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Book Review

Book Cover

The Warlock
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel


Author: Michael Scott
RRP: £10.99
ISBN: 978 0 857 53026 4
Available 02 June 2011

Following events of the previous four books, twins Sophie and Josh Newman have separated, apparently taking different sides in the fight for humanity against ancient and powerful beings. Sophie has sided with Nicholas Flamel and his wife. Josh, for reason of his own, has sided with John Dee. Gods have been set free and plans move forward. If Sophie cannot reunite with Josh and change his mind the fate of humanity will be a dark one indeed...

The Warlock (2011) is the fifth is a series of fantasy books written for young readers by Irish novelist Michael Scott a mutli-award winner and author of over one hundred books.

It is safe to say that at this point book five is not where you should be starting the series. Scott has created a dense and rich multiverse mythology. The abundance of characters and their shifting motivations means that book five alone would be a rewarding, if confusing, experience.

I had reviewed the first novel, but forgotten much of it by the time this one was sent, so like a novice I couldn’t remember who the good guys were and who the bad. Interestingly Scott writes his characters in such a way that with no prior knowledge you could be forgiven in thinking that all the characters were good as their motivation seemed reasonable from their own point of view.

It’s not very surprising that the series has had the success it has. The structure of the book consists of many short, well written, chapters, enough to read a couple on the bus, but more importantly the continuous shifting between scenes keeps the pace of the narrative high, without confusing the reader.

Scott’s prose is fairly straight forward; the only problem comes from the amount of gods, monsters and immortals you physically have to remember. Apart from the twins, both characters, background and mythology has been liberally borrowed from both reality and from world myths, which makes it a pretty good jumping off point for an interest in European and non-European mythology.

Of course, as the penultimate book in the series, its job is mainly to get the twins where they need to be for the, hopefully, climatic battle for the fate of the world.

I liked the first novel, I liked this one even more and I don’t even like fantasy books.


Charles Packer

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