An Empire of Sacrifice
The key to magical power is the sacrifice of lifeforce. The greater the pain and suffering, the stronger the generated power. Once, the empire used death to generate that power, but now the Forty have a better way. As the leaders of the empire, the forty work to protect the empire and the emperor. Their generators now produce power through pain and sacrifice, voluntarily offered by the citizens.
As a daughter of Jon of Keat, one of the tribal leaders of the outer kingdoms, she knows the empire. In fact, her father has done what he can to preserve the peace in Keat, while at the same time, sending his sons off to war against the empire’s Iron Mage in the east. Corinne is no stranger to violence. Like her brothers, Corinne learned to fight from her father, but she has never gone to war. That changes when soldiers of the outer kingdoms bring her brother back from the fighting in the east. His body is nearly dead, and the effects are contagious. Now, to save her brother and father, Corinne must go to the Mage of Antoc for help.
Sacrifice is a way of life for him, although he has never had to volunteer. He and his father supply other youth to Myron, the Mage of Antoc, to work in his generator. He is the son of Galen, the landowner of the town of Elden inside the empire. As landowners, Lukas and his father are excited for Myron’s Landowners’ Feast. There, in the Mage’s Hall, they will meet the other wealthy landowners of the empire’s west. Deals and trades will be done. But Lukas soon realizes there are more dangers in the Mage’s Hall and those dangers are directed at Myron and his father.
One of its revealed secrets is that it reportedly shows the locations of the world’s magical veins. With it, the Forty’s generators may become obsolete. It is just what Corinne needs to save her father, and what Lukas needs to save Myron.