Around 1998 I read a book about a young man.
Something about wanting to rescue his father? The young man goes to study magic where his father lived, and studied all the things his father studied, notes, books, etc. He learns how this place/study/castle(?) uses magic to keep the weather out and the air perfect inside. He is alone.
After this time, I believe he has to go about a glass or crystal stair - to another dimension?- to fight a bad guy, possibly a dragon or other sorcerer. It's a series. This is a big deal to him as the young man must leave his life behind and/or cannot return.
I have been looking for this book for a while now with no luck.