This question already has an answer here:
The story has two point of views. In the first a farm girl somehow ends up moving to a city, and working for a nobleman. She ends up falling in love with the nobleman's friend and constant companion. The nobleman is working to recover the last secrets of magic, which he believes are hidden in folk stories and songs. He is portrayed as very dedicated to this task, commonly forgetting to eat while he spends hours working. The girl works for him copying the spell manuscripts that the Noble obtains or produces.. At some point the Noble takes on students/apprentices The nobleman thinks that she cannot read and is merely copying the shapes but she can actually read and notices that the manuscripts he gives her to copy have been changed from the original form, specifically the manuscripts intended to give extended life. It seems that the Noble did this maliciously and intends to gain power over his friend and his students.
The girl and the noble's friend plan to escape with the original copies, but the noble's friend never shows up and the girl ends up getting her memory erased by the noble. She ends up living on the streets of the city and eventually opens a cheese shop. She is apparently immortal as she does not age, the apparent effect of the age extending manuscript, and closes and reopens the cheese shop every few decades so no one noticed her lack of aging. The novel ends with some attack? on the city and as she evacuatesone of the noble's students directs her out of the city
The second point of view is that of a boy in the future, many years after the girl was born. Magic has been restored and he goes to the academy to learn it. At the academy all the teachers are the noble's students from the girl's chapters. Life at the academy is very tough and there is intense competition to be the best. The boys end up murdering one of the others for reasons I cannot remember.