The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica Series #1)

The Spirit Lens (Collegia Magica Series #1)

by Carol Berg

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451463739
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Series: Collegia Magica Series , #1
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 834,335
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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. 33 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
VivalaErin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story begins with a *very* distant cousin (Portier, the Collegia's archivist) being summoned by the King Philippe to investigate the attempt on his life as well as his missing conte. Then, after a well-planned family row, the bodies begin appearing. And it is clear they have been killed either because of or by magic. The controversy over magic has been going on for generations, and it threatens to erupt again over the threat to the crown. Everyone is quick to blame the queen, but the librarian is not convinced.I really love Berg, but the first book in any of her series always drags. There is a lot of background for the world and such, so I understand, but I always want to be riveted more than I am. This one dragged, even though there were fairly exciting things going on: murder and magic and court politics and such. It always takes longer for me to get through the first book, so I'm hoping the next books will suck me in more. Portier was a bit hot and cold for me. Sometimes I really loved his cleverness, but other times I wanted to hit him for being so dense and narrow-minded. How can you believe in magic, but not believe in a different version of magic? Once I learned the truth about Illario, he became a much more likeable character. I originally thought there had to be something deeper going on with him, and I was glad to find I was right.I want to know more about Dante. Although his power and intelligence (and extreme rage) showed up throughout this book, I wanted to be inside his head during the investigation, to see the events as he did. There is a great ending to this book. It is a bit of a cliffhanger, even though it's clear Portier's story is pretty much complete (or so it seems to me).
wildlinedesign on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Extremely readable and gripping. Couldn't put this down and am disappointed I'll have to wait until next year for book II of the series.
JanaRose1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Portier de Savin-Duplais is a failed student of magic, in a world where magic is fading and scorned. A distant cousin to the King, he is called upon to investigate a failed assassination attempt on the King¿s life, which is wrapped up in magic. The King saddles him with his brother-in-law, Ilario, a frivolous court decoration, or so it seems. Portier immediately seeks the aid of a mage, Dante, one who is outside of the typical magic circles.More a mystery novel than a fantasy novel, the book takes expected turns as its ¿heroes¿ attempt to uncover the would-be murderer. Stereotypical characters lead to a luke-warm plot, where the mystery can be guessed long before it is actually revealed.
ImLittleJon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the eternity between new books by George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss, I sometimes try a new author, just to fill the space. Usually, the experience serves to confirm my impression that I'm better off waiting or re-reading classics. This time, however, I think I need to expand my list of current authors worth reading to 3 (and this one actually meets deadlines...). Now I have to go read some of her earlier work.Anyway, the strengths of this book are the characterization and the world-building. The characters are sympathetic and richly layered. There were a number of times when reading the book where some aspect of culture - religion, magic, history, politics, economics, etc. - came into play, and I had an aha! moment, realizing how some other aspect of the culture had risen out of this one. I like those moments. Plot-wise, it's almost more murder mystery than epic fantasy, but murder mysteries are good, too.
pmatson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Portier de Savin-Duplais, who studied magic but could not create it, is the librarian for the collegia magica until being tapped for a secret investigation by his royal relative. He must discover the truth behind attempted murder, mysterious disappearances and murky magical resonances. Partnered with a popinjay and a gruff sorceror, he uncovers revelations about himself, his companions, the court and the nature of magic.This is a book worth reading and keeping. Characters are built via slow and careful clues, then surprising revelations. Minor characters return, providing insights on their situations as well as the plot developments. The mystery is explored well, although there seems to be more than can be completely resolved in one book. The world-building is interesting and leaves you wanting to know more. All this makes me want to track down Berg's previous work, as well as continuing with any future books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the writing, the protaginist, the twistings and turnings as the mystery unfolds. Onderful story and characters.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
As always, Carol Berg delivers a strong, original story
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