Here's the thing. I should know better by now than to start a trilogy in which all of the books have not yet been written. Seriously. How many times must I do this to myself? Katahleen Duey's first novel in her A Resurrection of Magic series was quite wonderful. And now I have to wait until August for the second book to come out and then who knows how long for the end. Something to look forward to I guess.
Skin Hunger is told from two perspectives: the third person narrated story of Sadima, a teenage girl who can communicate with animals and whose life was difficult from birth as her mother was left to die by a "magician" who told her father she could help the laboring woman. With her protective brother and emotionally absent father as her only companions, lonely Sadima is thrilled when Franklin, a young man who understands her magic finds her and asks her to come to the city when she is ready to embrace her talent.
The other thread takes place centuries later. It is Haph's first person account of his time at the academy of magic - a truly horrible place where ten boys are brought and told that only one will emerge from the academy a wizard - and the rest may not survive at all. Haph is angry at his father, terrified of the wizards, and has to endure incredible, abusive trials to what end he has no idea.
Intertwining the lives of these two teenagers is Somiss - a nobleman obsessed with magic and deciphering its origin. He is Franklin's master and Franklin's kind spirit is a dramatic foil to Somiss's maniacal obsession and cruelty.
Ooooh this was a good one. Darn trilogies.