Book Review: An Unkindness of Magicians

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An Unkindness of Magicians
by Kat Howard

Every so often a book comes along that makes you want to hide away in your room and read it long into the night until you reach the final page. An Unkindness of Magicians had that special feeling right from the first few pages, drawing the reader in to the complicated magical world author Kat Howard created.

Deep in the heart of New York City, families of wealthy, powerful magicians live in their Houses, unknown to the human world. Only one House at a time serves as the head of their community and the time has come for the Turning – an intense battle of magic that one by one pits the different Houses against each other until a champion prevails.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, a terrible place that controls all the magic in the unseen world and thrives on cruel sacrifices from the Houses. Fueled by revenge and a desire to take down the dark magic that courses through her world, she signs a contract to fight for House Prospero. Twists and turns abound as the conflicts between the Houses builds to an unpredictable end.

Not only is the story completely engrossing, but it’s also beautifully written. There are several plot lines going and it takes a few pages to learn who goes with which House, but the complexity of the characters really adds to the overall story. These magicians are incredibly flawed and gritty; had this been a grown up Harry Potter story, most of them probably would have been sorted into Slytherin.

Sadly, An Unkindness of Magicians is a stand alone novel and while it’s a real treat to find such an entertaining book that’s not part of a series, a part of you is left wanting more. Hopefully, someday the story will continue.

Five out of Five stars. Best book of 2017 (so far).

For fans of: The Magicians, darker Harry Potter and secret magical worlds.

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