cover image The Library of the Unwritten

The Library of the Unwritten

A.J. Hackwith. Ace, $16 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-984806-37-6

This excellent debut sends Claire Hadley, the Librarian of the Unwritten Wing in Hell, on a quest across realms to find a book of power. Claire, along with her apprentice librarian, former muse Brevity, and a young demon, Leto, have gone to Seattle, where they hope to recover a character who has escaped from one of the unwritten volumes in their charge. While there, Claire and Leto are accosted by the angel Ramiel, who demands that they return an unnamed book. Once they get back to the Library, they discover that the book in question is the Codex Gigas, a repository for Lucifer’s power—and no one knows where it is. But if they don’t find it, Hell and Heaven will go to war. Claire gathers allies, including the escaped character, now called “Hero,” and a duke of Hell who is the Librarian from the Arcane Wing. Their hunt for the Codex takes them to Valhalla, Earth, and beyond. Hackwith builds her world and characters with loving detail, creating a delightful addition to the corpus of library-based and heaven vs. hell fantasies. This novel and its promised sequels will find a wide audience. Agent: Caitlin McDonald, Donald Maass Literary. (Oct.)