Prince Lukin is from Luteria, a poor mountainous kingdom up in the north of his world, but things are starting to look up for him. He has been admitted to study at Wizards University, and has found a great group of friends to hang out with. Although the professors are mostly rubbish, and one of them insists on calling him "you in the secondhand jacket," there's a gorgeous rich girl with long ash-blonde hair who keeps giving him presents and sitting next to him everywhere. You'd think the boy would be over the moon.
But he's not -- at least not yet. First of all, he's at the university under false pretenses, because his father King Luther of Luteria has forbidden him to go there. His mother and younger sister Princess Isodel are spearheading an effort by everyone in the family to keep their father from finding out that Lukin is not around.
Second, and probably more immediate as problems go, whenever he tries to do something magical, some kind of jinx seems to get in the way, and he ends up creating deep stony pits in all kinds of places they shouldn't be, and where Lukin hasn't at all intended to make them. He doesn't know why it happens and he can't seem to stop it or undo the effects himself. It's really getting him down.
When one of his good friends is threatened by enemies, Lukin is able to rescue him and buy him as a slave. Oddly enough, this is a step up for the friend, and a lucky break for Lukin. It turns out to be an ill wind that brings nothing good, and there may be a good use for those pesky pits after all.