Zabatha, leader and prophet of the Cataris Cult, and most loyal servant of the forbidden god Cataris, discovers in young Marak an exceptional talent for magic. In Carolia, priests and monks can channel their gods' energies and convert them into magic. The prophet would like nothing better than to make Marak his disciple, for having the boy as their pawn could grant the Catarists total domination. Poor Marak is unaware. Worse, he is scarred for life in a way that sets him apart as an adherent of the dreaded Catarists. Fortunately, support comes from an unexpected corner. A high priestess named Verina stands up for Marak and persuades him to undergo the Test, to find out how great his talent really is. This is not without consequence. Against his will, Marak will play a vital part in the game the religious fanatic Zabatha is playing with the world...
Originally published in Dutch, an English translation has been made available in ebook-only editions. Stone later wrote a sequel, the Rune Duology.
Tropes in this series:
- Aerith and Bob: In a world where most people have made-up names, Marak's sister is called... Melissa. There is also a minor character named Tessa.
- Child by Rape: Valdis.
- Church Militant: The second book has the religions of Viguru and Vorg reinstating their military orders.
- Deity of Human Origin: Cataris.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The island of Furka is home to an all-female order of druids, one of their ceremonies involves gathering around a large tree and licking its sap off.
- Druid: An order of all-female druids resides on Furka, which is the counterpart to the all-male monastic order on the mainland.
- Foreshadowing: Marak and Tania encounter the priests of Kadish in the third book. Kadish goes on to play a major role in the sequel duology.
- God of Evil: Cataris.
- Illegal Religion: The cult of Cataris is completely outlawed in Carolia.
- Religion Is Magic: A defining feature of this series. All magic in this world is derived from some form of god.
- Religion of Evil: The cult of Cataris.
- Vow of Celibacy: The abbey of Ava requires this of its monks. Notably, priests of Vorg and Viguru are not required to be celibate.
- Warrior Monk: Marak gradually becomes this, although he is bound by his oath not to kill.