The Last Magician (Last Magician Series #1)

The Last Magician (Last Magician Series #1)

by Lisa Maxwell


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The Last Magician 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Back when I first received The Last Magician, I tried to start reading it and I just could not get into it. Recently I bought myself an Audible subscription and decided that I should try the Audiobook version to see if that helped my focus. I got about 20% of the way through and I decided to give up on it. The plot was starting to pick up and the characters were developing and new characters were even being introduced but I was not able to feel for them or the situation at all... and I really tried. I just was not feeling this book, which is sad because I know so many people really enjoyed it. The book has a bunch of time jumps and various characters that all come together eventually I assume (probably in the end ...which I didn't get to), however with all the different characters and all the time changes it was hard for me to follow since it wasn't already grabbing my full focus. Esta, the main character, from the beginning, seemed stubborn and impulsive and so when things happened to her I wasn't surprised that she was getting into trouble, nor did I feel for her as the protagonist. This has the potential to be the beginning to a great fantasy series, it just wasn't for me right now, maybe I will try it again down the road.
MandyB87 More than 1 year ago
A great magical adventure! Time-travelling is such a great element that really is under-utilized in the entertainment industry. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
AlainaEvans More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure when going into this book if I was going to like it. I'm usually iffy about period pieces but this book grabbed me immediately and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The incorporation of magic in this world was amazing and I love the changing of it through the years. It is explained in such a way that is easy to fall into the world. I love the explanation that over the years magic has changed and sort of faded so much in people that something that was once a power is now more a skill someone will have. I also see parallels to today's political climate and world. The characters are all pretty well-rounded and flow easily. I especially like that there aren't extra descriptions that aren't needed. Everything is pretty straightforward and that's the way I like to read things. It's also the way I write. I've never been to New York and don't know much of the history but I feel like Lisa Maxwell did a great job of historically fleshing the world out. I believe 100% the physical history of New York outlined in TLM. I really enjoyed this world and I can't wait to keep reading more of the series.
NovaEstelle More than 1 year ago
Usually, I shy away from time travel books because I tend to take some issue with them, like with complicated plots involving rules of time travel and it not being done well. However, I really enjoyed this book, and I think because the focus wasn't so much on the mechanics behind the time travel, but on being immersed in 1902 New York, that I was more okay with it. This book gave me Six of Crows and A Darker Shade of Magic vibes. There's a heist plot, and little cons along the way, with rival gangs, a leader of the gang called the Devil's Own, who has a limp + cane + is a morally gray character, and people with the ability to use magic who are called Mageus. However, the Mageus in the story are treated badly, persecuted, in hiding from the Order (a group of people who consist of the rich and powerful in New York who don't have magic and believe in the occult sciences), and trapped by a border of corrupt magic called the Brink that Mageus can't cross without losing their magic and/or dying. The book talks quite a bit about immigration and immigrants and how they're treated, especially the Mageus, which probably matches the attitude toward real immigrants during that time, but also parallels what's going on today too. There's little twists along the way, one big one that I suspected, but also some other big surprises near the end. The book is set in 3rd person omniscient, and it was interesting to see everyone's thoughts, into their personalities, and what drives them. Esta's struggles with the knowledge of her future/present-day friends, doing her job, and getting to know and care for the past 1902 crew she's going to betray. She's a good thief, and clever, and was enjoyable to read. I loved her sassy dialogue and chemistry with Harte. Harte Darrigan is the Magician she's supposed to stop. he loves the spotlight, pretends to be a regular magician, and wants to rise above where he grew up, and after Dolph (the leader of the Devil's Own) puts the idea in his head, wants to leave New York City. He also plays a game of deception and lies like Esta, running many cons along the way and having his own objective, which is to steal the Book (the Ars Arcana) for himself. I loved whenever he and Esta were on the same page, and while there's instant attraction on his part, the romance is only part of the plot, not the focus, and I'm loving the slow burn. Dolph, Jianyu, and Viola were all interesting characters with their own fraught histories and unique personalities. There's different affinities for magic that the characters have (for example, Viola has an affinity for healing or killing, Jianyu can control light) that add to the story, a wide cast of characters beyond those that Esta deals with, and I really enjoyed the world building. Some areas were a little slow for my taste, but the book was still good, and I'm really looking forward to book 2, especially with that ending!
