Warning: contains spoilers for Book 1
I have now reached the point in my life where I am very patiently waiting for either, if not both, of my children to fly the family nest. Perhaps I should point out that they are both adults and that I do really love them, it’s just that if they were to move out there would then be additional space in the house for more book shelves and, obviously, more books. With all of the shelf space that I have taken, I am now having to be far more particular about the books that I buy with a view not just to reading but to keeping.
This is a title to which I have been looking forward enormously – one that I could have had an early read of on Net Galley but chose to pre-order from my lovely local indie so that I would have a hard copy, knowing that it would be one that not only would I want to read but would want to keep to sit next to its older sibling. A wonderful read, not only has it merited a space on the shelf but such was the enjoyment I felt while reading it that spaces will most definitely be made for the title or titles that follow it.
We left Flick Lions at the end of Book 1 trying to find her father and in her continuing efforts to do so she has come to the Swiss town of Linth with master magician The Great Fox and friend and partner-in-crime Charlie, with whom she buddied up during that first adventure. Now apprenticed to the illusionist, the two friends have accompanied him to take part in an international competition to allow him to become chancellor of the Global Order of Magic – something which will give him the right to the knowledge behind the world’s magic tricks, including the Bell System – the greatest and most powerful trick ever invented.
With four supremely talented magicians represented by their apprentices in the running, the pressure is on Flick and Charlie to produce something outstanding ahead of their showstopper – stealing a valuable diamond necklace from a seemingly impenetrable bank vault – but with the Great Fox playing his cards close to his chest as to the whereabouts of Flick’s father, she starts to doubt whether or not she can trust him.
As time ticks by towards their finale, and with others around her tempting her with hints as to where her father is, Flick finds herself contemplating betraying the man who has brought her to Linth. Can she work out the truth behind what is going on? In whom can she trust? And when the time comes, will her own magical abilities be enough to save her from the danger in which she finds herself?
Having anticipated seeing her missing father at the end of The Great Fox Illusion and then having her hopes dashed, Flick has changed since we first met her. Although still incredibly self-reliant and focused on her task, she no longer sees working alongside the Great Fox as the only way of achieving her heart’s desire and as a result the bond between her and Charlie shows signs of being strained here. For him, the magic and illusions are everything and while he is happy to support his friend, he expects the same in return and is left hurt and disappointed when she does not include him in what she is up to. Open and honest, when Charlie trusts someone he does so unconditionally and it will be interesting to see whether their relationship will be altered by Flick’s actions in Book 3.
As well as Flick, Charlie and the Great Fox, some of the other characters from Book 1 appear here but you do not need to have read the first title to enjoy this – it will work as a standalone (although why you wouldn’t want to read that first is beyond me). With much of the groundwork done in that first title we are straight into the action here, meaning that I was hooked in from the very off and desperate to see what was going to happen – both in terms of the illusions themselves and to Flick. Through his fabulous writing and clear specialist knowledge of illusions, Justyn Edwards ensured that as before I was unable to work out how the tricks were pulled off and could not see how the plot was going to develop, making this one of my favourite books of the year so far – one I urge you to treat yourself to if you haven’t already.
I have no idea as to a date for a possible Book 3 but I will most definitely be keeping an eye out for it, as I know many others will. Until then, I will continue to hope that I will be able to magically increase my shelf space somehow!