cover image A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

H.G. Parry. Redhook, $28 (544p) ISBN 978-0-316-45908-2

Parry (The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep) gracefully bends genres into a witty, riveting historical fantasy as, at the end of the 18th century, magical rebellions against oppression spark around the world. In West Africa, a young girl is enslaved and given a new name, Fina. She’s taken to work on a Jamaican sugar plantation under the influence of a spell that effectively turns slaves into zombies and robs them of magic of their own. In France, five-year-old Camille Desmoulins is charged with illegal use of magic by the Knights Templar, inciting a fire for revolution in his heart as he grows older. Meanwhile, William Pitt, the newly named prime minister of Britain, fights against troubling legislation limiting magic use to the aristocratic classes. As revolution brews, a dark and powerful shadow works its way across the globe, uniting the disparate cast of characters, who must band together to defeat a sinister mystical force viler than any anti-magic law. Parry has a historian’s eye for period detail and weaves real figures from history—including Robespierre and Toussaint L’Ouverture—throughout her poetic tale of justice, liberation, and dark magic. This is a knockout. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (June)