Title: The Devil’s Thief
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Series: The Last Magician #2
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Audience: Young Adult
Length: 692 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Source: Personal collection
Recommended for fans of: time travel, Six of Crows
Content Warnings: racism/cultural appropriation, drug abuse/addiction
Hunt the Stones.
Beware the Thief.
Avenge the Past.
Esta’s parents were murdered. Her life was stolen. And everything she knew about magic was a lie. She thought the Book of Mysteries held the key to freeing the Mageus from the Order’s grasp, but the danger within its pages was greater than she ever imagined.
Now the Book’s furious power lives inside Harte. If he can’t control it, it will rip apart the world to get its revenge, and it will use Esta to do it.
To bind the power, Esta and Harte must track down four elemental stones scattered across the continent. But the world outside the city is like nothing they expected. There are Mageus beyond the Brink not willing to live in the shadows—and the Order isn’t alone in its mission to crush them.
In St. Louis, the extravagant World’s Fair hides the first stone, but an old enemy is out for revenge and a new enemy is emerging. And back in New York, Viola and Jianyu must defeat a traitor in a city on the verge of chaos.
As past and future collide, time is running out to rewrite history—even for a time-traveling thief.
First, I want to say that I adore The Last Magician. It is a totally underrated YA historical fantasy about time travel and a magical heist, a la Six of Crows. I love the characters, their found family dynamic, the setting in turn-of-the-century New York, and the magic system in this series, but Lisa Maxwell tried to do too much in this book.
This book pushes 700 pages, and it has no business being that long. By separating the core characters from The Last Magician across space and time AND adding multiple new POV characters to each timeline, the story became sprawling and unwieldy. I didn’t like most of the new characters as much as the originals, and some of the new POVs seemed unnecessary.
The story slowly built and built, and I really expected it to pay off with an explosive ending, but the book ended SO abruptly, leaving me confused and unsatisfied. The book was so long and we didn’t even get to see the final events play out completely! I will eventually continue this series because I love the concept and the first book earned five stars from me, but I need a little time before I’m ready to attack book 3 (which is even longer than this one!).