Every year, the magicians of the city of Imardin drive the riffraff out of the city, confident that there can be no fighting back. But this time a girl throws a stone that passes through their magical shield and knocks one of them out.
This book follows the magicians' attempts to find and train this rogue talent before she destroys herself and large parts of the city.
More than anything, this book reminded me of Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, with magic (but no dragons) and generally less sympathetic characters. The first half of the book seemed dragged out and tedious and the second half seemed to gloss over bits that could have borne further expansion. And on the whole, the minor characters were more interesting than the protagonist.
Still, it got a good enough grip on me that I'll likely read the rest of the trilogy to see how things play out.