It is rare for me to read a book twice, but I have with Celia Friedman's fantasy novel Feast of Souls.
This is the first book in Friedman’s ‘Magister Trilogy’, and it is an absolutely thrilling and captivating read. Second time round did not dampen my enthusiasm for this book.I had to reread it because the second book in the trilogy, Wings of Wrath has just come out.
Feast of Souls is set in a kingdom ruled by King Danton Aurelius, whose youngest son is dying from an unknown illness. Magisters (otherwise known as magicians) are gathered around in a special meeting to work out what to do. Meanwhile a young female, Kamala, is set to become the first woman to transition to a magister and shock the patriarchal world of magisters.
I'm not going to give anything else more away - but needless to say there is magic, sorcery, battles, kings, queens and princes involved!
Friedman introduces an interesting moral and ethical element into her story as magisters get their power and immortality from feeding off human’s souls – their consorts. Humans are denied the knowledge of this truth.
There are several narratives at play, but they are intertwined seamlessly. The characters are fully developed and the narrative drives a page turning pace.
It is a standout read and I am eagerly awaiting my copy of Wings of Wrath to arrive. Disappointly my library does not have the second book or actually any of Friedman's other novels. I even checked Borders and they didn’t stock it!
Thank god for the internet - I ordered my book of Fishpond.com.au, a great site I've used before to get hard to find books.