I recall reading a book a long time ago which had an interesting concept of magic. Essentially, magic created superhumans by taking the attributes of one person and giving them to another. So, for example, the king had three or four people bound to him magically, each of whom had no physical strength whatsoever because they were giving it to the king. I specifically remember a moment where the newly-coronated king meets the people who had given their mental capacity to his father - the "King's Wits" they were called.
But I can't for the life of me remember what the book(s) were called. I only read the second or third one in a series, and it was ten or fifteen years ago. I recall the cover art included some big non-human creatures with oversized noses. I thought the magic system was interesting, and figured I might like to re-read the book(s). Anybody know what I'm talking about?