“Action-packed and fast-paced…will appeal to fans of the ‘39 Clues.’” —School Library Journal on The Magician’s Fire
Young Harry Houdini is a master magician, an impressive performance artist who dazzles crowds with his daring feats. But when Harry and his friends Billie and Arthur are called to New Orleans by the mysterious Order of the White Crow, the trio is faced with magic of an entirely different kind.
Whispers of voodoo and demonic spells rip through the streets as the city’s mayor continues to suffer from a strange, zombified coma. What’s more, the town is turning blame on the local fisherman—the very community that helped raise Billie. But it soon becomes clear there are other evils at play, and the three friends know something even more sinister is afoot.
To save the city from this truly terrifying evil, Harry will be forced to pull off his most spectacular escape yet!
Praise for The Magician’s Fire:
“A fast paced mystery. Middle-grade readers [...] will gallop through this spellbinder.” —Kirkus
“Nicholson smoothly blends Houdini’s prowess as an escape artist with his fictional hero’s sleuthing skills as he tracks down a missing elderly magician... A cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly
Solid characterization, action galore and several villains
Heavy on action and adventure and less of the illusionist tricks that I was expecting, the second book in the Young Houdini series takes Harry and his two friends off to 1880’s New Orleans in an unusual manner. Drugged and placed in trunks, they wake to find a note telling them they are needed to fight an evil.
Harry, Artie and Billie are all very compelling characters with strong personalities with the friendship between the three being well defined and convincing. I was never confused as Nicholson explained earlier events from the first book, with the references and ‘remember whens’ being well explained without boring readers familiar with the first.
In this story, the action takes place in New Orleans, with the Order of the White Crow at the center of the mystery and strange events. Several possible villains appear, each with a plausible purpose and potential to be ‘the’ ringleader, and while several are dismissed, the arc works to keep readers guessing and discovering along with the readers.
Solid characterization, action galore and several villains that range from mildly to thoroughly nasty, the story has plenty to amuse. While I had some issues with historical accuracy of New Orleans of the day, this shouldn’t be a huge hang up for the intended audience of middle-grade readers.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.