The_Dwarf_Did_It More than 1 year ago
Everything about this book is amazing. Characters, setting, plot, story telling, THE COVER! This book is getting a 5 star rating from me 100% and I’ll be diving into The Devil’s Thief very very very soon.
Lauren716 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was so much fun and the characters were amazing. It is certainly worth picking up to read.
PalmKD More than 1 year ago
This captivating story has so many good elements and characters. The research that went into writing it shows in how well constructed the world is and it is so easy to get lost in the story. It tells the story of a thief, Esta, who can travel between times. Esta travels back to 1902 where she is to preform her biggest heist of all, stealing THE BOOK from the magician. This is not just any book, but the book that holds all the secrets and will determine the future for the Mageus (those with an affinity for magic). The story takes place in New York, mostly in 1902, but despite the year, always in New York. 1902 is gritty and dark and full of mistrust for magic with the desire to control it. Strongly recommend!!
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I loved the plot in this story. It reminded me of the heist in Six of Crows, but less intense and complex. I had a hard time getting into the story at the beginning, because there were so many characters! The narrative kept switching between different characters, and some had similar names, or were referred to as their first and last names alternately so I thought they were different people. It was especially confusing because there were a few different gang leaders who ran the city. At about a quarter of the way through the book I had everyone sorted out. I loved the time travel aspects of the story. Though there wasn’t a lot of switching between different time periods, Esta’s actions in the past altered the future. She could see that from the way that the newspaper clipping that she brought from the future changed when different things happened. The ending was fantastic. There were a bunch of surprises that I didn’t see coming. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Last Magician is officially one of my favorite books ever written. I finished it a few months ago and instantly fell in love with Esta’s personality. When I met Harte, I don’t think words can describe the depth of how much I just loved him. I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say I was heartbroken and can’t wait to read the second book of TLM. (I think my family’s convinced I’m insane due to the facial expressions made while I read the book).
Queen-Kimmie More than 1 year ago
I attained an ARC of this at Yallwest not even knowing what it was but OMG. This was an amazing read. Definitely a new favorite whose sequel I cannot wait to read and this book still isn't even out... The writing keeps you in the story quite well, it does need some grammatical editing that I would assume will be fixed in the final published version (I have my finished copy and the errors have all been fixed!). I loved the multidimensional characters, the fun historical setting, and the twisting keep you on your toes plot. Who doesn't love time travel, magic, thieves, and heists? Just go, go read this amazing not-so-little book. I'm also super excited that my name will be in the acknowledgements of the sequel since I was one of the top promoters of this book!
B3tweenthepage More than 1 year ago
I’ve been seeing the book around for a bit, always picked it up, and continued to leave it. Finally, I took the plunge and bought it. WHY DIDN’T I DO IT SOONER. Time travel related in anything is sketchy and--in my opinion--hard to make sense. Lisa Maxwell made it simple, to the point, and very efficient. The main character Esta is very likable, kick ass, yet not superhuman. Which I like. I couldn’t help getting attached to almost everyone Esta met, and feeling more and more excited about the story as it progressed. The way the magic worked was simple and clean, everyone had their own talents in one way or another. The plot was well driven, the writing even better, and I know I said it but, THOSE. CHARACTERS. And that ending? Broke my heart, had me shocked, and most importantly, had me screaming for more. I cannot wait for the second book. 5 out of 5 stars
Derek Beaudry More than 1 year ago
i loved the book! the way that time travel was explained had a fresh feel to it. i think it was probably my favorite points of the book. the relationship betweem the characters was great as well. this was definitely one i couldn't put down.
