cover image Notorious Sorcerer

Notorious Sorcerer

Davinia Evans. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-39803-9

An aspiring alchemist faces multiplanar pandemonium in Evans’s energetic epic fantasy debut, which stands out for never taking itself too seriously. “Interplanar errand boy” Siyon Velo spends his days delving into different planes of existence to retrieve alchemical ingredients for the city of Bezim’s magical elite while maintaining an impossible dream of one day being a trained and certified alchemist himself. A chance to prove himself arrives when his new friend Zagiri Savani falls from a clock tower and he improvises an unpolished—and very public—magical rescue, resulting in a burst of inexplicable, unlicensed magic that lands him at the top of Bezim’s most wanted list. Meanwhile, the planes have been thrown out of balance, and external powers claw for control over Bezim’s plane, the Mundane. To restore the balance, one of the Mundane’s alchemists must rise above the others to become the Power of the Mundane. But as many try and fail, it becomes clear that only Siyon has ever harnessed enough magic to earn the title—albeit entirely accidentally. Evans trusts readers to untangle the rules of her expansive world with minimal exposition, which may prove disorienting to some, but the witty prose, endearing characters, and sense of playful whimsy throughout keep the pages turning. This is a charmer. Agent: Kurestin Armada, Root Literary (Sept.)