"A fast-moving and energetic fantasy, packed with humour and magic."
-Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time
You know these characters: The ranger, the fighter, the wizard, the rogue.
But haven't you ever wondered how they learned to be those things?
Three months into his studies at the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellcraft, Durren Flintrand is shocked by the news that from now on he'll be assigned to a party, and that his only hope of progressing beyond the lowly rank of level one is to succeed with his new companions. However, Durren has a secret that may make that impossible, and his three partners have problems of their own. Wizard Areinelimus is terrified of her own magic. Rogue Tia has no patience at all with others. And warrior Hule is just an idiot. In fact, when a disembodied, floating eyeball is your most competent party member, you know you have serious problems.
To stand a chance of succeeding, they need to work together, and that means learning to tolerate each other, while surviving a world of angry rat people, murderous sorcerors and homicidal unicorns. But even if they can somehow find a way to get along, dark and ancient forces are stirring, ones no level one students should ever have to confront...