Chrystal1331 More than 1 year ago
Thought this story was amazing. Loved the mentioning of great people I admire including J P Morgan. FYI: He's the one who owned The White Star Line as in the Titanic! I didn't want the story to end. Thank goodness the sequel Devil's Own is coming!
Cambear More than 1 year ago
Ambitious, twisty, sprawling...this is a big book with lots of story. This historic fantasy is very grounded in turn of the century New York with tons of details to make the period come alive. It's a very rich world with lots of depth about magic, history and the complicated politics of the time. Esta, Dolph, Harte, James and so many others are after the Book of Mysteries. It's fascinating to follow each character as they scheme their way to the book for personal gain or more altruistic reasons. Clearly they don't all trust each other...for good reason. As a time traveler, Esta has a more modern attitude which makes her stand out in 1901. She's headstrong, clever and skilled. She and Harte also have an undeniable connection which just complicates things further. It's an enjoyable big adventure with a satisfying ending even as the door is open for another big adventure in the sequel.
Cambear More than 1 year ago
Ambitious, twisty, sprawling...this is a big book with lots of story. This historic fantasy is very grounded in turn of the century New York with tons of details to make the period come alive. It's a very rich world with lots of depth about magic, history and the complicated politics of the time. Esta, Dolph, Harte, James and so many others are after the Book of Mysteries. It's fascinating to follow each character as they scheme their way to the book for personal gain or more altruistic reasons. Clearly they don't all trust each other...for good reason. As a time traveler, Esta has a more modern attitude which makes her stand out in 1901. She's headstrong, clever and skilled. She and Harte also have an undeniable connection which just complicates things further. It's an enjoyable big adventure with a satisfying ending even as the door is open for another big adventure in the sequel.
MariaLuizaSilva More than 1 year ago
Do you know the feeling when you see a book and simply knows that you must read it? Suddendly, the book is on the top of your wish list and you no even know what it is about. That was exactly what happened to me when I saw the cover of The last magician. All I knew about it was that it is a urban fantasy. However, The last magician is much more than that. It is a mixture of magic, historical fiction, time travels, romance and adventure. The setting of the book is a New York divided by social conflicts and territory disputes. The plot is very original and involving. The way the story was developed captures the attention of the reader and I couldn’t stop reading. The story is dynamic and there is a sense of urgency since the beginning that makes the reading very interesting. Another good aspect about the book is the characters. All of them are complex and very human, what made it easy for me to start caring for them. Especially, I got really found of Esta, Doulph and Hart. There is also romance in this book and what I liked about it was that it isn't central in the story. I mean... the romance is good and is an important part of the book, but it is not central in the story. The characters had other priorities and they did not forget about it because of the romance. In that sense, although I were optimistic for The last magician, it overcome all my expectations and was an amazing surprise. The book brings interesting subjects and it’s an incredible combination of fantasy, adventure, fiction and romance. Lisa Maxwell’s writing is very involving and I couldn’t stop reading until I finished the book. Besides, the characters are very charismatic and the universe is very complex, which makes the book even more interesting. The book is full of surprises and, at the end, it’s impossible not to feel anxious to read the next book.
