Hugo winner Jim C. Hines's hilarious and clever Magic ex Libris series, where books come alive and libriomancer Isaac Vainio combats magical threats that spring from the page
“Superior worldbuilding.” —Charlaine Harris • “Really, really clever.” —Patrick Rothfuss • “Magic librarian and ass-kicking dryad adventure story we’ve all been waiting for.” —Seanan McGuire
When Isaac Vainio helped to reveal magic to the world, he dreamed of a utopian future, a new millennium of magical prosperity. One year later, things aren’t going quite as he’d hoped.
An organization known as Vanguard, made up of magical creatures and ex-Porters, wants open war with the mundane world. Isaac’s own government is incarcerating “potential supernatural enemies” in prisons and internment camps. And Isaac finds himself targeted by all sides.
It’s a war that will soon envelop the world, and the key to victory may lie with Isaac himself, as he struggles to incorporate everything he’s learned into a new, more powerful form of libriomancy. Surrounded by betrayal and political intrigue, Isaac and a ragtag group of allies must evade pursuit both magical and mundane, expose a conspiracy by some of the most powerful people in the world, and find a path to a better future.
But what will that futures cost Isaac and the ones he loves?
Sharp wit, rapid-fire action, and strong characterization have become Hines's trademarks, and the fourth and final entry in the Magic Ex Libris series (after Unbound) is no exception. Almost a year ago, Michigan mage-librarian Isaac Vainio announced to the world that magic existed, but he didn't anticipate the dramatic fallout. Magically gifted individuals and inhuman creatures have been persecuted by the ignorant and pursued by the greedy. The U.S. government wants to regulate magic and weaponize it at the same time, a plan opposed by Isaac; his organization of magical do-gooders, the Porters; and his employer, research facility New Millennium. After several carefully orchestrated assassination attempts against anti-magic public figures, Isaac realizes he's in the midst of a supernatural civil rights struggle. His goal of showing the world that humans and magic can coexist without fear and danger looks to be unreachable, and no amount of magic pulled from the pages of a book can stop a war. Hines's writing is lyrical and fluid as it unsubtly echoes America's past and present struggles with discrimination. Urban fantasy fans with a bent for social and historical commentary will find this provocative novel thoroughly entertaining.