For fans of Lisa Maxwell’s Unhooked, we bring you her next book: The Last Magician!
Because this picture Lisa shared on Twitter is so perfect, before we get to the cover, I want to share this pitch for The Last Magician with you all:
Don’t you just want that book RIGHT. THIS. SECOND? We certainly do. So without further ado, check out the amazing cover:
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.
Tessa 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, Tessa can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Tessa’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1901 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 Tessa to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.
But that’s not all! We’re giving you an exclusive sneak peek at the prologue! Read on:
The Magician stood at the end of his world and took one last look at his city, the spires of churches rising like jagged teeth and the windows flashing in the sun. He’d loved it once. In those lawless streets, a boy could become anything—and he had. But in the end, the city had become nothing but a prison. It had borne him and made him, and now it would kill him just the same.
The bridge was empty so early in the morning, a lonely span reaching between two shores. Its soaring cables were lit by the soft light of dawn, and the only sounds came from the waves below and the creaking of the wooden planks beneath his feet. For a moment, he let himself imagine that a crowd had started to gather. He could almost see their faces, tense in the shuffling silence, as they waited for his latest attempt to cheat death. He raised one arm to salute his invisible audience, hearing in his mind how they would have erupted into cheers. Imagining how he would have pasted on the smile he always wore on stage—the one that was little more than a lie.
But then, liars do make the best magicians, and he happened to be exceptional.
He lowered his arm, the silence and emptiness of the bridge wrapping around him again as his stark reality became clear once more. His life might have been built on illusions, but his death would be his greatest trick. For once, there would be no deception. For once, it would be only the truth. His ultimate escape.
He shivered at the thought. Or perhaps it was simply that the wind cutting through the fine material of his dress jacket still had a bite to it. A few weeks more, and there wouldn’t have been any chill at all.
He told himself it was better this way. Springtime was all fine and good, but the rank stink of the streets and the sweltering, airless buildings in the summer were another thing. The feeling of sweat always dripping down his back. The way the city went a little mad because of the heat. He wouldn’t miss that at all.
Which was, of course, another lie.
Add it to the pile. Let them sort out his truths once he was gone.
He could still leave, he thought with a sudden desperation. He could toss the Book instead of himself into the water below. He could walk across the remaining span if the bridge and take his chances.
Maybe he’d live. Maybe he’d simply go mad, like his mother had—it wouldn’t be any worse than he deserved.
There was a small chance he would survive, and if he did, he could start over again on the other side. He has enough tricks at his disposal. He’d changed his skin and his name before, and he could do it again. He could try.
But he knew already that it would never work. Leaving was just a different kind of death. And the Order, which wasn’t bound by the Brink, would never stop hunting him. Not now, at least. Destroying the Book wouldn’t be enough. When they found him—and they would—they’d never let him go. Not when he now held all the secrets of its pages.
No. He’d take his chances with the water.
Pulling himself up onto the railing, he had to hold tight to brace himself against the gusting spring winds as he took one last look at the world around him. Far off in the direction of the city, he heard the rumble of carriages, the cry of angry, wild voices. They’d found him, just as he’d known they would.
A single step is such a small thing. He’d taken countless steps every day without ever noticing, but this step…
The sounds grew louder, closer. The time had come. If they caught him, they would take him. Use him. No amount of magic or tricks or lies would help him now. So before they could reach him, he released his hold on the cable, took that final step, and put himself in the one place the Order could never follow.
The last thing he heard was the sound of the Book’s wailing defiance. Or maybe that was the sound tearing from his own throat as he gave himself over to the air.
So what do you think? How excited are you for The Last Magician? Share your feels with us in the comments!