I'm having a hard time remembering much more about the story itself. It involved magic-using characters (mages, wizards, or something else) and at least some of them had familiars. One character (male?) had an entire swarm of bees as his familiar. If I recall correctly, he communicated with them telepathically, and he communicated with the hive mind rather than individual bees. I think he was unique in not having a single animal/creature as his familiar
- I would have read it probably sometime between 1996-1998. I don't have a sense of how old it was at that time. I checked it out from the public library.
- Setting was fairly common fantasy -- not set in realistic modern times or anything like that. Low tech, high magic.
- I read it in English, I have no reason to think it was or wasn't written in English.
- level of writing was suitable for me as a preteen/teen who read a lot of fantasy novels. Probably similar to Weis/Hickman books (which I would have been reading at around the same time -- I'm not seeing anything familiar in lists of their books though, other than death gate books and darksword, neither of which are what I'm remembering).
- I think it was a trilogy, but I'm not certain
- I don't think the character with the bees was the primary protagonist, but I feel like the story was told from his point of view for some chapters.