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Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1) Hardcover – August 7, 2012

Book 1 of 3 in the Magic Ex Libris Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Magic Ex Libris
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780756407391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756407391
  • ASIN: 0756407397
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“I picked up the book meaning to read a few pages. My first thought was, ‘This is a cool concept.’ The second thing I thought was, ‘This is really, really clever.’ The third thing I thought was, ‘I should have gone to sleep three hours ago.’” — Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE NAME OF THE WIND

"Pretty much geek porn for the urban fantasy set. It’s meta-fictional and utterly awesome." —

"This may be Jim Hines’s best work. Libriomancer is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It’s a book about loving books. This is the magic librarian and ass-kicking dryad adventure story we’ve all been waiting for."
Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of DISCOUNT ARMAGEDDON

"All writers believe in the magic of books; Jim Hines has created a system where that magic becomes real, usable, and very definitely not always safe."
Tanya Huff, bestselling author of the BLOOD BOOKS

"Secret organizations, supernatural threats, and an unknown killer of unimaginable power—Libriomancer is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. It’s a lightning-fast race against time and magic to prevent the darkest secrets from history from unleashing a supernatural war on the world. I can’t wait for the next one. Oh, by the way, never piss off a fire spider." — Lisa Shearin, national bestselling author of ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE

“This funny and fast-paced series opener...will be sure to surprise and entertain urban fantasy fans.... Isaac is sure to be an instant fan favorite, and the secondary characters are vivid and multidimensional.” — Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Jim C. Hines has been a paid juggler, earned a black belt in two different martial arts, performed yo-yo tricks at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and lived with a brain-damaged squirrel. (Only three of those are true.) One of his earliest stories earned first place in the Writers of the Future contest. He’s published more than forty short stories as well as numerous fantasy novels, including the humorous Jig the Dragonslayer trilogy, the Princess series, which re-imagines traditional fairy-tale princesses as butt-kicking action heroines, and the Magic Ex Libris series, about a centuries-old secret society dedicated to the use and control of book magic. In 2012, he won the Hugo for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife, two children, and an unstable number of pets. He can be found online at

Customer Reviews

I'd give this book six stars, if I could.
Deborah Blake
Libriomancer is simply a fun book, featuring a great story and some fantastic characters.
Alex C. Telander
I recommend this book highly to any urban fantasy fans or SF fans.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Greg Polansky on August 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Imagine that you could pull out an object from a book. What would you pull out? The possibilities are almost infinite. In Libriomancer, Johannes Gutenberg worked out a way to pull out objects from books. In doing so, he became the first libriomancer - someone who uses magic to pull objects out of books. Hundreds of years later Gutenberg is still alive but has gone missing.

In Jim C. Hines' 'Libriomancer', we are pulled into a world where since the 15th century certain people, libriomancers, are born with the ability to pull objects from books. Our protagonist, Isaac Vainio, a librarian in UP Michigan, has been exiled for the past two years from this order, not allowed to work magic anymore for his past transgressions. But one day vampires show up at his library and he is pulled back into the world of magic. Set on quest, with his companion Dryad and fire spider, Isaac must discover the whereabouts of Gutenberg. And if he doesn't find Gutenberg then it's quite possible that all hell will break loose.

This faced-paced gem of a book is a treat for any lover of science-fiction and fantasy. Making references to cherished books left and right (care for Sonic Screwdriver, or an enchanted healing sword, or a cordial of healing liquid?), this is a world created by an author who clearly loves books and wants to share that love with the reader by allowing them entry into many beloved worlds. The book is written well, and gives just enough answers by the end to leave you satisfied but keep you wanting more.

P.S. Ponce de Leon nearly steals the show. I want more of him.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By J. Colson on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of books (a book a day, sometimes more) and there are many books that I like and even love on my list of books that I have read. However, very rarely do I read a book that so enthralls me that it makes it onto my top ten of all time list. "Libriomancer" is one of those very rare books. A book about the magic that exists in books with plenty of mayhem to make things even more exiting, "Libriomancer" is a dream come true for me. If you ever put a baggie tie or rubber band around your finger and called it the One Ring; if you ever picked up a branch and battled hordes of storm troopers or orcs; if you ever dreamed about one day possessing Excalibur, you really, really NEED to read this book! "Libriomancer" follows a magic user whose power allows him to draw items out of the books they were written into. The rules of this world are so well explained by Mr. Hines that everything seems very reasonable (of course you can't have a Tardis, it wouldn't fit through the book...yes, you can pull Tinkerbell into our world but she will be completely insane when you do...see, it all makes perfect sense!). Anyone who's ever read a book that they just couldn't put down, couldn't stop reading, never wanted to end will empathize with Isaac when he has difficulty separating himself from the characters in the book he is drawing from, when he feels the book talking to him and taking over his mind. Anyone, even someone as terrified of spiders as I am, will want their own personal Smudge when they read the description of this adorable fire spider (and yes, there is a very good explanation for how Isaac managed to draw a sentient creature into our world from a book!). Anyone who's ever read a book that was so good they never wanted it to end will love finding themselves immersed in Jim Hines' new world.Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By SporadicReviews dot com on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's every nerd's dream: pulling Excalibur, a phaser, or a magic potion out of your books to use against your enemies. This ability is real; it's called Libriomancy! Libriomancers work for the ancient group know as Porters to manage the influx of vampires and other literary evils accidentally allowed into our world through book magic. There's a problem though, someone is killing people on both sides! It's up to librarian, geek, and Libriomancer Isaac and his dryad friend to track down the culprit and return the world to normal. The only problem is Isaac was relieved of field duty two years ago for abusing his magic.

This book turns Urban Fantasy on its head. This is our world - with computers, and fandoms, and Twilight movies - but within our world are the creatures that have grown from the use of libriomancy: vampires, and Isaac's dryad friend, and chupacabras crossbreeding with poodles. It's a world where words have power; a libriomancer could theoretically pull micro black hole out of a book and destroy the planet!

I'm a fan of Jim C. Hines. I loved his Princess series, but I haven't tried out his Jig the Goblin series yet. When I heard he was writing a new series, I knew I had to read it. You should too! What's the opposite of disappointing? This book! Isaac is a geek to be reckoned with; not only is he a fan of multiple fandoms and has read just about every SF/F book there is, and more in other genres, he can remember specific passages and page numbers from those books to serve his magic needs. The author conveniently provides a complete list of every book referenced within the pages of Libriomancer, even the made up books! (I seriously thought Vulcan's Mirror was a real Trek book.)

I don't know if you can to tell from this review yet, but I liked this book.
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More About the Author

Jim C. Hines' latest book is UNBOUND, the third in his modern-day fantasy series about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. He's also the author of the PRINCESS series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in BLOOD OF HEROES. His short fiction has appeared in more than 50 magazines and anthologies. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. He's currently hard at work on REVISIONARY, the fourth (and final?) book in the MAGIC EX LIBRIS series. Online, he can be found at

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Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)
This item: Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)
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