Staff Picks by Tag

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Unnatural Magic Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781984805843
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ace - November 5th, 2019

A gripping murder mystery in a smartly constructed world of magic, mages, and trolls. This multiple POV narrative chronicles the complex political and religious forces that affect ambitious student magician Onna, charming soldier Jeckran, and compassionate half-troll Tsira. The interplay of power, revenge, and zeal execute slowly but purposefully as Onna's career and Tsira's pursuit converge in wealthy city Hexos.


Review by Danielle

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Chosen Ones: The new novel from NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author Veronica Roth Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780358164081
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 7th, 2020

Set aside your preconceived notions: this is neither a postscript 'Harry Potter' nor a derivative apocalyptic novel. This is a compelling fantasy for fans of alternative timelines (two Chicagos), anti-hero narratives (Sloan is pissed off and NOT okay), and magic co-existing with our sense of reality. 


Review by Danielle

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Titus Groan Cover Image
By Mervyn Peake, Anthony Burgess (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781585679072
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Harry N. Abrams - June 26th, 2007

Peake creates visuals in your imagination more striking than those of Tim Burton, and his mode is a type of mythopoeic grotesque operating on gleeful, Dickensian exaggeration.  This novel is a most unusual page-turner and a pure pleasure to read. One caution: it may leave you dissatisfied with 99% of fantasy novels being published today.


Review by Adam

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316421973
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Redhook - May 12th, 2020

Delightful! If you need a STARLESS SEA read-alike, you'll find this historical novel as bookish and magical but more approachable.

Intimate narrative and a story within a story device work together elegantly to unfurl the tale of January Scaller and her missing father, their wealthy benefactor, and a mysterious door in Mississippi that opens into another world. TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY has all the elements of a precocious, coming of age story within a low fantasy world. There's adventure, secret societies with nefarious plans, a big best friend pooch called Bad, and places drawn from the wildest reaches of imagination. 


Review by Danielle

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The Thief (Queen's Thief #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062642967
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Greenwillow Books - February 28th, 2017

When I was in high school my dear friend Heather put this book in my hands, smiled mysteriously, and said, "Trust me." 

I devoured it in one sitting.

It is intricate, clever, and excruciatingly satisying. Pay close attention - Megan Whalen Turner is as tricky as her thief and you don't want to miss a thing!

This book came out in 1995. The final book in the series comes out next year. Now is the time folks - trust me.


Review by Allie

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The Starless Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101971383
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Anchor - August 4th, 2020

I recommend sinking into The Starless Sea and luxuriating there. This is not a book to rush. The scope is enormous, the plot is stranger and intricate. This book will take you may places and you'll have to trust it but you should you're in very good hands. I found it delicious and rewarding.


Review by Allie

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The Winter of the Witch: A Novel (Winternight Trilogy #3) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101886014
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Del Rey - October 1st, 2019

Beginning with the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale, this beautiful fantasy trilogy is set in a version of medieval Russia in which history and myth coexist. In Witch yet more characters from Russian folklore are woven in as fiery heroine, Vasya, faces the foes of Moscow, Rus', and humanity... whether the powers that be are behind her or not.

 

I recommend reading this dark, mystical book on a chilly night (forecast looks promising) — but only after finishing the first two in the trilogy!


Review by Sarah

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Circus Mirandus Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780147515544
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Puffin Books - August 16th, 2016

Micah knows what all children know, what imagination and their hearts (and exceptional adults like Micah's grandpa) tell them: miracles and magic are real, they exist just out of sight, and if you look at just the right time you can find them.  And Micah is just the sort of person we all want to be. Though he isn't perfect (or even perfectly confident) he is determined, he won't let life give him No for an answer, and he has a couple of people in his life who care enough about him to help in risky-crazy ways.


Review by Adam

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All That Glitters (Enchantée #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250295521
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Flatiron Books - February 5th, 2019

Is it too cheesy to call this enchanting? Ok...maybe. But there is something gripping about this historical fantasy, where the author weaves historically accurate details of revolutionary France with imaginative elements of magic. As main character Camille goes from using white magic to casting darker spells, the lines of morality blur and the world loses it's luster, even from the glittering palace of Versailles.


Review by Candace

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Magic for Liars: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250174628
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tor Books - May 5th, 2020

If The Dresden Files and The Magicians had a book baby, this would be it. Our heroine is an ordinary private eye hired to solve a murder at a boarding school for magical teenagers. Unfortunately, it's also the school where her magical twin sister, Tabitha, works. As Ivy gets further involved in the inner workings of the school, its faculty, and its students, she questions her sanity and skill. Can she keep up appearances, find the killer, and reunite with Tabitha?

Excellent storytelling with a plot that had me guessing "whodunnit" until the last 50 pages.


Review by Danielle

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