Valentin nearly became an apprentice to the sorcerer Ambrosius. But he ends up with the enigmatic apothecary Zacharias and gets caught up in the battle for the Queen’s favour and the future of the country.
Valentin begins to unmask the intrigues of the treacherous Ambrosius. At the same time, he wants to help the girl Katrina, whose sister was once turned to stone out of delusions of grandeur and can now no longer be revived by spells. It is fortunate that Master Ambrosius, the great magician of the land and advisor to the Queen, is in need of an apprentice at the moment. Valentin is sure that spellcasting is just the thing for him. Although his amazing talent is shown during the examination, he is tricked by Katrina, the only competitor, and doesn’t get the job. Instead, he finds shelter in the old master Zacharias’s pharmacy. However, due to a horrible, self-inflicted misfortune, he no longer performs magic and for the time being only instructs Valentin in the secrets of herbs and healing. Deeply dissatisfied with this, Valentin sets out on his own to learn the art of magic. Starting with a plague of rats that appeared overnight and disappeared just as quickly, he encounters a series of secrets that are wondrously interconnected and which he uncovers with the help of Katrina: an adventure that, if it ends badly, could take the lives of the two sorcerer’s apprentices, the Queen of the Land’s crown and all happiness from the world.