Stars Fall Out takes place in a small coastal city dominated by the most prominent university in the northern provinces. The city is under occupation by a vast empire with extensive resources, including people with magical abilities. The catalyst for the bulk of the book’s events is the creation of a new form of magic by one of the university’s professors.
This snippet comes from a scene in which Tirsan ends up listening to that professor’s conspiracy theories. While the professor doesn’t convince him to join him, he does end up being the last straw for Tirsan, who soon writes to his grandfather and asks for a change in the terms that will allow him to inherit land only after he’s finished his studies and found a wife.
Tirsan shrugged, and edged down the street a bit again.
Ghordaa only came closer. “If we come into our own magic, finally, that’s one less way they have to control us. But now, my creation is missing. Even my pencils are missing!”
“Your—you think he took your pencils?”
“Yes! Even those! But it makes sense. How am I supposed to do work of the mind without proper tools?”