Magic and the mundane operate in the same but sometimes separate spaces. It’s not like Harry Potter, this author seems to say. Then again, power, revenge, and secrets are universal.
Sidney’s lived her life, if you can call it that, apart from the magical world until she’s somehow able to escape the horrors of her childhood. Her choices will certainly upend the magical establishment and expose uncomfortable truths about what magicians have accepted in order to maintain their status quo. And there is an evil twisting in and through the whole fabric of the magical world. It might destroy it, unless something can stop it. Will she be that something?
I’m not sure it matters that this book is about a magical world. The magic is an elegant, challenging, and complicated thing, but you could translate the story into more realistic settings, and it would simply be a great story about persistence and overcoming institutionalized whatever.
But the magic adds to the beauty and horror of the story. I haven’t stopped thinking about it–about the choices the characters make, how power corrupts, and how good people let things slide or stand up. I can’t always remember what I read last week if I don’t check my own blog postings, so believe me when I say it’s great, people. Don’t miss this one. Neil Gaiman likes it, too.
(Also, even though this book’s in the adult science fiction/fantasy at our library, it would be a great one for older teens.)
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard