Review #183

*Warning* – Did not finish

Title- The Last Magician

Author- Lisa Maxwell

Series- 2nd The Devil’s Thief, 3rd The Serpent’s Curse

Rating– DNF. I made it to page 52/500. Because I own this book and it’s not a library rental I’ll try reading it again in the future but currently I’m glad I didn’t buy the others in the series for now.
Genre- fantasy

POV- See my issues with this below

Trope- unsure

Comps– The gangs remind me of “These Violent Delights,” and The Order reminds me of the book, “Spellbreaker” and also because the scenes are in the early 1900s.


A girl travels back in time to find a mysterious book that could save her future in Lisa Maxwell’s “splendid series opener” (Kirkus Reviews).

Stop the Magician.
Steal the book.
Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

First chapter-

Prologue in 1902- I’m given pieces and tidbits on several little things so I’ll need more info but overall it has an intriguing pull towards a magician about to commit suicide.

Chapter 1- first of all, I’ve never seen author name and title of novel interiorly formatted on the bottom of the page. Secondly, the prose are lovely and above average with the poetic writing. Third, I’m interested in them stealing this item, but overall it hasn’t grasped my full attention yet because I don’t have clarity on “why” they’re doing anything.

Character Development- I don’t even know who the protagonist is after page 52

Best part- the potential of it getting better if I were patient enough

Setting- unclear, things jumped around too much. There was some sort of mansion or museum they broke into? Then a house? … honestly it was hard for me to get through
more poetic than average but also “heavy” as it went on
Character goals/motivations-
something about an important book I’m guessing.
Vivid sensory descriptions-
thievery, murder

Thoughts while reading-

Chapter 2- We started in 1926 and now we’re back to 1900 with a new character

Page 27- so Lena and Dolph have some history and relationship but I can’t seem to care much about the events yet since the other chapters aren’t related and we haven’t been given any purpose or reason why she/they are in danger or the goal. We get a glimpse of what the Order means and the Brink means but the wrong itself feels heavy and removed so I’m having a hard time connecting.

Page 32- time hopping. Okay, cool. I haven’t read many time travel books. I’m eager to learn what’s the difference between old magic and new magic? What are they after? What are they trying to achieve? Lots of action in the beginning is great but I don’t have a reason to feel invested so far

Page 37- there’s too many characters being introduced randomly by being thrown into conversation or bits and pieces of backstory are given but not enough to put things together. I understand info dumping is bad, but there’s too many small random things being thrown at me. The Mageus. The marks. The Ars Arcana. Viola. At this point I need to feel more grounded. There’s too many questions and abstract concepts and not enough solidity to grab ahold of. 

Page 38- I’m frustrated. Now we’re in present day. Who the hell is Dakari? Who is Mari? How many point of views and side stories will be happening at the same time? What the hell is Ortus Aurea and the Pharaoh’s Heart? I’m soooo confused and not at all connected to the characters or story.

Page 45- I’m very annoyed. Everything feels chaotic. Now we have the Djinni’s Star, Delphi’s Tear, Dragon’s Eye, Ishtar’s Key. It’s just too much. None of it matters or makes any sense because nothing has been grounded to setting or scene. I don’t know who the main character is or why anyone is making the choices they’re making.

Page 49-51 finally gave some clarity to “why” but I’m 50/50 deciding DNF so I need some extra convincing. Who the heck is the main character?

Page 52 – Who is Harte Darrigan? No. I dont want ANOTHER new point of view from someone who hasn’t been mentioned yet. There’s way too many strings of the story and complexities that are increasingly irritating.  

Published by CassieSwindon

Fiction author

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