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The Last Magician

Review

The Last Magician

Lisa Maxwell, the bestselling author of UNHOOKED, crafts a new mystifying tale in THE LAST MAGICIAN, the first installment of a new fantasy and historical fiction duology.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The few left with any affinity for magic --- the Mageus --- are forced to hide their powers in fear of the Order, who vow to destroy all those with magic. For years, the Order has trapped the remaining few Mageus in Manhattan by creating the Brink: a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing the Brink means losing not only their powers, but also their lives. 

Ever since she was young, Esta has trained to become the ultimate Mageus thief by stealing magical artifacts from the Order. All of her work has been in preparation for her final heist of traveling back in time to 1902, where she’ll have to steal an ancient book that contains the secrets of the Brink before it is destroyed forever by the mysterious Magician. Old New York is a dangerous city full of ruthless gangs and secret societies, though, and Esta has her work cut out for her when she comes across the Magician himself. In order for Esta to save her future, she’ll have to betray everyone in the past.

"I was surprised by Maxwell’s diverse and complex cast of characters who really stole the show. With its dark yet enticing setting, enigmatic characters and enthralling plot, THE LAST MAGICIAN will leave readers yearning for a little taste of this magical world."

THE LAST MAGICIAN was a complete whirlwind to read as it was so puzzling trying to figure out who to trust, because everyone in this novel has ulterior motives. I was surprised by Maxwell’s diverse and complex cast of characters who really stole the show. In the first half of the novel, there were so many things going on at once that it took a really long time to get into the story, but once I reached that point, the novel picked up speed and intensity immensely. I was beyond impressed with the ending and how well everything wrapped up. Maxwell did leave off with a big plot twist that I did not see coming at all, but it sets up perfectly for the sequel, which I am really looking forward to now.

I wouldn’t exactly call Esta the most likable of main characters due to her tendency to make reckless decisions without any regard for others; however, I admired her strength as a female character. She makes it very clear to everyone around her that she isn’t some damsel in distress and can hold her own in a time period where women aren’t really respected. Out of all the perspectives followed throughout the novel, hers was definitely my favorite one to read as she always managed to keep it charming.

There is some romance hinted at throughout the novel; however, it never gets fully fleshed out, which was somewhat of a disappointment. I completely shipped the main relationship in this novel between Esta and the Magician as their intense chemistry was insane. Their relationship starts off rocky in the beginning due to their mutual dislike of each other, but as the story progresses, they begin to develop a compelling and genuine connection with one another. I was a bit sad in the end since most of their feelings towards one another remain unresolved, and a lot has been left to the sequel.

I really loved the magical aspects of this novel. The entire history of the Maegus was fascinating, and I was enchanted when learning all about each Maegus’ unique power. I have to admit that some of the magical terminology and explanations went completely over my head at times due to how vague the writing was, but nonetheless, Maxwell creates an intriguing, vivid world that has left me wanting to visit the magical world of old New York. Additionally, I adored the time traveling aspect of this novel as I’m a complete sucker for time travel stories, and THE LAST MAGICIAN was by no means an exception to this.

Full of intrigue and mystery, THE LAST MAGICIAN is perfect for fans of the Passenger and Six of Crows duologies. With its dark yet enticing setting, enigmatic characters and enthralling plot, THE LAST MAGICIAN will leave readers yearning for a little taste of this magical world.

Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member on July 27, 2017

The Last Magician
by Lisa Maxwell