Addicted2FantaC More than 1 year ago
Review taken from Before we even get into any sort of review on the book, look at that cover!! If I was picking a book solely on cover, this would make my “to be read” pile in a heartbeat. Notice the slight twist on the ouroboros here. Generally you would have a snake eating its own tail but here there are two snakes devouring each other, one of which is in skeletal form. I think I will just be a tease and tell you to read the book to find the meaning of the cover rather than give it to you here. Yes, I know that might be a bit cruel but 1) it is definitely worth the read to find out and 2) this is my section of the blog so we play by my rules and I say no spoilers if they can be avoided! Now then, we start this book with a flashback to 1901 New York and what really seems like the end of a story relating to The Magician. This sets up the story beautifully by introducing you to a character and a scene which becomes so much more detailed the further along you go. Time travelers get ready because you are taken between several time periods during the beginning of this story. We meet the main character Esta who was absolutely fantastic throughout the story. You barely scratch the surface on the character at the onset as she is full of surprises. When I look for a new read I want to see a few things. Is there a story I can get behind? Am I excited over where I think this story will take my mind? Do I think I will like the characters based on the summary of the book? In this case, all three boxes were checked. I have been wrong in the past but this was not one of those times. From the start I could not put this book down. As you flip from one POV to another there are new developments and twists and characters that keep you on your toes. While falling in love with the main characters, to be able to care about some of the minor characters as well, is what really took this read to another level for me. I have said time and again that I like puzzles. I am at times able to figure out how a book will end or what twist will come at the end and my enjoyment is sometimes reduced by this. I was able to do no such thing with The Last Magician. There is enough going on and enough twists that every time you think you know what will happen, BAM! something happens and changes what you were thinking. Another problem I sometimes have is that the big reveal and/or the ending of a book just leaves me kind of mehhhh. This was not the case here. You wait so long to get to the end to see how things turn out for our cast of characters and there was ZERO disappointment factor there. I absolutely loved the ending to this book!! I cannot wait for the next installment. The way this book ends perfectly sets up where book 2 will start and some challenges that will be present within it. Do yourself a favor, pick up a copy of The Last Magician and thank me when you are done reading.
hermitlibrarian More than 1 year ago
Magic, magic in danger, Old New York, time travel...all story elements that piqued my interest. Time travel is an amazing storytelling device. Sometimes it can be confusing, such as when potential paradoxes pop up or the varying ways timelines can change. While I was a bit thrown at first in The Last Magician, what with Esta's timeline hopping ability being demonstrated early on and the early 1900's being introduced via Dolph, I hit my stride quickly for which I was very thankful. After a couple of chapters time became easier to separate, people became easier to identify, that sort of thing. One thing that I really liked that helped set up the kind of time travel we were dealing with in Maxwell's book was that when Esta travels back to 1902, she has a newspaper clipping that she had concealed before travelling. Through the changes in it, we get the idea that the past is fluid and her actions are still affecting the future she's hoping to return to. This had been alluded to by an earlier event, but it really strikes home for Esta when she travels back further than she ever has before. I liked finding out the motivations of the cast. everyone's motivations. Esta's and Harte's were, of course, the primary ones to advance the reader, but there is still a lot to be said for the others, such as Dolph, Jack, etc. Even those who's purpose wasn't quite glaringly vital to story line A still held up the supports of the novel well.  The different affinities were interesting to find out as well. Magic is so integral and there's a very real fear about it disappearing forever, but there's also not a 100% reliance on it. Esta, for example, was taught to be a thief without her magic before she learned to work her affinity into her work. Harte learned to use effects in his act, such as false thumbs to hide pins. One of the few things I would have liked to add to the book as an extra would've been a table at the end that listed everyone's affinity because sometimes it became difficult to remember who could do what because they also had such amazing skills that weren't magical at all. The Magician as a character was another great character. So many assumptions, so many ideas had about this character and I had my suspicions about their identity. It was such an engaging thread to follow through the story, waiting to see when it would finally connect to all the others. Lisa Maxwell found a great way to weave a long story (500 pages in my edition) into a pleasant, lose yourself in the pages way. It was almost heartbreaking to put this book down at the end, but reading it this long after publication means I don't have to wait as long for book two, The Devil's Thief, due out in October.
agustina_z More than 1 year ago
The world is divided between people who have an affinity with magic, and those who don't. Among the latter, there is the Order, a group dedicated to science and reason who will do anything to trap and stop the Mageus, those who use magic. This rivalry made the story fascinating, making us go deep in a chain of mysteries and secrets. To stop the Order and destroy the Breach that prevents the Mageus from escaping the city, Esta must go back to the past and stop the Magician to get a book that will change everything. The subject of this book is so interesting. Time travel, powers... two things that I love. The world created by the author is fascinating, mixing the past and the present with a very good investigation, not only of context but also of physics, chemistry and alchemy. There are several amazing plot twists, which I honestly didn't expect at all and they took me completely by surprise. Revelations that I never imagined, and I really liked that. This book has several main characters that are very interesting and particular, as well as their powers. It has several points of view, which I think is great to understand each of them. There is even a great development of the secondary characters. Esta, being so impulsive and audacious, was one of the characters that I liked the most. Also the Magician, who was gaining my affection little by little. And Dolph, a character that fascinates me since before reading the book. I liked the interactions between the characters, some full of drama and others with a bit of humor. There is a little of romance in this book and a lot of action, but I think it was the twists and the setting that I liked most about this story. The ending was impressive and left me wanting to read the next book. The Last Magician is a slow pace reading, but I loved it anyway. I hope to read the next book soon.
