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Magic for Liars mixes school of magic and mystery of murder

A school of magic comes up against a mysterious murder Magic for the liars, the first novel by Sarah Gailey, best known for her American Hippo short stories – but with a key touch.

It's because the school and the murder may be magical, but Ivy Gamble, the investigator hired to solve the case, is quite ordinary. Unable to cast a spell or cast a spell, she is a much easier-to-understand character than most other magical detectives who dot the literary landscape.

Spoilers for the upcoming book.

Image: Tor.com

When we meet Ivy for the first time, she lives in Oakland, stalking unfaithful husbands, avoiding abusers at her door and making her way through the neighborhood bars. She then offered the opportunity to solve a murder: Sylvia Capley, a health and welfare teacher at the Osthorne Academy, was found split in two in the library and the director wanted to hire Ivy to find out who had it. committed.

There are two problems, however: The Osthrone Academy is a magical school at Hogwarts, filled with teenagers with supernatural powers that add a host of possibilities to the case; and that twin sister of Ivy – who, unlike Ivy, has magical powers and has been in recent years to avoid – was a member of the faculty.

Magic Schools are a fantastic staple of J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts and Lev Grossman's Brakebills at Terry Prachett's Unseen University. Magic for the liars introduces readers to another school of spells: the Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, located in a world very similar to the one we live in, with magic boiling just below the surface.

But Gailey's school, more than any other magical institution, feels like a high school. Students graffit walls, cheat on homework and write too much in class. There are wicked cliques, pregnancy fears and all the other problems that are too often lacking in magical schools, making it a familiar setting.

We see all this through the eyes of Ivy, who, like many adults Harry Potter the fans who Magic for the liars is oriented towards, has spent all his life wishing the kind of magical abilities that his twin sister Tabitha has and that he misses. But like Magic for the liars It is clear that some problems are simply fundamental to human nature and that no amount of magic can solve them alone.

Despite the outward signs, it is the relationship between Ivy and Tabitha that advances the story. In a sense, this is the second mystery of the novel: it solves what is wrong between the two sisters and what can possibly fix things.

Gailey's first novel harmoniously combines two genres. The mystery of the dark and the fun of a more traditional magical adventure unfold along the borders. And the construction of Gailey's world clearly establishes a much larger world their American Hippo new.)

Ultimately, Magic for the liars is a great start for Gailey, with fun characters, an interesting mystery to break through, and a unique interpretation of the magical black genre. And although Gailey has not announced any plans for a sequel, we will soon be expecting more: their next news, Straight women wanted, was released in February.

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