I could use some help identifying a book I read some time in the last year or so. The book goes between two different stories:

1) A student of magic finds a book in a cave that turns out to be a person transformed into a book. The book talks to the student and they share thoughts. At some point, the student runs away, chase ensues, and at the very end of the book, he manages to travel to another plane.

2) A girl in a religious society where magic is forbidden. She is the daughter of painters. She discovers she can see magic. Falls in love with some random painter, risks performing magic to not be pregnant, does it again so she can, and is arrested and sent to some prison thing.

The common element between the stories is that magic use leaves behind a smudge of some kind that can be visible.

Any assistance is appreciated.

  • Please edit this question's title so that it becomes more descriptive and less generic. You'll attract more readers that way :)
    – Andres F.
    May 27, 2015 at 0:48
  • 1
    Can do. Title updated.
    – Avidan
    May 27, 2015 at 1:25
  • Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey?
    – Frock
    May 27, 2015 at 5:30

1 Answer 1


Is it Trudy Canavan's Thief's Magic?

In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history...

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it...

  • Yes! That sounds exactly like the book I'm looking for! Thank you; this thing has been bugging me for months.
    – Avidan
    May 27, 2015 at 11:26

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