cover image External Forces

External Forces

Shannon Fay. 47North, $14.95 trade paper (532p) ISBN 978-1-5420-3257-5

Fay’s enthralling second Marrowbone Spells fantasy (after Innate Magic) thrusts an impetuous mage into the center of a tumultuous political conflict. In the late 1950s, four years after charming but foolhardy mage Paul Gallagher defeated the last threat to Great Britain, the country is in peril yet again as the conservative political group, the Virtuis Party, rises to power. Paul, who has fallen into favor with the royal family through his role as Princess Katherine’s personal dressmaker and friend, has a front row seat to the madness. Things take a turn for the worse when the Virtuis Party’s mysterious leader reveals he knows of Paul’s innate magic, a rare, illegal power that allows Paul to create other mages and perform dark miracles. Paul becomes key to the party’s plan to catapult Britain into fascism—which means he’s also the only person who can stop it. There are myriad moving pieces to Fay’s intense plot, but she manages to preserve her dry, witty voice even in the most outlandish situations. Series fans will be eager to see what Paul and his equally delightful and eccentric friends are up to, and new readers will find it easy to jump in. This is a treat. Agent: Rebecca Strauss, DeFiore & Co. (Nov.)