A short, straight-forward children's book. The first of six.
Randal is training to be a knight in his uncle's household when the wizard Madoc arrives. He performs magic, repulses Randal's notion of being a wizard, and leaves again. So Randal runs off to follow him.
Madoc brings him through the countryside -- past nasty signs of raids -- to a school. And what happens there involves a promise to never use a sword, a rich man's son, a singer of folksongs, a little fire elemental, illusions, and rather more.