RgBooktrovert More than 1 year ago
Thrilling, mysterious, and full of magic and mayhem. I was kept constantly guessing: who, what, when, why? The world building was fantastic, the characters were complex, and their affinities were fascinating! The book was fast paced especially for being a brick. I also loved the author's writing style and excellent descriptions. The ending was wrapped up perfectly and I can't wait for The Devil's Thief! Rating: 4.5 Stars!
Bookworm867 More than 1 year ago
Such a wild ride. These characters remind me a lot of those from Six of Crows (which is DEFINITELY not a bad thing); they are strong-willed, powerful, sympathetic characters that pull you deeper in the story. I cannot wait for the second book!!!!
journeyintotheshelves More than 1 year ago
There are some books that you read and hope that it’ll be a movie, and there are others that you see a movie as you read. The Last Magician is a part of the latter. With her book Unhooked and now this one, Lisa Maxwell is quickly becoming one of my favorite fantasy writers of recent years. Filled with dynamic characters, great romance, and an intricate and unique magic system, The Last Magician is a whirlwind of a novel that will suck you in full mind and body. The world building in this book was incredible; the amount of research that Maxwell must have put into unraveling what life was like in early 1900s New York City is clear on every page. The plot is complex, detailed, and easy to understand. It is full of action and depth, and continuously took turns in places I didn’t expect. At first I was a bit hesitant since this novel dealt with time travel. While time travel is one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy tropes, it’s also the trope I’m the pickiest about. However, Maxwell handles time travel in all it’s aspects and consequences so well that it didn’t bother me one bit. The logic behind it was reminiscent of Doctor Who which I absolutely loved. The characters were truly the heart of this book. Dynamic and real, Maxwell didn’t leave any stone unturned when creating them. Each had their own distinct personality, morality, and goals that helped push the entire novel forward flawlessly. The characters very much deal in a morally gray area of life, which was my favorite aspect of this book. There wasn’t one person who was the clear cut “good guy” — no one was afraid of doing whatever it took to get what they wanted. To use Hogwarts houses as a reference, this entire book was filled with Slytherins and it was just incredible to read. I thought I loved Maxwell’s romance in her last novel I read, Unhooked, but this one was even better. The romance that develops is the most delicious slow burn romance that I’ve read in the longest time. It left my skin crawling in the best way at moments throughout the book. Their banter was incredible, and I just wanted more from them constantly. The Last Magician was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017, and it completely lived up to my own hype. The story flew by so quickly, and I just wanted more once I turned the final page. If you’re a fan of fantasy, this is not one to miss.
24hr_yabookblog More than 1 year ago
The Last Magician mixes fantasy with Historical Fiction as we follow Esta and her journey to find an ancient book in the year 1902 to save magicians such as herself! The plot definitely has elements of fantasy, mystery and adventure to keep you turning the page! While this book wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, there were definitely elements I really enjoyed and the plot itself has me intrigued to read the sequel and see what happens next! I did find at times the writing did more "telling" than showing and because of that I found it tough to connect with the characters. Additionally, through the multiple perspectives (in 3rd Person POV), I did find that the pacing became extremely slow. The magic system was very interesting & I can't wait to see how the author expands on it in future books! Overall, The Last Magician is an enjoyable historical + urban fantasy novel to check out! The story itself has a lot of good elements for an immersive and character-driven tale!
