Angel Mage

Katherine Tegen Bks/HarperCollins. Oct. 2019. 560p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062683229.
Gr 9 Up–One-hundred-thirty-seven years have passed since the land of Ystara fell to beastlings and the ash blood plague. Now the infamous mage Liliath has woken from a deep slumber, determined to rally the ancestors of Ystara and summon the archangel Palleniel. In order to do so, she will murder and seduce her way into the Queen’s court even while she gathers the four individuals necessary for Palleniel’s summoning: the tall, serious medical student Simeon, the dreamy artist and icon-maker Dorotea, the quick-tempered Musketeer Agnez, and the treasure-enamored clerk Henri. Together the four must use every talent at their disposal to avoid being drawn too deep into Liliath’s deadly plot. Dedicated to Alexander Dumas and 1970’s musketeer films, this novel is set in a world both familiar and enjoyably unique, featuring political intrigue and swordplay combined with extensive fantasy lore and a complicated angelic magic system. Nix has included strong female characters and a no-nonsense approach to sexuality. Unfortunately, the author’s efforts to flesh out the world and its many characters sacrifices plot progression for exposition. However, readers willing to plod through the first third of the book will be rewarded with a quickened pace.
VERDICT Though occasionally marred by pacing issues, this is a very interesting novel. Recommended for high school libraries and for readers looking for fantasy with a historical literary flair

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