone know any?
Interesting thought…I actually own that book, and have tried to read it before and never gotten very far. But isn’t it set in the 1800s? I’m looking for something a bit more modern than that, like mages in our modern world.
I should probably give Jonathan Strange another go, though. Lots of people seem to be quite taken with it.
The Darwath Trilogy by Barbara Hambly. It’s set within the past 20 years or so, but a couple of the characters cross over from our world into a parallel world, where magic works and various prehistoric critters are not extinct. There’s some romance in the books, but not between mage and apprentice. One of the sequels, Mother of Winter, shows the second generation of apprenticeship, where the former apprentice takes on an apprentice of his own, and gets payback.
Also, Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series has the main character take on an apprentice. The series is set in this world, in modern times. I slogged through the first book, and I think that Butcher’s writing has become better.
Oh, cool. I didn’t know Dresden took an apprentice. I too tried slogging through the first book and didn’t get far (I suppose I should try again). Do you happen to remember the title of the book where he took the apprentice?
I’ll check out the other ones and see if they’re what I’m looking for too. Thanks!
Heehee! Yep, I’ve definitely read (or listened to, or watched movies of) the HP series more than I can count! But I’m specifically looking for a modern-day one on one mage/apprentice relationship rather than a magic school.
Proven Guilty, book 8. But he doesn’t really do any Yoda-ing until the next one, White Night.
The first two books of the series can be a bit of a slog, but Butcher really does hit a good stride through the rest. If you really like the non-romancy/porn urban fantasy, I’d highly recommend giving it a second chance.
Ben Aaronovitch’s “Peter Grant” series pretty much fills your bill.
The books are set in modern London: Peter Grant is a young Police Constable who is taken on as an apprentience by the last wizard in England. The books focus quite a bit on the process of learning magic and there’s definitely not much romance (and none at all between Peter and his Master!).
The style reminded me a bit of the Dresden files, with a rather laconic first-person narrator full of dry one-liners and pop cultures references but I personally enjoyed these books more than the Harry Dresden books. YMMV of course… .
I kinda already did. (At least I kind of explore the relationship in those two books, but I’m writing another one where I’d like to go into a bit more detail about what the teacher actually teaches the apprentice, since that wasn’t the focus of the other two but it will be more the focus of this one).
No romance, though, sorry. The mage is a straight male and the two apprentices are a gay female and another straight male. I’ve never been much of a romance writer.
Proven Guilty. As noted, the man’s writing skills have improved markedly over the course of the series. I found the first two books enjoyable because he follows both his genres, fantasy and film noir-style detective novels, so faithfully. I enjoyed the later books because his writing skills improved so drastically. But some of the books in between were almost unreadable because he begins to abandon the hard-boiled private eye thing in favor of his created world, but his writing skills haven’t improved enough yet to make that work. In particular, I think that Grave Peril, Blood Rites, and Death Masks are pretty bad, and if my local library hadn’t been out of them when I was picking up the series, I might not have kept reading. Death Masks in particular has a really terrible sex scene, something that Butcher has wisely refrained from repeating in later books.