2007’s Feast of Souls is the first volume in C. S. Friedman’s Magister Trilogy.
The reality of magic is this: magic consumes life force. To practice magic means shortening one’s lifespan. Consequently, prudent witches use their magic judiciously, knowing that each spell brings them closer to a premature death. Magisters have what they feel is a better solution: they draw magic from their so-called consorts. Magisters can cast as much magic as they like, confident that while someone is going to die, it won’t be them. Even better, the link between magister and consort is world-spanning and apparently random, so magisters hardly ever know their living batteries.
Conscious that non-magisters would likely be displeased if they knew how magister magic is fueled, magisters keep the magister-consort phenomenon secret. Instead, they explain away consort deaths as a mysterious wasting disease.
Andovan’s terminal case of wasting is a problem. Andovan’s father King Danton has the determination, wealth, and power to ask questions about wasting that magisters very much want not to be asked.
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