A review by leahlovesloslibros
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


Esta is being raised in present-day New York, where magic is almost completely extinct. She is part of a small group of individuals who still have and use their magic - The Mageus. They are hunted by The Order, who prefer to use their own form of man-made "magic" in an attempt to eliminate them. The man who raised her has taught her everything she needs to know to steal magic artifacts from various times in the past so they can bring them all together and save The Mageus before they are wiped out forever. When she travels to 1902 to steal the last but most important of the artifacts - The Ars Arcana - chaos ensues. Now Esta has to get The Book and return to present-day New York without unraveling the past and changing the future.

When I started reading this book and realized that part of it was going to take place in the past, I was worried that it was going to be more historical fiction than fantasy, and that I wouldn't like it. Thankfully I kept reading, because I was SO wrong. We start with different points-of-view in different timelines, but as Esta makes her time travel to 1902 the timelines converge and we are just left with multiple POV. 

I loved the adventure that Esta went on in 1902 New York. There was enough mystery and action without too much down time in between, and enough detail to provide backstories for the characters a little bit at a time. The multiple POV allowed for the reader to understand the story from different perspectives (obviously) without being jumbled as it switched between characters. The magic system was intricate but not confusing, which, honestly, is kind of refreshing in a YA fantasy book.

When I got close to the end of the book, I did figure out one of the biggest twists, which gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I plan to read the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy, and will likely look into some of Maxwell's other works as well.

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