In the High Kingdom of Danton Aurelius, magisters from across the known world are gathering for an unusual meeting. The High King's son is dying of an apparently incurable wasting disease, and he has charged them with providing an explanation and a cure. There is a mystery here, but not the one the High King thinks: the magisters know the cause of the prince's illness but they dare not reveal it for fear that it will expose the secret at the heart of their order. No, the mystery is not what is responsible, but who...Now the magisters must embark upon a manhunt, racing against time, before the High King learns the truth. But they have not counted on the young prince's determination to control his own fate, nor on the existence of Kamala, a young woman schooled in their own arts, who will soon shake the world to its very roots.
"C.S. Friedman makes fantastic things-and frightening things-seem very real...If you haven't read her work you need to do something about that right now." -Tad Williams
"Imaginative, deftly plotted fantasy." -Publishers Weekly
"For the Magister Trilogy, Friedman conjures a world in which the price of using magic is the death of either the magician or a consort on whose life force he feeds. Ordinary witches usually die young. But magisters--all male, for it is believed that women cannot make the transition from witch to magister--are practically immortal, taking consort after consort and using them up. Prince Andovan, son of a powerful king, has fallen ill with a wasting disease. When his father consults the magisters, they realize that an unknown magister has taken the prince for a consort. They won't say so, however, for that would put their lives and power at risk. But Magister Colivar helps the prince fake a suicide to track down his unknown exploiter. King Danton, driven nearly mad by his son's "death," falls victim to a souleater, which is worse than a magister. Magisters are parasitic; souleaters can destroy the world. Powerful, intricate plotting and gripping characters distinguish a book in which ethical dilemmas are essential and engrossing." Frieda Murray, Booklist
Celia S. Friedman has been a voracious reader from her earliest days and began writing at the age of thirteen. She studied then taught costume design at university but now writes full-time and teaches a creative writing course at a local high school.