The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso (Swords and Fire #1)
In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.
Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.
Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations. But fate has bound the heir and the mage.
War looms on the horizon. A single spark could turn their city into a pyre.
TITLE: The Tethered Mage
AUTHOR: Melissa Caruso
LENGTH: 425 pages
Partial Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Secondary Character(s), Gay/Achillean Secondary Character(s).
DNF 66% in.
I just couldn't get into this. I couldn't relate to the emotional tension for the main character because the system is clearly evil and it feels like she'll get to that conclusion eventually but not soon enough for me. It's fantasy with a pretty loosely described magic system and I prefer things more defined.
CW for bullying, kidnapping, physical abuse, emotional abuse, violence, gun violence, fire/fire injury, suicide (brief mention), murder, death.