The Guardian's Apprentice

ABOUT J. Michael Radcliffe

J. Michael Radcliffe
An avid reader of fantasy and science fiction novels all of my life, Michael Radcliffe published his first novel, The Guardian's Apprentice in 2010.  He lives with his family in rural Kentucky, along with their five cats. When not acquiring more ferocious felins for their plan of w More...


Keegan Whitestone doesn’t believe in magic.  A disillusioned young man drifting through life without purpose, he almost welcomes the unexpected delivery of his father’s signet ring and a mysterious note.  

Estranged from his father before the man’s death, Keegan knows nothing of his family heritage, or of the world awaiting him on the other side of the magical barrier known as the Veil.  
Summoned by the grandfather he never knew existed, Keegan must travel beyond the Veil to become the older man’s apprentice.  With his grandfather, known as the Guardian, they must safeguard the barrier tethering together the worlds of science and magic. 

Someone – or something – is at work trying to break that barrier and bring the long separated worlds together, to subjugate the human race on both sides.  

Before he can become his grandfather’s apprentice, Keegan must gain the approval of the High Council, a group of witches and wizards more interested in advancing their own agendas than in protecting their world.  If he wins their approval, he must survive training under the tutelage of his grandfather’s assistant – a wizard convicted of treason some five-hundred years before and sentenced to spend all but one hour every day as a black cat.

Learning to control the power within proves harder than he thought, but when he tries to return home he learns the shocking truth – his grandfather’s enemies want Keegan dead whether he’s an apprentice or not.  If he doesn’t find the inner strength to control his power, both worlds could perish as the ancient portal is unsealed and the Shadow is unleashed upon mankind.

Review by: Joel Kirkpatrick on May. 02, 2011 : star star star star 
J. Michael Radcliffe's 'The Guardian's Apprentice' is very familiar territory, just as satisfying to me as the subject of magic and the mundane could ever be. This strong story is the opening of a much wider tale, and puts us at the very edge of the veil between the worlds - the veil that keeps magic and power from overwhelming an unknowing humanity. It is the task of the Guardian to protect that division, and now, in Mr. Radcliffe's telling, one of the humble mortals must take up that task. Why he was selected, when powerful wizards and witches crave the position, that is the meat of the whole story.

Filled with urgency, darkness, and confusion, 'The Guardian's Apprentice' wants us to believe the one thing most difficult to believe, something that character Keegan Whitestone must believe in spite of himself; magic is very real, and it can be misused. As is proper in such lessons, comes the realization that time itself is running out. It is fun to prod Keegan - a very likeable, if not very cooperative fellow - prod him, and make him hurry. It is so much easier, and more fun, to believe in magic than to resist.