Last time, on The Magic of the Lost…
Okay, first things first, if you came here by accident, there are spoilers for The Unbroken below the art. This includes an extensive list of people who did not survive to be in The Faithless. So you’ve been warned. What follows below is a very broad strokes summary; which may be further detailed as I feel the need/desire.
Touraine and her fellow Balladairan Colonial Conscripts (aka the Sands) arrive in Qazal, a country occupied fitfully by the Balladairan Empire. Touraine wants to prove herself to her mentor, General Cantic, so that she can earn the promotion to officer that has been heretofore denied the Sands. Princess Luca also arrives at the same time, with the goal to quell the rebellion and earn enough respect to prove to her uncle that she is ready for her throne–which he is generously keeping warm for her. She is also hoping to find the rumored magic gift of healing it’s said existed in the old Shalan Empire.
Things go wrong immediately with the rebels try to assassinate Luca and Touraine helps stop them, which is the first time their paths cross. Shortly after, Touraine is abducted by the rebels for the first time. Though she is rescued by her Sands, Touraine is accused of fraternizing by her shitty Captain Rogan and arrested to face a court martial.
Princess Luca remembers the handsome soldier who saved her life–and who she promised a boon. (Anyways, how could she forget those arms?) When Touraine asks that the debt be repaid, Luca takes her into her household, kits her out in fancy clothes and puts her to work to woo the rebels. Touraine’s Sands are not pleased with this sucking up, especially her best friends Tibeau and Pruett (who is also, at this point, her lover–oops).
At Luca’s orders, Touraine gets to know the leaders of the dissident faction of Qazali: the Apostate (Djasha), the Jackal (Jaghotai), Malika (the spy and seamstress’s daughter), and Saïd (the bookseller). Aranen, (Djasha’s wife), also makes a notable appearance…
Luca and the rebels almost reach a deal that will end the rebellion when Touraine betrays this deal to Cantic in the hopes that Cantic will stop the deal and end the rebel’s hope to fight back, thus saving her Sands from facing the rebel fighters. It backfires, massively. Tibeau is killed in the fighting and Pruett is furious. Touraine is also mortally wounded, shot by Captain Rogan. Djasha the Apostate convinces her wife, a doctor and priestess-healer of the god Shal, to heal Touraine of her wounds so that she can help with the rebellion.
Touraine wakes, uncertain that she wants to be a party to this, but when she isn’t welcomed back by Pruett, she decides to make her own life and death mean something and sides with the rebels. She tries to help in any way she can, which includes…going back to tell Luca that the magic is real and they should make a real deal. No take-backsies.
Luca, who had grieved Touraine for dead even though she knew Touraine betrayed her is not pleased. She tightens her grip on the city to gain favor with the nobles, arresting Qazali priests and doctors to force them to give her their secret magic–including Aranen.
The rebels join forces with Niwai, a priest of the Many-Legged tribes from the neighboring desert. Their magic allows them to commune with animals in such a way that the rebels are able to spread fear and restrict food from the Balladairans, and spread disease. While Balladairan civilians try to flee back to Balladaire, the rebels level one final attack on the Balladairan compound. Djasha the Apostate is able to connect with the killing side of Shal’s magic. Touraine, Djasha, and Jaghotai (oh yeah, who was revealed to be Touraine’s mom!) lead the rebels over the wall to fight and free the prisoners.
Djasha frees Aranen, but knowing her illness is terminal, she wants to try to kill Cantic before she dies. Touraine goes with her to distract Cantic by dueling her. Cantic isn’t fooled; she kills Djasha. Captain Rogan brings out Pruett at gunpoint and forces Touraine and all of the rebels to surrender.
In the prison, Luca begs Touraine to recant and to join her again. Touraine refuses. Touraine is brought before the firing squad and shot, but not killed. When Captain Rogan comes to kill her, Luca places herself between them, but Rogan gets the gun to Touraine’s head anylight. Choking on her life’s blood, Touraine shatters his skull with Shal’s killing magic. Aranen din Djasha is also filled with Shal’s killing magic and unknits General Cantic where she stands. She also considers killing Luca, but grants her mercy. Luca surrenders Qazal back to the Qazali.
The Balladairans who tried to return to Qazal immediately were killed, their ships burned and sank for quarantine measures. Djasha was burned in a funeral. Jaghotai showed Touraine a very large rock. Luca came to say goodbye to Touraine and ask her to come with her, again; Touraine refused, again.
In the following months, Luca sends Touraine a letter. A few letters. Some might be a bit yearny, rather undignified perhaps, but that’s her business. Touraine has yet to decide how to answer them…