Found the series at a one of those elementary school book fairs.

It was a series and i remember reading the first 2-3 books, set in a fantasy world. This kid makes a trip to a magic school mostly populated by rich kids where magic comes easy. He isn't rich and the magic doesn't come easy. There is some kind of conflict that i cannot remember.

I remember one scene in the book where the kid and a magician are on the way to the school and they have to make a circle in the forest to keep out demons. (sounds like Peter Brett right?)

I don't have much more than that. It has been a lot of years.

  • Was it early or late 80's? Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 8:57
  • Barry Trotter?
    – Daft
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 9:58
  • 3
    Some elements of your description remind me of Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea," but that book was published in 1968.
    – JasonAzze
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 18:50
  • Maybe one of the works listed in TvTropes' Wizarding School page? Perhaps Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz or The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy (which feature a female protagonist)?
    – Trish Ling
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 14:49
  • @JasonAzze I was thinking that one too, but the scene in the forest, in the very first book, is not about keeping demons out.. Rather, invoking one! Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


It does not match on the "protective circle of magic" point, at least in the first two books, but the The Circle of Magic series (Wizard's Apprentice in the UK) features Randal, a former squire, who attends a school for magicians. One of the conflicts in the first book is that magic doesn't come easily to him (he has a lot of power, but not much fine control, so he winds up doing things "the hard way"). He's on scholarship, while many of the students are rich and being paid for, so he risks getting kicked out if he doesn't find a way to learn more readily.

The main conflict in the first two books do involve demons, but they're respectively at the school and in a wizard's tower, so it doesn't quite match up for the circle in the woods. In the third book, he does create a magic circle that hides him and his companions from pursuing soldiers (but not to a ghost who shows up to give advice) but at this point in the narrative, he is the wizard with his travelling companion being the same age and having no magic talent.


Possibly this question refers to the Majyk series by Esther Friesner, starting with Majyk By Accident (1993). Magic is stockpiled by the mighty and only the most privileged students receive small bits of it to further their progress.

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