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FEAST OF SOULS by C.S. Friedman


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Science Fiction Book Club

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Witching folk didn't age and die like normal people. It had always been that way, even in the time, ages past, when the soul-eating ikati broke through to this world. The army of witches that saved humanity knew that destroying the monsters meant destroying themselves, for each time a witch uses her magic—whether to heal a child, cast out a demon or bless a field—she draws upon the soulfire within. And too soon the fuel runs dry.

Not so for Magisters. Masters of true sorcery, their supply seems limitless, for the men—and it is only men—who attain such power can use it freely and not die. No outsider knows whence this immortality springs, and none ever will, for centuries of tricks and obfuscation have kept the terrible secret. A bloodbath would surely ensue if mortal men ever learned the truth.

But now something has happened that puts that secret at risk. Called together from all corners of the world, the Magisters have come to the palace of High King Danton to root out the cause of his son Andovan's strange illness. They sense the unwelcome truth: Andovan is dying—and if Danton discovers why, it may well be the Magisters' undoing.

For a witch named Kamala has risked madness and death to claim a power no woman has ever attained…and in so doing has forged unbreakable chains about Andovan's soul. Intrigued by the novelty of it, the wily Magister Colivar helps Andovan fake his own death in order to find the shadow-woman. As Colivar's spell draws the prince ever closer to the one they seek, other matters vie for Colivar's attention: the murder of a Magister, and the destruction of a land—and the answers behind the mysteries will shake the Magisters to the core…. Jacket art by Michael Whelan. (Approx. 496 pp.) 2007.

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