Hundreds of years before the great Mage War, a land lies, unknowing, on the edge of catastrophe...
Barl is young and impulsive, but she has a power within that calls to her. In her city, however, only those of noble blood and with the right connections learn the ways of the arcane. Barl is desperate to learn-but her eagerness to use her power leads her astray and she is banned from ever learning the mystic arts.
Morgan holds the key to her education. A member of the Council of Mages, he lives to maintain the status quo, preserve the mage bloodlines, and pursue his scholarly experiments. But Barl's power intrigues him-in spite of her low status.
Together, he realizes they can create extraordinary new incantations. Morgan's ambition and Barl's power make a potent combination. What she does not see is the darkness in him that won't be denied.
You can read this before the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series, or afterwards. I read it after and I liked it that way. I got to see how the mages came to Lur and who Morgan was. But this is a prequel that takes place hundreds of years before the other series so, your choice ;)
In the land of Dorana everyone is a mage. But the Higher families have more power and can go to College. Barl does not belong to the finer families, but she has so much power and potential and she wants to attend a good school. She is an artisan, but she wants so much more. She really should keep that temper in check.
Then we have Morgan who is so absorbed in his work, and who falls hard and fast for her. Well let's call it what it really is, obsession. An obsession that will still echo in the next series.
But these two together is not good. They want to explore new kinds of magic, all while their country is falling apart.
Damn how things went badly here. I mean I knew things would be bad cos I read the series that comes after this book, but still!
This could easily have been an own series too. But I liked it as one book
Paperback, 767 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
Kingmaker, Kingbreaker 0.5