Take everything I say below with a grain of salt, it's been roughly 5 years (2013-2016?) since I read the series, so I've probably got some of the details wrong.

I don't know how old the book series is, nor any of the covers' appearances or anything about the title, and I don't think I finished the whole series either. The setting is in some fantasy world, so not based on the real world, past or present. The main character is a boy who becomes newly apprenticed to some kind of wizard or magician. The magician is supposed to be a bad guy, but for some reason which I can't remember, the boy was forced to become his apprentice. At some point, maybe after his apprenticeship is over, the boy and his master get into a fight, and the boy, who's some kind of magical prodigy, is able to predict what spells his opponent is going to try by looking at the colors of the magical aura around his opponent. Then, he's able to counter those spells appropriately with his own. I think at some point, the boy performs some type of healing magic, which surprises his friends because they weren't aware he got so powerful. The magical auras in this world around different people are different colors depending on what spells are being/are about to be performed. The more powerful one is in magical terms, the more adept one is at seeing colors around other people and countering their spells.

The boy's name may have started with a "C".

From my search results and comments/answers below, I am fairly sure it is none of the following books/book series:

  • The Stormlight Archive
  • Lightbringer
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
  • Hunterxhunter
  • Runelords
  • The Wheel of Time
  • The Demon Cycle
  • The Seventh Tower
  • Bartimaeus Trilogy
  • Mistborn
  • Myth Adventures
  • Changeling & Madwand duology
  • The Dragon Nimbus
  • Magician/Magician Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist
  • Two others that I'm pretty sure it isn't, despite both featuring young wizards who are learning to see magical energies in the air around them: The "Myth Adventures" series, begun by Robert L. Asprin (and later Jody Lynn Nye co-wrote some sequels, and then I believe wrote more on her own after Asprin died), and the two-book duology Changeling and Madwand by Roger Zelazny. (That one was annoying -- some big loose ends at the end of the second one which he never bothered to address by writing a third book to wrap things up.)
    – Lorendiac
    Jan 19, 2021 at 23:40
  • @Lorendiac thanks, I've updated my list to include those.
    – Ovrborred
    Jan 20, 2021 at 2:29
  • 1
    I was going to mention "Changeling and Madwand by Roger Zelazny." also. I know he can see aura's but dont know if he can use it to predict spells. Its been 30+ years since I read them.
    – NJohnny
    Mar 28, 2021 at 6:01

7 Answers 7


The Dragon of Trelian by Michelle Knudsen

Front cover of The Dragon of Trelian

Calen, a lonely young mage-to-be, never dreamed that Princess Meglynne would become his friend. And impulsive Meg never imagined that tending a baby dragon would "link" her to the creature -- for life. Can a girl, a boy, and a dragon merge their magic and strength to bring down a powerful traitor in time to save the kingdom of Trelian?

  • "C" name - Calen
  • Can see auras and colors of magic
  • Uses healing magic
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you confirm any of the other details from the question, like the wizard being a bad guy and the apprentice having to fight him? The more details you can match up the better.
    – DavidW
    Dec 22, 2022 at 21:56
  • Also the unaccepted answer to scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/76388/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 13 at 12:55

This is a long shot, but could it be the Dragon Nimbus novels by Irene Radford.

If so the apprentice's name is Jaylor and his master's name is Baamin, though I don't remember Baamin being wicked. Jaylor does have the ability to see auras, and he does do an unexpected healing, though it is on a wolf not a human. The wolf has a dislocated shoulder and he uses his magic to reset it.

  • Unfortunately, it isn't that book series either, but I'll add it to the list above.
    – Ovrborred
    Jan 20, 2021 at 19:50

Have you tried A Crucible of Souls (Sorcery Ascendant Sequence #1) (2013) by Mitchell Hogan...?

From Goodreads:

When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an apprenticeship with a guild of sorcerers.

But he soon learns the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths.

As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that brings the world to the edge of destruction...


Is it Jinx by Sage Blackwood? It's more of a preteen novel, but it is from around 2014 or so, and the boy sees people's emotions as colors, here's some of the synopsis:

The wizard, Simon, makes Jinx a servant in his home.

Jinx is not good at the magic spells Simon tries to teach him, but he has a natural ability to read people’s emotions in colors around their heads and to speak to the trees in the Urwald. One day Simon has Jinx help him with a difficult spell. When it is over, Jinx realizes that Simon has stolen something from him. Jinx can no longer see emotion clouds. Jinx becomes angry with Simon and searches for a way to fix his magic.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! If your synopsis is a quote from somewhere else it's polite to mark it as a quote (use "> " at the beginning of the line) and to provide a link to the source.
    – DavidW
    Dec 12, 2023 at 22:26

Are you thinking of The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas? I can't remember if it has the exact premise you're describing (it's been a while since I read it too) but I think it hits most of your points, including a protagonist whose name starts with a C!

In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who or what is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to Scifi Stack Exchange. I would suggest expanding your answer to describe how the work satisfies the OP's description. In particular, what points it matches.
    – user73910
    Oct 12, 2021 at 6:11

I think I was looking for the same book which I read when a teen. Is it The Magician's Apprentice by Raymond E Fiest? The hero’s name is Pug.

  • 2
    Really need to include more info as to why your answer is the correct answer, by supplying details as to why your answer fits. (such as details, that match portions of the OP description, or showing a cover that matches the cover described, or quoting parts of the text that match statements the OP might have mentioned. etc.)
    – NJohnny
    Mar 28, 2021 at 6:05
  • 1
    @Jamohn that's not it either, but thank you anyway.
    – Ovrborred
    Mar 29, 2021 at 14:06

It's Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare. The main character is 'Callum' (or 'Call')

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. To succeed at the Iron Trial and be admitted into the vaunted Magisterium school would bring bad things. But he fails at failing. Only hard work, loyal friends, danger, and a puppy await.

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – fez
    Jan 13 at 9:23
  • 1
    Given that the question already has an accepted answer, any contrary answers would have to be pretty convincing and contain a bit more detail. Is the only matching point the characters name starts with a “C”? Is Callum a wizards apprentice? Can he see magical auras as colour?
    – fez
    Jan 13 at 9:25

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