The Spirit Lens: A novel of the Collegia Magica by Carol BergThis is the tale of a kingdom where science is supplanting magic. The old and new ways are clashing. Portier de Savin-Duplais is a failed mage who works in the library of the Collegia Magica. He lives a life of perpetual disappointment and simmering anger because he has no magic and is a servant to those who wield power he never will.
When his distant relative the King orders him to investigate trouble in the royal court, Portier embraces the opportunity for excitementt. But in the troubled court Portier uncovers betrayal, violence and unholy sorcery. This is an okay fantasy. The world building is merely okay and some characters are idiots. But still the plot does intrigue enough for me to want to read the sequel 'The Soul Mirror'.
"Ye don't seem a lackwit or craven or mercenary at all."