The Magic of the Lost
Every Empire Demands Revolution.
Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.
Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.
Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
Content Warnings: depictions of colonial violence, gore, past attempted rape, threats of rape, threats of torture
“Clark’s precise, thorough worldbuilding allows this remarkable novel to dive deep into the intricate workings of colonialism, exposing how power structures are maintained through social conditioning and exploring the emotional toll of political conflict. The result is a captivating story that works both as high fantasy and skillful cultural commentary.” —PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY Starred Review
“This strong debut is filled with exciting action and worldbulding, intriguing characters dealing with themes of colonization, military conscription and indoctrination, and an explosion of feelings. Readers will be clamoring for more of Touraine and Luca before they finish.” —LIBRARY JOURNAL Starred Review
The rebels have won, and the empire is withdrawing from Qazal. But undoing the tangled web that binds the two nations will not be easy, and Touraine and Luca will face their greatest challenge yet.
Luca needs to oust her uncle from the Balladairan throne once and for all and take her rightful place as queen. But he won’t let go of power so easily. When he calls for a “Trial of Competence” and Luca’s allies start disappearing from her side, she will need to prove her might. And she knows someone who can help…
Touraine has made a home in the newly free country of Qazal. But she soon realizes that leading a country and leading a revolution are two very different tasks. Even more importantly, if Luca’s uncle doesn’t ratify the treaty, the Qazali could end up right back where they started.
Together, the two women will have to come overcome their enemies, their history, and their heartbreak to secure Luca’s power and Touraine’s freedom.