cover image The Magician’s Daughter

The Magician’s Daughter

H.G. Parry. Redhook, $18.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-38370-7

Parry (A Radical Act of Free Magic) continues her hot streak of well-researched historical fantasy with this mix of bildungsroman and love letter to the 19th-century English canon. Sixteen-year-old Bridget “Biddy” Adler has lived her entire life on the hidden, enchanted island of Hy-Brasil with her adoptive father, the Irish woodmage Rowan O’Connell, and his rabbit familiar, Hutchincroft. Then the British Council of Mages comes after Rowan for stealing magic at a time when the magic-granting schisms have all closed, and the Council wants all magic conserved. Biddy departs the isle for 19th-century London, aiming to set a trap for the Council members—only to be captured by them herself, and told that everything she knows about herself and Rowan is a lie. The novel inexplicably treats Rowan’s former fiancée, Morgaine, much more harshly than other, more culpable members of the corrupt Council, creating a weird imbalance in the portrayal of the villains, but the magic system—which posits magic as a nonrenewable resource—works wonderfully as a metaphor for capitalism after 19th-century industrialization. Parry’s fans will not be disappointed. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Feb.)