As someone who grew up consuming fantasy novels voraciously, I have read my fair share of books within the genre. While some only mildly amuse me, others manage to transport me from wherever I am, directly into their world. That is the case with Lisa Maxwell’s triumph of a novel, The Last Magician.
From the very first page, I was taken in by the vivid descriptors that this seasoned wordsmith expertly placed together. Seemingly innocent on their own, when put in the hands of this author, they become nothing short of magical. Never did I find it necessary to fabricate images of what something might look like, because with her at the helm of this novel, I easily pictured exactly what she meant for the reader to see.
Hooked within the first few lines, I read from beginning to end in a matter of 48 hours or less. This book swept me up in a whirlwind, and carried me along for the ride. Only when I reached the end, did I manage to pause for air. Overall, if you’re one for action with a tinge of romance, then this book is definitely for you.
World building: 10/10
One pitfall that many writers find themselves in is that they never take the time to explain the world, or there are too many explanations, which detract from the story overall. In this novel, I felt the balance between showing and telling hit the mark perfectly.
After realizing that the novel switched between viewpoints, I became wary of the book for at least a few more chapters. After that, I enjoyed the novel that much more because of it. Each character is well written, with his or her own back story. Each one is woven intricately with each other, and adds depth to the book as a whole.
I say this only because for someone who has read a good bit, I easily deduced a major plot point almost right off the bat. I won’t spoil it, but when you reach that portion of the book, you will understand.
The author seamlessly switched between 1901 New York and modern day. It is apparent that she has done her homework, because almost nothing in this book is glossed over, or left up to the reader’s imagination.
Magic System: 10/10
Lisa Maxwell’s magic system in this novel brought something new to the table, for me at least, as her writing explored a different concept than I’ve come across before. It was like a breath of fresh air to read about it, and never bogged down the story when the explanations did occur.
Sidenote: I also enjoyed how she wove history throughout the whole book.
Overall: 4.85 stars.
To sum it all up, I cannot recommend this book enough. After tearing through the pages so quickly, I am already eager for a reread. I have heard that the author is working on a second one, which excites me endlessly. Next to Harry Potter, I have never felt so in love with a book. That is just about the highest praise I can give.