I read this book years ago as a child. I do not know the author or when it was published. I vaguely remember the cover having an image of a man in armor in a desert.
What the plot consisted of, was that the man was a soldier for a kingdom that didn't like mages. In fact, his parents had been killed by them when he was really young. His station is on this armored train that is going through the desert. Somehow, a female elf tells him that he has magic which causes him to begin to remember things of his parents and how they could make all kinds of plants grow or something.
I think the magic involved some kinds of circles or colors of magic, but I'm not sure. I'm certain this was not a Magic: the Gathering novel and not a part of the Circles of Magic series either.
As I said, I don't remember a lot of the book, but I tried to. Any help would be appreciated.