Oliver is a wizard, with an armadillo familiar, and so, though he is young and knows few spells, his village sends him off to bring back rain, and break the drought. (As soon as his mother is gone for a time -- they are too afraid of her.)
Wounded, because he had already been packing when they arrived, Oliver sets out. Everyone knows the hills he must go to -- their last mage went there. But they do not know the perils along the way. Perils both human and nonhuman, friends, enemies, monsters, and more.