coffeecocktailsandbooks More than 1 year ago
This was such a fun read; the story itself was great as well. I personally love multiple perspectives in fantasy books, especially when different characters have different relationships to the magic and MC. Being able to go inside of the character’s mind when the events are unfolding is great. That being said, I’m happy that the author only uses another perspective when that’s what’s needed to move the plot forward. I know that sounds dumb, but what I mean is that the POV will only switch if another character’s POV is necessary for fully understanding the next part of the plot. They can still be in the same setting as the previous character, but for some reason, it was that character that was needed to show the emotion in the scene. From what I understand, this is very Martin-esque (I have not read the Song of Ice & Fire books, but I hear that’s how is POV tends to work). The characters were also super likable. Esta was a badass MC from present day that was thrust into a sexist world in the early 1900s. This is actually addressed throughout the book; things that Esta can or cannot do because she’s a woman in this time. I absolutely loved that this was addressed. I cannot think of another time travel story (if you know of one, PLEASE let me know!) that addresses the social change this head on without making it the focus of the story. Harte was an interesting flawed character with a mixed moral compass. I liked how he mirrored Dolph in his motives. The magic system in this book was a lot of fun. People did not “do magic”, rather they had a “gift” or “talent” (similar to a superpower) that was unique to the individual. Interestingly though, other Maegus could detect magic being used. I also thought the ways the magic was perceived in the society was done well. Having the “magic is bad” stance in the urban fantasy society was something that could have been painfully clichéd but was approached in a way that didn’t feel too familiar or overdone. So, when I was reading this book, I (kind of) did a buddy read with Jessica from TheLitteraryBird (be sure to check out her review, she’s great!). She did point out a number of spelling/grammatical errors throughout of the book. I didn’t notice these at first, but once they were pointed out, I did pick up on some throughout the rest of the book. Some were distracting from the narrative, others were not. I also had the odd sensation that different parts of the book had different ratings. The beginning was interesting for me (like 3.5-4 stars), but it didn’t hook me. I know other people didn’t really like it at first. Then the middle was a bit slow, well my reading of it was considerably slower. This part was more of a 3-star read. The ending was fantastic. Like the last 100-150 pages were worth recommending the book alone. This was a 5-star ending. This made rating the overall book kind of hard (not really, but I had to take a minute to rate the entire book, not just the parts I liked/didn’t like). I’ll go more into this in the spoiler corner, but the plot itself was great. The basic time travel story was elevated in this urban fantasy setting. There were some parts of the book I was expecting to be predictable and tropey, but that wasn’t the case. There were some parts that I saw coming, others that took me by surprise, and overall this book was great. Easily one of my new favorites. **This review has been shortened. Full review can be found on coffeecocktailsandbooks [dot] com **
Whatsheread More than 1 year ago
I have to put this out there, everyone NEEDS to pick up this book, to experience reading something like that at least once, because I haven't read anything like it before. The last magician is a MUST read for everyone who appreciates a great story. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When you decide to pick this up make sure you have a day off or something because you won't want to leave this world until the very last page.This book needs undivided attention. Also you'll wanna go in knowing very little about it, that makes it even better. Let th book surprise you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's time travel and magic. It's 1900s new york with its parties and theatres. It has gangs and bosses for each area that resemble the mafia, and some villians who are, ironically, based on everything we call history and myth. You'll see what I mean when you read it, it's magnificent and will make your head turn. The world, plot and characters are all so well written. It's impossible not to love this , it's got everything you'd want in a book !! This world, basically our world with a couple of twists, has so many things to offer and knowing that we'll get 2 more books in this world makes my heart happy. Esta, Doplh, Harte and the many other characters we have are all morally grey characters that you can't help but love, the magic system is well described and will blow your mind. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It'll always keep you guessing and then exceed all what you imagined, you truly won't be able to predict any of the plot twists. You'll love it, you'll laugh hysterically at some points because of how crazy everything got, but you'll love every second of it. I need The Devil's Thief right now, I can't wait to see what lisa has in store for us ❤