For five hundred years, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world. Read more...
For five hundred years, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world.
Now, old enemies have revealed the Porters' secrets, and an even greater threat lurks in the shadows. The would-be queen Meridiana, banished for a thousand years, has returned in the body of a girl named Jeneta Aboderin. She seeks an artifact created by Pope Sylvester II, a bronze prison that would grant her the power to command an army of the dead.
Michigan librarian Isaac Vainio is powerless to stop her, having been stripped of his power and his place among the Porters by Johannes Gutenberg himself. But Isaac is determined to regain his magic and to rescue his former student Jeneta. With no magic of his own, Isaac must delve into the darker side of black-market magic, where he will confront beings better left undisturbed, including the sorcerer Juan Ponce de Leon.
With his loyal fire-spider Smudge, dryad warrior Lena Greenwood, and psychiatrist Nidhi Shah, Isaac races to unravel a mystery more than a thousand years old as competing magical powers battle to shape the future of the world. He will be hunted by enemies and former allies alike, and it will take all his knowledge and resourcefulness to survive as magical war threatens to spread across the globe. Isaac's choices will determine the fate of his friends, the Porters, the students of Bi Sheng, and the world.
Only one thing is certain: even if he finds a way to restore his magic, he can't save them all....
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Sharp wit, rapid-fire action, and strong characterization have become Hines's trademarks, and the fourth and final entry in the Magic Ex Libris series (after Unbound) is no exception. Almost a year ago, Michigan mage-librarian Isaac Vainio announced to the world that magic existed, but he didn't anticipate the dramatic fallout. Magically gifted individuals and inhuman creatures have been persecuted by the ignorant and pursued by the greedy. The U.S. government wants to regulate magic and weaponize it at the same time, a plan opposed by Isaac; his organization of magical do-gooders, the Porters; and his employer, research facility New Millennium. After several carefully orchestrated assassination attempts against anti-magic public figures, Isaac realizes he's in the midst of a supernatural civil rights struggle. His goal of showing the world that humans and magic can coexist without fear and danger looks to be unreachable, and no amount of magic pulled from the pages of a book can stop a war. Hines's writing is lyrical and fluid as it unsubtly echoes America's past and present struggles with discrimination. Urban fantasy fans with a bent for social and historical commentary will find this provocative novel thoroughly entertaining. (Mar.)