He was a criminal; there could be no real argument. He had committed real crimes in his determination to ensure that Valin’s words were heard. He had not planned to commit assault or theft or impersonation of a watchman; it had all just happened as he proceeded from one step to the next.
Born to a powerful family, with a long history of magic, it’s a wonder that Anrel Murau has no magic of his own. He’s a simple scholar, come back to his home town after four years of studying in the capital city. Everything would seem to be going back to normal.
Until the baker’s son is accused of stealing herbs from the powerful Lord Allutar.
Anrel can’t see any way around the boy being killed- the law clearly states that theives must be executed, and Lord Allutar has need of a death for his spell. When, however, a close friend of his is killed… murdered, in a sense, by the same Lord Allutar, and Anrel swears to get his friend’s words heard, he becomes a criminal, and this time it is he who is wanted to be executed.
“Three needless deaths in half a year, Landgrave, to appease your vanity- have you no shame? no shred of decency or mercy remaining?”
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. (does that not seem to be the first sentence in my reviews?). It was well structured, the main character, the villain- indeed, all the characters, were human. They were believable. The politics of the fantasy land- not unlike those of France, before the revolution- take up most of the book, but are interesting, none the less. I would definitely recommend this book. I would give it five stars (out of five), and would suggest it for anyone happening to be doing the “One Year Adventure Novel” writing program. 

“Other nations regulate their magicians in their own manner,” the burgrave said. His voice was barely audible over the intervening distance. “And does that involve calling their healers?”