I think I read this in the last five years, but I also think it may have been a reread. It was a full-sized novel, I think, with a set of magicians (healers?) dealing with a deadly epidemic in their city that involved high fevers and eventual death. The bit I'm remembering is where they find the source of the plague (maybe by tracking its spread to an epicenter?) and it turns out to be the result of a magician trying to develop a weight loss tonic, and improperly dumping their waste. If I recall correctly, the fever was supposed to stay low grade, consuming additional calories, but the dumped waste wound up mixing with some bacteria, virus, or fungi in the sewer system, becoming an actual virulent disease and the pathogen, being partly birthed by magic, wanting to improve (higher fever and more virulent). I remember it being a medieval fantasy world, but with an increasing amount of scientific thinking being introduced (they understood that sicknesses were caused by something like bacteria, and use modern methods of tracking the spread of the disease, and properly isolating people). I think the study of the pathogen was a mix of isolating samples using glass sides and orbiting microscopes, and using magic to study and maybe even communicate with the pathogen.

The book was in English, and given my usual reading habits lately, was almost certainly an electronic book. It might have been YA literature. I consume a faire amount of that.


1 Answer 1


This is Briars Book, aka The Healing In The Vine, by Tamora Pierce. It's the fourth and last book of her Circle Of Magic series.

I can't add any more details, the poster has covered everything. Briar is a boy who is a plant-mage. His mentor, Rosethorn, catches the plague, and he goes to Death's garden to persuade her to come back to living.


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