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Wednesday
Jul042018

Book Review: The Saint of Liars

The Saint of Liars. Megan Mackie. Self-published, June 18, 2018, Trade Paperback and E-book, 459 pages.

Reviewed by Andrew Reynolds.

In her first book, Finder of the Lucky Devil, Megan Mackie introduced us to her alternate Chicago. It's a place where technology and magic exist side-by-side, but the balance is shifting. With technology becoming more and more like magic, those who wield the older power face a bleak future. Corporations that virtually own their employees are consolidating their hold on the city, squeezing those they do not control out of power, or into their control.

The Saint of Liars begins where the earlier work left off. Newly made the head of an ancient magical house, Rune Leveau is struggling to find her place in the world of magic. She must deal with the pressures of keeping the seat of that house, the Lucky Devil bar, from going broke while learning to use her emerging magical powers. If that wasn't enough pressure, she finds herself enmeshed in the power struggles that are coming into the open.

Old disagreements amongst the magic users threaten to shatter their last bit of political power in the face of corporations learning to use technology to work magic. But the corporations are far from united. Factions in their ranks are engaged in a covert revolt, fearing that a final consolidation of power in the hands of a few is at hand.

Rune's sometimes love interest St. Benedict is back, and the two of them are soon working together to find out who is trying to kill Rune. Their efforts to solve that mystery takes them deep into Chicago's magical side and uncover a plot to develop a technology that would allow the non-magical to harness magic. 

Mackie's magic-noir Chicago may be populated by fantasy creatures, but the problems her protagonist faces, and the landscape she moves through, contain enough of modern reality to make the story believable. Her hero is not perfect, but her errors give her the feel of someone you might know in real life. Put all that into a story that draws you along with a relentless pace, and you have a story that makes an ideal summer read, or a good read any other time of the year. I am not sure if Ms. Mackie plans to write another book in her fantasy world, but I hope she does. I have enjoyed following her characters and would not mind reading more of their story.

 

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