The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica Series #1)

The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica Series #1)

4.1 27
by Carol Berg
     
 

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Reduced to tending the library at Sabria's last collegia magica, Portier de Savin-Duplais, failed student of magic, fights off despair with scholarship. But when the King of Sabria charges him to investigate an attempted murder that has disturbing magical resonances, Portier believes his dreams of a greater destiny might at last be fulfilled.

Overview

Reduced to tending the library at Sabria's last collegia magica, Portier de Savin-Duplais, failed student of magic, fights off despair with scholarship. But when the King of Sabria charges him to investigate an attempted murder that has disturbing magical resonances, Portier believes his dreams of a greater destiny might at last be fulfilled.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this superbly realized leadoff to Berg’s quasi-Renaissance fantasy trilogy, natural science, backed by Sabria’s King Philippe, is gaining popularity, leading some magicians to attempt his assassination. Failed mage and self-doubting librarian Portier de Savin-Duplais is chosen by Philippe, his distant cousin, to secretly probe a treacherous plot that involves his beloved queen. With fellow “agents confides” Ilario, an inane chevalier, and Dante, a ferocious renegade sorcerer, Portier embarks on an intricate quest to save king and kingdom. As in her widely praised Breath and Bone, Berg shapes the well-worn elements of epic fantasy into a lush, absorbing narrative. Even her minor characters, caught up in fiendish plots and deathly secrets, ring regally true, and Portier oscillates between rueful, reluctant, ethics-bending service and painful but necessary revelations while his old world collapses and a new one struggles to be born. (Jan.)
Library Journal
A strong supporter of science over magic, the King of Sabria appoints a failed wizard, a flamboyant knight-courtier, and a brooding rogue magus to investigate his own near murder. Is his wife behind the attack? Set in a world in which the implacable laws of science war with the resonances of magical power for supremacy, Berg's novel is rich with vivid characters and unforgettable places. VERDICT The author of the "Lighthouse" series (Flesh and Spirit; Breath and Bone) and the Rai-Kirah series (Transformation; Restoration; Revelation) spins an infectiously enjoyable series opener that fans of thought-provoking fantasy and intriguing mystery should appreciate.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451463739
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Series:
Collegia Magica Series , #1
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
546,649
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Though Colorado is home, Carol Berg's roots are in Texas, in a family of teachers, musicians, and railroad men. She has degrees in mathematics from Rice University and computer science from the University of Colorado, but managed to squeeze in minors in English and art history along the way. She has combined a career as a software engineer with her writing, while also raising three sons. She lives with her husband at the foot of the Colorado mountains.

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The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Ronin27 More than 1 year ago
Berg has an artistry to her writing that draws you in and envelopes you in her characters and their world... as pleasurable and succulent as an expensive meal served with a fine wine... a writer's writer...
Indil More than 1 year ago
Once again, Carol Berg has created a world with believable magical and political systems and wonderful characters. Though some of the "secrets" are obvious or predictable, her characters always have depth that easily overcomes any shortcomings, and her writing is compelling. I was torn between reading it all as quickly as possible and slowing down to allow myself to savor every sentence. Well done! When's the next one coming?
harstan More than 1 year ago
The world of sorcery and magic may be coming to an end as increasingly historians and philosophers as well as King Philippe of Sabria turn to natural science for answers. When the ruler begins to close the collegia magica, the faculty and staff picture a threat to their lucrative way of life. Many of the mages believe assassinating the monarch will end this nonsense. Portier de Savin-Duplais has failed at everything he has attempted including flunking out as a magic student. He gets by with cheap tricks and illusions as he knows he cannot charm a flea to live on a dog; instead he is a low life curator at the last collegia magica in Sabria. However, a despondent Portia battling depression is stunned when his cousin a zillion or so blood lines apart, King Philippe assigns him with the investigation into what the monarch thinks is a plot to murder him. Portier is euphoric as he feels his greatness will be fulfilled although his companions Ilario the chevalier and Dante the rogue sorcerer seem to keep tearing down his superego. This is a super opening to what looks like a great alternate Renaissance fantasy. The cast is strong regardless of their significance, but especially the lead protagonist who seems like he suffers from Bipolar disorder and his zany companions. Fans will appreciate this strong beginning as science and sorcery collide when three undercover agents investigate the divine and unholy collision of murder, magic, and physics. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
As always, Carol Berg delivers a strong, original story
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