Lisa Maxwell is the author of The Last Magician, Unhooked, Sweet Unrest, and The Gathering Deep. She grew up in Akron, Ohio, and has a PhD in English. She's worked as a teacher, scholar, editor, writer, and bookseller (at Little Professor Book Center in Alabama). When she's not writing books, she's a professor at a local college. She now lives near Washington, DC, with her husband and two sons. You can follow her on Twitter @LisaMaxwellYA or learn more about her upcoming books at Lisa-Maxwell.com.
Gangs, immigrants, and the rich keeping the poor down, with a twist. In an alternate New York, magic is wielded by the Mageus, whose innate affinities vary widely, and the Order, who disdain but use magic in rituals that limit the Mageus' freedom. For centuries, Mageus have entered but cannot leave Manhattan thanks to the Brink, a magical barrier surrounding the island. Esta's affinity involves manipulating time, and the professor who raised her has sent her from the present day to 1901 to stop the destruction of a book that could potentially destroy the Brink. Shifting third-person perspective follows Esta into the past as she infiltrates Dolph Saunders' gang and becomes involved with Harte Darrigan, the handsome magician who destroyed the book. Crisp pacing and plenty of details tell the story of engaging, if selfish, characters in their late teens and early 20s working at cross purposes for big reasons. The past is slightly romanticized but largely realistic: the Mageus function as a stand-in for any immigrant group subject to prejudice, and Esta's contemporary attitudes shine a light on outdated attitudes, while through the experiences of Chinese Jianyu (the only nonwhite member of Dolph's gang), some of the racial prejudices of the past are confronted. A doorstopper with a total shakeup of an ending: don't miss this splendid series opener. (map) (Historical fantasy. 12-adult) -- Kirkus Reviews * 5/1/17 * "Intriguing, romantic, and full of twists, THE LAST MAGICIAN kept me reading late into the night. The richly imagined alternative version of 1901 New York City pulled me in, but the fascinating characters had me turning the pages, desperate to find out what happened to them." -- Anne Blankman, author of the Prisoner of Night and Fog duology "A twisty, spellbinding romp. Inserting feuding magical factions into an already tumultuous time in American history, Maxwell's The Last Magician mesmerized me until the very last page." -- Janet B. Taylor, author of Into the Dim and Sparks of Light "A gorgeous, timeless, all-consuming tale." -- Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series "This twisty tale of alchemy and magic in Gilded Age New York will keep you guessing until the very last page." -- Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author