I am having trouble remembering a book I must have read about 5 years ago.

The book was written within the last 20 years I think.

The defining plot point I am looking for is:

A young (young adult, or 19+ ish?) wizard (Some sort of apprentice?) is charged by a much more senior Wizard with sorting their library. I seem to remember that the senior Wizard was not terribly pleased with having an apprentice forced upon him and was giving him "busy work".

The student is pretty much a troublesome prodigy that his school (?) needed to get rid of, so he was sent off elsewhere.

While sorting through the books, the apprentice comes upon a tome that he identifies as magically protected by a trap (through runes?). He is (unexpectedly) able to disarm the trapped book, and gains access to some sort of forgotten history, diary, or knowledge (?).

I don't remember much else about the story as a whole, but the scene is quite vivid in my head. The library is described as complete chaos, with books piled everywhere.

The world is one where magic is pretty commonplace, and can range from mundane to world-shattering.

The Senior Wizard's library is located in his tower, which is isolated and I believe described as a "typical" fantasy wizard tower.

  • Hi, welcome to SciFi.SE! This is a well detailed first question! Could I invite you to take the tour and check out the help center?
    – fez
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:26
  • Thanks for the welcome, I've been lurking for a while, as I often reference StackOverflow for work and sometimes go down rabbitholes of hot network questions. This book has been bugging me for a week.
    – Turbo
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:28
  • I hope someone will be able to find it. In the meantime, why not take a look at this list and see if it sparks any extra details you could edit in?
    – fez
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:31
  • @Turbo - When you say the book was "trapped", do you mean it was booby trapped? Or "trapped" as in imprisoned? I'm guessing you mean the former, but I just want to confirm that one way or the other. Aug 27, 2021 at 18:38
  • @LogicDictates edited to clarify- The book was protected against being opened via a trap.
    – Turbo
    Aug 27, 2021 at 18:39

1 Answer 1


Found it!

This was The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb, a Warcraft novel.

The young mage is Khadgar, assisting the Guardian Medivh in his tower of Karazhan.

Khadgar had obtained some sort of enchanted cricket that chirped when traps were nearby, which is what alerted him to one book that is particularly well-trapped (The cricket is chirping louder than ever before)

It turns out that there are many trapped books in the library, that Khadgar disarms as he completes his sorting task - The most notably important book was a poem on Medivh's mother, Aegwynn.

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