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The Thirteenth Month by Elizabeth Hunter
Series: Seba Segel #1
Published by Self-Published on May 23, 2023
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Time is the most fluid medium in the universe; humans are its most replaceable element."
There are rules for traveling:
A mage must never go forward.
Keep the secrets of the order in all times.
And never, ever travel during the thirteenth month.
Born into a powerful mage family, Narine Anahid Khoren is a time traveler whose life is constantly in flux. Since committing to the order of the Seba Segal at fourteen, she’s spent her life traveling through history, trying to make a difference and sacrificing her life in the present for one jumping through the past.
But while the world in 2071 has moved forward, the ancient order of the Seba Segel have become ever more archaic. The secret sect founded by astronomer priests has passed its magic to thousands of generations, perfecting the secrets of divination and time travel, while also amassing power, influence, and riches.
Change is on the horizon, and some in the order would do anything to stop it from coming. When one of the highest laws of mage travel is broken in the thirteenth month, Narine, her friends, and one unsuspecting professor will have to scour history to set the timeline right.
What can I say? Another excellent read from Elizabeth Hunter. I am not a fan of time travel, so it took me a bit to get my head around the first couple time jumps, but that happened pretty fast. I loved this story. The world is rich with complex magic, well drawn characters and lots of cultural aspects.
The Thirteenth Month is the start of a new series set in Ethiopia about 40 years in the future, and also many times in the past. There are a variety of mages in the Seba Segel who help advise governments and leaders throughout time to save lives as they can. There are mages who are diviners (look at futures), alchemists, hedge mages, weavers and travelers. We learn a bit about the different magics.
Narine is a traveler from a family of travelers. I really liked her as we got to know her. She certainly made some mistakes though. These mistakes, and the fact her mother is pretty independent, make her not a favorite of the council. The council decides when traveling should happen, and is worth the risk.
I’m not going to spoil the story but it’s Narine’s life over about a six year period and how she gets stuck in the past. It has a huge impact on her life, her family and time itself. It’s frightening because women in the past are just not always treated well. Or rather men in any time period seem to think they should make all the decisions and have all the control. But her power and knowledge is exciting. I’m so glad this is the start of a new series and can’t wait to read more.
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