Simon comes from an unsophisticated society, where everything is taken at face value. He accepts the reality of the Gods, of myth and magic just as he does Sun in Sky or Earth under his feet. But when he comes to Alexandria, he learns that his simple truths are only a drop in the bucket of the intellectual turmoil of the age. His tutor, the Jewish mystic/sage Philo, wants to consolidate the vast range of religious and philosophical speculation from all the cultures and traditions of the Roman world with his own Jewish faith. Simon, though, has his own magical mission, imposed on him by the village witch back home, and has little interest in high-flying philosophy. All he wants is to find the one who will complete his quest and show him the real truth. One candidate is the ancient wizard Dedi; click to read all about this fascinating character.
A fun part of writing in the first person is to explore self-deception, where the narrator’s interpretation of what is happening is obviously totally different from the true situation. Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me is a great example of this: the narrator believes that he is the smartest guy around and deceiving everyone with his dumb act, when it’s obvious that he’s only fooling himself. In Simon’s encounter with Dedi, he has no idea at first what is going on, until Dedi teaches him a lesson in magic that he will put to good use in later life.