"Forward offers a fresh and imaginative view of magic and mayhem in this first book of a projected trilogy."--Library Journal Young Alex is a slave. But recognized for his potential as an Animist, he is bought by his college and begins rigorous training. Now, Alex must begin his quest for his Anim-the animal with whom he will bond. Alex hopes it will be an extraordinary creature that will help him earn the money he needs to buy his freedom. Unfortunately, his Anim turns out to be . . . well, not nearly what he had hoped. But as Alex finds himself caught in one misadventure after another, he will learn-and learn to appreciate-that there is more to his Anim than meets the eye. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.