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The Spirit Lens (The Collegia Magica, Book 1)

Written by Carol Berg

Average Score: 68(6)

In a kingdom on the verge of a grand renaissance, where natural science has supplanted failing sorcery, someone aims to revive a savage rivalry...

For Portier de Savin-Duplais, failed student of magic, sorcery's decline into ambiguity and cheap illusion is but a culmination of life's bitter disappointments. Reduced to tending the library at Sabria's last collegia magica, he 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.

As the king's new agente confide, Portier - much to his dismay - is partnered with the popinjay Ilario de Sylvae, the laughingstock of Sabria's court. Then the need to infiltrate a magical cabal leads Portier to Dante, a brooding, brilliant young sorcerer whose heretical ideas and penchant for violence threaten to expose the investigation before it's begun. But in an ever-shifting landscape of murders, betrayals, old secrets, and unholy sorcery, the three agentes will be forced to test the boundaries of magic, nature, and the divine...

Book Details

Paperback, 480 Pages
Published by Roc Trade on January 05, 2010
ISBN-10 0451463110
ISBN-13 978-0451463111


Fantasy Book Critic | Liviu Suciu
Review Rating: 80
...a lot of action, daring escapes, plots and counter plots so The Spirit Lens does not lag at all once it gets going...
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Library Journal | Jackie Cassada
Review Rating: 80
...an infectiously enjoyable series opener that fans of thought-provoking fantasy and intriguing mystery should appreciate.
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Publishers Weekly
Review Rating: 80
...superbly realized leadoff to Berg's quasi-Renaissance fantasy trilogy...
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Fantasy Literature | Marion Deeds
Review Rating: 60
This world felt stuck halfway between an original universe and an alternate-reality France, and this tugged me out of the story in spite of myself.
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SFRevu | Mel Jacob
Review Rating: 60
Berg keeps the pages turning and takes Portier and the team from crisis to crisis.
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Fantasy Literature | Beth Johnson
Review Rating: 50
I thought it was an interesting premise, though it didn't come through strongly enough for me.
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