“Why is this robe brown instead of gray?” Dayven eyed the coarse brown fabric with distaste. He had left his Watcherlad's tabard, embroidered with Lord Enar's sigil, in his room, but his britches and shirt were cooler and more practical than a robe. Besides, only wizards wore robes, no matter what their color.
“Because brown cloth is cheap. Only wizards wear gray. Most apprentices wear brown, but you can wear any color you want. You got another robe?”
“Then wear that.”
Dayven began to work his way into the voluminous garment and made a discovery. “Why has it got so many pockets?” Dozens of pockets. One was large enough to hold a thick book, and another so small he could barely insert two fingers.
“To carry things in. Most wizards are pack rats. In a few weeks, you'll probably be wishing for more of them.”
Dayven pulled the robe over his head. “I'd rather carry my things in my.... What are you doing with my pack?”
“Loading it.” Reddick fastened the pack to Dayven's saddle with practiced ease. “We're leaving. We can make quite a few miles before the light goes.”
“Leaving now? But—”
“But what?” Reddick mounted his leggy mule and rode off toward the city gate. “You're my apprentice, right? You go where I go. How else can I teach you?”
Dayven spurred forward and grabbed the mule's rein just above the bit, pulling the animal to a stop.
“Where,” he said distinctly, “are we going?”
“Is that what you've been fussing about? Why didn't you ask? We're going to spy on the Cenzar.”
Reddick pulled his reins from Dayven's slackened grasp and rode off.
Dayven gritted his teeth and followed the wizard.
--The Wizard Test
(one of four books newly available in ebook formats)