cover image The Sea of the Dead

The Sea of the Dead

Amy Kuivalainen. BHC, $26.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-64397-133-9

A startling discovery in the Dead Sea becomes a prize in the brewing war between the magicians of Atlantis and the demon god Thevetat in the predictable second fantasy of Kuivalainen’s Magicians of Venice series (after The Immortal City). Penelope Bryne struggles to acclimate herself to her new role as archivist of a rare collection of magical antiquities while simultaneously dealing with the unexpected courtship of Alexis, an Atlantean magician. When one of her colleagues, Tim, goes missing in Israel after uncovering a magical scroll, Pen and Alexis head out to find him—and the excursion quickly takes a life-threatening turn as Thevetat and his followers race to get to Tim first. To defeat these enemies of Atlantis, Pen and Alexis must find an ancient weapon, and Pen discovers along the way that her new life of magic and mayhem requires the painful sacrifice of her old one. Kuivalainen infuses the Atlantis legend with dark magic to great effect, but glosses over worldbuilding details and populates her hazy myth with a slew of shallowly developed characters. The new take on Atlantis will be enough for some, but readers shouldn’t expect anything substantial. (Sept.)

Due to a production error, this review originally published as a starred review.