Review: Magic for Liars

You can find Magic For Liars on sale at Amazon or any fine independent retailer. I listened to the Audiobook and have to say that I love Xe Sands as a narrator.

You may have noticed from my work that I’m a sucker for magic. Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey is a fantastic debut novel that is pouring with power and prophesy.

Non-Spoiler Description: When a teacher at a prestigious magic school is seemingly murdered, Private Investigator Ivy Gamble, non-magician, is called in to help investigate. She discovers a world of secrets, danger and lies, non-greater than her own. I would describe this novel as Harry Potter & The Magicians meets Cormoran Strike.

I love Ivy as a main character. She’s been stuck in the shadow of her sister, a magician, since the moment her sister’s magic was discovered and though she enjoys her work, she’s still dealing with being the twin sister left behind.

The magic in the book is really cool. Because we’re in a school for magic and dealing with a non-magician we get to hear a bunch of descriptions of how magic works, even if it doesn’t always make sense. We get to see a lot of spell work and its effect on the world.

I also love the mystery here. It lays out the potential suspects early and twists and turns. I figured out who it was going to come down to pretty quickly but the ride it took me on to the final reveal was awesome.

That being said the final pages weren’t my favorite but all the moments leading up to it are worth it.

Time for the Spoilers friends!

…….

……….

…..

…………….

…….

………

…………

…………..

…..

……….

Spoilers to follow!

…..

…………

…….

……………

…….

……..

………..

I mean it, I am going to tell you the ending bro. Turn back now.

……

………..

……..

…………

…….

……………..

…….

………….

………………….

…….

…………

OK, like I said I really enjoyed this book. I listen to most audiobooks on like 2x speed because it feels like everything just moves so slowly. I listened to this on 1.5 speed and really enjoyed getting into the details of the story.

Ivy is not only non-magic but she’s also jealous of the power her sister possesses. She believes that her sister could have saved their mother’s life (she died of cancer) with her magic and she wishes she could go back and change her mother’s fate. Ivy is literally all of us if we found out we couldn’t do magic.

And coming to the academy to solve a murder is her chance to see how the other half lives. It’s not the first time you’ve seen this kind of story before, but I do really love the way it plays out. Ivy lies by omission in most cases but occassionally she outright lies because she wants to know what its like to be the woman with magic. The woman with power. And even though her ability is limited she is able to keep up with the students at the college.

Ok, let’s get to the biggest spoiler and the thing that was the most frustrating…

The murderer is Ivy’s sister, Tabitha. Except, is she a murderer? The reason why she killed the teacher is because she wanted to save her life. It turns out the murdered teacher had cancer and Tabitha tried to cure that cancer using magic but made a mistake at the last minute.

She also abused a child.

Lied to her sister and drugged her.

But instead of turning Tabitha in, Ivy lets her go. Tells her to move on to a new town. And for me that’s the part I liked the least. All the lead up to discovering who the killer is is so satisfying and awesome (the bit about the prophecy that feels like a throwaway but is not). And then to get to the end and not have Tabitha have…any repercutions? It’s a little bit of a let down.

To some degree I get it, Tabitha is Ivy’s sister, her twin, she’s going to try to protect her but I still with it felt like Tabitha wasn’t getting off Scott-free.

I still really liked the book and I likely will had a physical copy to my library (as I do for all the books I really like).

If you’re looking for something to feed your Harry Potter Mystery fix with queer and adult characters, well friends, you should check this one out. Just ya know, don’t expect an especially satisfying ending.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s