Talislanta is a magical post-apocalytic setting. The great magical civilization of the Archaens blew itself to pieces a thousand years or so ago, and since then people have been trying to reconstruct their lost magical knowledge. That is not to say, however, that Talislanta is lacking in magic. Far from it! Talislanta is currently experiencing something of a magical renaissance as explorers and adventurers continually uncover lost secrets of the past while mages and researchers develop new magics of their own.
Schools of Magic
D&D breaks magic spells into eight schools: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. Things work a bit differently in Talislanta.
Sorcerers in Talislanta are limited to a single school of magic. Wizards, however, have more options. They begin with access to one school of magic. The largest and most common school is Wizardry, which contains the largest collection of spells known. However, just because a school has a smaller number of spells does not make it less powerful, as anyone who has faced a pyromancer in battle will attest to.
Mages can learn gain access to an additional school of magic by taking the Magic Field feat. Note that some schools may be difficult to learn or carry a social stigma. Thaumatury is the exclusive province of the Dracatrans, and anyone known to practice Necromancy is going to be regarded with suspicion.
A wizard (but not sorcerer) who limits himself to a single school of magic is considered a specialist, as per page 54 of the PH. He gains the ability to cast an additional spell per level per day and he has a +2 bonus to spellcraft checks related to his school (including learning new spells). If the wizard takes the Magic Field feat to learn another school of magic, he automatically loses his specialization bonuses.
Schools of Magic
Specialized Spell Lists