In the city of Freestone, one of the last surviving cities, youngsters are chosen to become apprentices for the various guilds. Zed hopes to be chosen by the mages and his friend Brock seems destined to be a merchant. But all their plans are upended when they wind up in the Adventurers Guild. It's not as prestigious as the other guilds in terms of power or money, but it is vitally necessary. They are the ones who travel to places outside the city walls and bring back useful items, or help to keep contact with the allied city of Llethanyl. But there are Dangers outside the walls - monsters and creatures that have skills or even magical powers of their own to capture anyone foolish enough to venture out of the city's protective wards. The boys, along with their dwarf friend Jett and a girl named Liza, become apprentices and learn about what it takes to keep the city safe.
Their story reveals bits of the history of Freestone and the land of Terryn, and also quite a bit about the politics and shady dealing that can go on when those with money and influence feel that the rules don't apply. We also learn a lot about the various young adventurers - how Zed could be a half-elf when the elves all live in Llethanyl, why Brock used to sneak out of his quiet house in the merchant district and play in the streets with Zed and Jett, and why Liza wanted to be an adventurer. We watch as they learn to work as a team, complete their first mission, and face dangers together. And just as we think everything may end on a happy note, more bad news arrives to keep us guessing until the next book is released.
Recommended for fans of fantasy (swords and sorcery), adventure stories with a group of friends at the center, and plenty of action, intrigue, and humor. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.