4 magical stars!
YA fantasy author Lisa Maxwell sweeps us up in a tale that transcends time, centered around the streets of New York City, with gangs and magicians.
‘The Last Magician’ is a wonderful blend of magic and time travel. In a city torn apart by those who do not possess an affinity for magic - but seek to control those who do – a magical barrier was created long ago, to trap magicians. In modern day New York City, magic has nearly died out completely.
Our main character, Esta, has trained as a thief her entire life. She is able to use her magical affinity to control time, and with the aid of a gem that enhances her affinity, she can also travel through time. Her teacher and father-figure lays out a course of robberies for her over the years, to accumulate various magical artifacts, in pursuit of an endeavor to change the past and create a more secure future for those with magic.
We first meet Esta in the middle of an exciting heist in 1926. Soon she is sent back from present day NYC to 1901 in order to stop the Magician from stealing the Book. The very same Book she is tasked with bringing into present day in order to change things. However, the gem used to enhance Esta’s affinity cannot exist in two places at the same time, and since it already exists in New York City in the 1901 Esta jumped into, her gem disappears upon arrival. Much of Maxwell’s book consists of following Esta for weeks in 1901, navigating among the mageus of the time, and their gangs.
The story is told through several perspectives; through Esta’s, through the Last Magician’s, and a few others. Transitions are easy to follow, and different points of view during a single heist is sometimes appreciated.
What I enjoyed most about ‘The Last Magician’ was the world building, the magic affinities, and the relationships between the mageus in 1901. I look forward to reading what happens next!
I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.