Title: The Last Magician
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Series: The Last Magician #1
Published: July 18th, 2017 (Simon Pulse)
Synopsis: Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.
In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic – the Mageus – live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power – and often their lives.
Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order – and the Brink – before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.
But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
This book was not on my TBR pile for 2017 initially, but it looked so interesting in my recommendations, that I just had to try it – and I did not regret it at all!
The Last Magician opens in New York, at the turn of the 20th century, where a heist is in progress. In this city, those with the ability to wield magic – the Mageus – hide their talents to escape persecution from the Order who hunts them for having ‘wild’ magic. Manhattan itself is surrounded by a dark energy called the Brink and once a Mageus enters, attempting to cross it to leave has life threatening consequences.
Our main character Esta is a Mageus who can travel through time. Trained by the kindly professor who took her in from the streets, all her training has been for one purpose: to travel back to 1902 and bring back the Ars Arcana, a valuable book that holds the secrets of the Order – and one that may just have a way to destroy the Brink.
In modern day New York, there is information of an attempted heist in 1902, where a group of Mageus infiltrated Khafre Hall, the Order’s headquarters, to steal the Ars Arcana, but it failed to due to the Magician stealing it himself. Now Esta must join this group and win their trust – and make sure the Magician is not successful. 1902 Manhattan is a dangerous place, controlled by gangs and it is one of these very gangs who are behind this heist. Esta fits in remarkably well with them as she works to win their trust. Esta, Dolph, Harte, Viola, Nibs – all of them are complex characters and it is fascinating to follow each of their stories and thoughts. My favourite character however, turned out to be Harte. He was so multi-dimensional and his character is beautifully developed throughout. The multiple points of view are very well written, and not confusing at all. The world building is seamlessly woven into the plot which is something I particularly liked, and the writing was quite good too.
Although the book is on the long side and the initial chapters drag on, once the adventure begins, it’s a roller coaster from then on! Definitely worth the read, especially for fans of Six of Crows. After that twist at the end, I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel!
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