Devilishly clever. Stunningly consistent world-building. And wow! That ending.
This book is a prequel to The Keeper and the Rulership and The Weeds Within the Rulership.
Sixteen-year-old Tevan can’t wait to acquire enough status to marry his childhood sweetheart, Ainlin. So, although he is a little uncomfortable at the prospect of leaving his own family, he jumps at the chance to become the heir of the family’s landowner. This causes an immediate increase in his status. In the Rulership, status apparently fulfills the function of currency.
Tevan also has a natural talent for magic. He can perform magic even though he hasn’t taken the oath for magic. If he took the oath for magic, he would have to renounce his status.
“I’m wanted for two death crimes now, Ainlin,” I said. “Landowner use of magic and thought manipulation. I’m not sure the first one ought to be a death crime, but I’m sure the second one should. There’s no way the magistrate is going to give up looking for us. And what if I get tempted to do it again? I didn’t even try to resist the temptation. I may not have deserved the death penalty before, but I do now.”
Sorensen, Emily Martha. The Magic or the Rulership (The End in the Beginning Book 4) (Kindle Locations 1205-1209). Kindle Edition.
While learning how to fulfill his responsibilities as a landowner, Tevan learns that is illegal for a landowner to use magic. Later on, after the landowner has died and Tevan has married Ainlin, he checks into the oath for buying land and finds that renouncing magic is part of it. This puts his mind at ease, since once he renounces magic, he won’t have it anymore, and won’t be tempted to use it.
My mind whirled. I’d thought I’d had a talent. I hadn’t realized I had a curse.
No, I didn’t have a curse. The world had a curse.
Sorensen, Emily Martha. The Magic or the Rulership (The End in the Beginning Book 4) (Kindle Locations 1615-1617). Kindle Edition.
However, it is when he attempts to take the oath for buying land that things begin to go horribly wrong – just as he gets to the point where he is to renounce magic. The magistrate’s magicians attempt to take him into custody. Tevan tries to get away, but one of the magicians insists that anything Tevan can do, he can do better. And he is winning the magic battle until Tevan does the really bad thing, the thing he agreed all along was wrong and deserving of the death penalty. He manipulate’s the other magician’s thoughts. This time when they catch him, he and Ainlin are sent to the capital to be judged by the ruler.
Cover image from Goodreads.
Title: The Magic or the Rulership
Author: Emily Martha Sorensen
Format: Kindle edition
Genre: Teen and Young Adult/ Fantasy/ Coming of Age