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The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel    by Michael Scott order for
by Michael Scott
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Magician follows The Alchemyst in Michael Scott's brilliant series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. In the first book, twins Sophie and Josh Newman 'realized that the world would never be the same again', after helping Alchemyst Nicholas Flamel against Dr. John Dee, who stole (most of) the Book of Abraham the Mage from him and his sorceress wife Perenelle. Without the book, the Elder Race will be able to claim and rule the world again ... it won't be pretty for humanity.

Sophie and Josh learned that they are the twins with auras of silver and gold, long prophesied to either save - or destroy - the world. The magical rollercoaster ride of flight and pursuit that began in the first episode continues at the same thrilling pace in the second. As The Alchemyst ended, Sophie's powers had been Awakened by Hekate; the Witch of Endor taught her the Magic of Air; and the twins, Flamel and legendary warrior Scathach traveled through a leygate to Paris, France. There, Dee's immortal ally Machiavelli, the 'master of lies', keeps them busy fighting monsters - as well as the police and intelligence services - until Dee himself shows up to get in on the action.

As events unfold, Josh's distrust of Flamel (fed by John Dee) increases, along with his envy of Sophie's powers and a lust to acquire his own. The twins are helped by new allies in Francis, le Comte de Saint-Germain and his wife Joan of Arc. Germain teaches Sophie the Magic of Fire, while Joan shows her how to control her aura. Flamel gives Josh Clarent, the Sword of Fire, which he wields against the horrendous Nidhogg. Perenelle's ability to talk to ghosts helps her escape imprisonment at Alcatraz, only to face increasingly greater dangers. And both Nick and Perry, needing the Book of Abraham to renew the spell that keeps them immortal, are rapidly aging and cannot survive much longer.

As this second episode ends, Josh's powers have finally been Awakened by an ancient power, with Dee's help, but at a price that is yet to be revealed. The twins are reunited and head to England with Flamel, seeking training in the Magic of Water. And I can't wait for book three, The Sorceress - especially after reading the preview at the back of this episode.

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