I'm looking to identify a story about a young woman who needs to go to a Big Baddie's castle to retrieve something, a book, I think.

Along the way she meets a young man who at first she doesn't get along with, but who ends up being a love interest.

She also discovers how to use magic, which she uses by traveling down a "web" in her mind. At the end of the book, her fight with the Big Baddie leaves her "web" burned out.

Some more details, I believe the book has a scene where the Main Character takes care of her leather boots and bag by oiling them.

I think when she and the young man arrive at the Big Baddie's place, the Baddie is manipulative and actually has them stay there for a bit (maybe under the pretense of teaching the young woman magic?). The young man is more suspicious of the Baddie than the young woman.

It's a pretty grounded story. There's not much more to it than the woman going on her quest to the tower, arriving, beating the Baddie and getting the object she was questing for. It did end in a way that made me think there'd be sequels.

I read this in the early 00's but I'm guessing it was published in the 90's.

I know that's not a ton of info to go off of, and I may have mixed some details from another story, but I appreciate your help. It's a book I think my wife would really enjoy.

  • Don't think the rest matches, but the "web" reference makes me think of Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series.
    – eshier
    Jun 15, 2017 at 15:21
  • Take a look at this guide to help jog your memory and edit any more details.
    – Edlothiad
    Jun 15, 2017 at 15:21
  • @eshier Pretty sure it's not that. I think thedemon stuff doesn't ring any bells
    – SethWhite
    Jun 15, 2017 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


This might be a bit of a leap, because I don't remember how the magic system worked, but maybe First Truth by Dawn Cook? It involves a young girl traveling to the Hold to meet a member of the Masters, the magicians of the universe. She does meet a young bardic boy, who accompanies her. The one remaining Master is evil, but teaches her to try to exploit her. I don't remember a burn-out, though. The big twist is that she turns into a dragon.

First Truth - book cover

It is indeed the first book of a series (side note, despite the cover, the girl is dark-skinned and dark-haired. It's actually a minor plot point, because her race is distrusted by the lowlanders).

You can find the first page on the author's site here.

  • Nailed it. Holy crap, memory is a funny thing. I screwed up so many details, and don't remember the dragon at all. But the cover rings a bell, and the overall story clicks. Thanks!!!
    – SethWhite
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:44
  • @SethWhite: I marked your question as a Duplicate, because we had this question once before. Funnily enough, it was me who asked it. :-D Different details, but parts of what you said started to click, so I looked up details to post.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:46
  • cool, no worries. I got what I needed from it, anyway :)
    – SethWhite
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:54

Perhaps The Web of Wizardry by Juanita Coulson? It was published in 1978, so earlier than you remember, but the sorceress does cast spells by traversing webs in her mind. I don't recall the other parts of the plot well enough to say for sure that this is it, though.

Goodreads link with cover picture

  • 1
    Reviews, such as goodreads.com/review/show/1494206954, have details on characters.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 15, 2017 at 17:20
  • Completely unrelated, but I remember reading Juanita Coulson's Children of the Stars series my freshman year in college. Hadn't thought of that for years, and had completely forgotten the author's name. Found the series (99% sure, haven't actually re-read anything yet) due to your mentioning the author. Thanks!
    – RDFozz
    Jun 15, 2017 at 17:39
  • 1
    @fuzzyboots Ah, yes, now I remember the half-barbarian scout who would have been the main character, along with the woman sorceress. This might not answer the poster's question, but I'll leave it here in case anyone else is looking for webs/magic in a book's plot. This book and 'The Death God's Citadel' were very good; I've always been disappointed that the author never wrote anything else in that universe.
    – LAK
    Jun 15, 2017 at 17:53
  • Even if it isn't the right one, we recommend answers that match at least partially because it might help others searching in the future.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 15, 2017 at 17:54
  • It's not this one, but thanks for the answer. The POV character seems to be a male in Web of Wizardry. And the settings/factions/etc definitely don't fit.
    – SethWhite
    Jun 15, 2017 at 18:04

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