8

She belongs to a family where witchcraft is hereditary. These families are quite rare. Their fantasy world is quite similar to our real world and magic has very little power but is pursued by law. Her witchcraft is very occasional and more like a psychic power. She is forced to flee her home accompanied by her young friend-lover and they travel through several countries that all have a strong similarity to the Europe of the 16th or 17th centuries.

The most interesting character in all the novel is never seen. He is a kind of prince, political reformer and heretic whose many triumphs and failures to change the system have strongly influenced all countries by which the young couple travel. At the end of the novel news arrive that this prince has achieved a great military victory.

I read this novel about 1980 but I cannot tell when it was written. I reckon his style was a bit archaic but it was a lot more elegant than the usual pulp stories.

  • 1
    I know you answered the question already, but just had to say that there are a lot of similarities to the Tir Alainn books by Anne Bishop (1st book). – eshier Feb 5 '18 at 20:15
  • @eshier Thanks for the suggestion. Of course, I'm pretty sure my answer is correct. ;) – Ginasius Feb 6 '18 at 18:07
4

It's "The Blue Star" by Fletcher Pratt.

Some american and spanish editions of the novel.

I apologize for not giving a better summary in my question. This is a summary made by gleaning several comments made in Goodreads.

There are witches; they are women, and they inherit it from their mothers. This is fairly normal. The first man they have sex with gains, if the witch gives them their hereditary blue star, the ability to read the mind of anyone by looking into their eyes.

There are revolutionaries who want Rodvard Bergelin to seduce Lalette Asterhax and so gain the blue star from her, so as to help the revolution.

Also, there’s a framing sequence about a group of three men discussing parallel worlds and then dreaming this story while they sleep.

Lots of complex political conspiracies go on and everyone seems to be trying to use everyone else for the advancement of their own power and political advantage.

I had forgotten many important details, such as that the framing device directly explaining that they are in a parallel universe, or that the leitmotif of history was that the development of magic had prevented the development of science, or the relationship between witchcraft and lovers. Curiously, the most charismatic character in my eyes has been forgotten in the abstract, just as I had forgotten almost all the other details of this smart but not very memorable novel.

Incidentally, the charismatic (and heretic) character that caught my eye is Prince Pavinius, the former Prophet of Mancherei.

  • 1
    :) You can accept your own answer, of course. How did you find it in the end? – FuzzyBoots Feb 2 '18 at 16:33
  • @FuzzyBoots Sheer luck. I recognized the cover of the book when I was looking for images about astronomy. – Ginasius Feb 2 '18 at 16:57
  • 1
    Ah, cool. COngrats of finding it! – FuzzyBoots Feb 2 '18 at 18:07

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