cover image The Archive of the Forgotten

The Archive of the Forgotten

A.J. Hackwith. Ace, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-984806-39-0

With this powerhouse fantasy, Hackwith returns to Hell’s Library where Claire Hardley now works as the Archanist of the Arcane Wing, and her former deputy, the ex-muse Brevity, has taken over as Librarian of the Unwritten Wing. Many books were destroyed in the battle that ended The Library of the Unwritten, and now the ink from these books has formed a deep pool in the Archive. As Claire, Brevity, and their respective deputies, Ramiel and Hero, examine the mysterious ink, Claire’s arm becomes engulfed in the dark liquid. It is only through the swift action of visiting muse Probity that Claire is saved from being overtaken by the ink, prompting all the characters to band together in search of answers about the pool’s properties and purpose. Meanwhile, Brevity discovers that Probity has ulterior motives for her visit: she’s on a quest to empower the muses, beings who exist to inspire stories in humans, to create stories of their own, cutting out what she sees as cruel humanity. Writing in stirring prose, Hackwith imbues her high-concept, metafictional tale with color, action, and high-flying emotion. This imaginative ode to the power of fiction is sure to delight. Agent: Caitlin McDonald, Donald Maass Literary. (Oct.)