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Literature / Collegia Magica

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The Collegia Magica is an epic fantasy trilogy by award-winning author Carol Berg. It consists of

  • The Spirit Lens (2010)
  • The Soul Mirror (2011)
  • The Daemon Prism (2012)

Portier de Savin-Duplais, fifteenth cousin to the King of Sabria and failed student of magic is grateful for his position as librarian at the Collegia Seravain, the last remaining School of Magic in the country since the Blood Wars two hundred years ago that wiped out half the country's magic-users, scientists, and nobles. Magic is in decline; the educated believe magic to be no more than charlatanry and King Phillippe vociferously pursues the sciences.

So when Phillippe survives an assassination attempt that cannot be explained, there's only one person to turn to...


Collegia Magica provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents
  • Action Girl: Anne de Vernase in The Soul Mirror
  • All Myths Are True: All of the talk of magic, saints, gods, and the afterlife is true, despite widespread skepticism. Also Dante emphasizes that even beliefs that aren't true have value in magical study.
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Awful Truth: No one actually makes it through Ixtador to Heaven.
  • Badass Bookworm: All the main players, though Portier especially.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Blessed with Suck
  • Blood Magic: Less scrupulous mages will bleed people with magical talent to augment their own power.
  • Call to Adventure: Given Portier's history and current situation, most of the tropes in this index apply.
  • The Chessmaster: The Aspirant
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Exemplified by Ilario de Sylvae.
  • The Dandy: Ilario, full stop.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Portier has his moments, often directed at himself.
  • Demonic Possession
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Not so desperate by the time the story begins, but that's after Portier has had to face his 'failure' every day for the past 9 years.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Portier has never been lucky with women, in large part because of his family circumstances, despite being a nice person.
  • Feuding Families: The Mondragons vs the Gautieri
  • Fiery Redhead: Lianelle de Vernase
  • Functional Magic: Though most people seem to have lost sight of how it properly functions.
  • Geometric Magic
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Eugenie is obsessed with magic, to the point of there being rumors of necromancy, and all evidence points to her being behind the assassination attempt on Phillippe. subverted in that she is completely loyal to and in love with her husband and it turns out she is not in any way a political mastermind.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Dante's mangled right hand is one of the first things people notice about him.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Dante will probably snap at you regardless of what you're doing.
  • Heroic Sacrifice
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia
  • Living Lie-Detector
  • Magic A Is Magic A: As taught at the Collegia Serevain... even then, it doesn't always work.
  • Magic Staff: Dante is never without it.
  • Mind Manipulation
  • The Mole Dante involves himself so deeply in enemy plans that even his allies think he's switched sides. More than once.
  • Mysterious Past: The readers, and key members of the cast, learn nothing of Dante's past until The Daemon Prism.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Portier uses this to slip into King Philippe's court, acting like an oaf to deflect serious - and potentially dangerous - attention away from him and garner some sympathy. It's a bit more effective than he intended. Ilario, meanwhile, all but personifies this trope.
    “I learned very young that elders pay no mind to idiot children. They don’t lock them away. They don’t murder them in their beds and call it childhood flux. They allow them to stay close to those they care about.”
  • Power Tattoo: Members of magically talented families are required to bear a tattoo of their family device on the back of the left hand, whether they themselves are magically inclined or not. Dante is the only mage who lacks this marking, to the chagrin of the Collegia Serevain.
  • Promotion to Parent: Anne de Vernase becomes the head of her household after her father is branded a traitor, her mother goes mad, and her brother is imprisoned.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Xanthe is several centuries old, but seems to have mentally and emotionally stopped developing somewhere in her teenage years. Add to that a lot of anger and a huge desire for power.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dante and Portier respectively.
  • Regular Caller: Portier, if Ilario and the Cult of the Reborn are to be believed.
  • Screening the Call
  • Shoot the Dog
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Averted. Geurin refuses Lianelle's invitation whilst she's a student, and waits for her to take her adept exam. And then she dies.
  • Telepathy
  • Take a Third Option
  • Unexpected Successor: Phillippe to Soren.
  • Un-Sorcerer: Portier has magical potential through the Savin bloodline, but can't work any magic himself no matter how hard he tries. At first.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Portier wonders at Dante's actions often.
  • Wizarding School: The Collegia Serevain
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Dante tries to do the right thing and walks right into his role as an avatar for the Souleater.