An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.
In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.
Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.
Published by Saga Press on September 26th 2017
Where to Find It: Amazon|B&N|Shop Indie|Goodreads|Shop Local
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Source: Advance Reader Copy
FTC Disclosure: I received access to this book early through Advance Reader Copy (for free) in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Kat Howard’s written an enchanting tale of a people past due for a reckoning over the corruption at the heart of its magic use. The writing is crisp, engaging, and addictive. The characters are fully formed with an intriguing mix of backgrounds and personality types. The story arc is compelling, well thought out and definitely have you picking sides. Sydney is unapologetic, vicious, take no prisoners anti-hero I happily and wholeheartedly rooted for.
A corrupt system of magic is shaken to its foundations when a young woman with tortured past enters the Duels for magical supremacy. She’s focused on vengeance with more than enough personal power to get it. No way can you imagine that the cost would cut so deep.
Seriously, just writing that makes me want to read this book again…
This is one of the few books I’ve read recently that carries a forward-looking theme built around outsiders, outcasts, and otherness without feeling inauthentic or pandering. The diversity of attitudes, social backgrounds, and motives driving her characters felt grounded, gratifyingly necessary and absolutely engrossing.
The harsh rules and the choices made by people in the Unseen World to gain (or retain) power are beautifully juxtaposed against the emotional impact on both them and a seemingly sentient magical force.
Kat Howard doesn’t try to cultivate some false sense of connection intended to “hook” readers. She uses the developing relationship(s) between characters and the truths they must confront to build a compelling magical dilemma that will have far-reaching consequences for them all. I was immediately invested and willing to follow wherever the story led.
I picked it up to read the synopsis and ultimately didn’t move until I finished the entire book; in just under three hours.
Howard’s created an intriguing cast of characters, a fantastic magical world and a young woman badass enough to fully embrace her darkness. Her story swiftly builds to an unexpected climax that’ll have you begging Her to share more tales of this Unseen World.
If you like Leigh Bardugo and/or (but seriously who doesn’t like them both) V. E. Schaub then you need to come and visit in the Unseen World.
This book is the October “Fantastic First” Fantasy Selection at my local indie Mysterious Galaxy. I couldn’t agree more with its selection.
In fact, I loved it so much I just may have to do an ARC Giveaway so I can pass the book love along…