From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up–An undercurrent of wit and subtle sarcasm turns this dark story of demons, magic, and dysfunctional families into an affecting and fun read. Mae–don't call her Mavis–and her brother Jamie, tortured Alan and his demon brother Nick, and other memorable characters are back in this sequel to Brennan's excellent The Demon's Lexicon (S & S, 2009). The book doesn't disappoint as demons are summoned, duels are fought, and spells are cast throughout modern-day England. Jamie is being recruited by a magician named Gerald, head of the group that previously tried to kill him and Mae. Once again, she turns to Alan and Nick for help protecting Jamie. In exchange, Mae agrees to help Nick learn to act more human. The outcasts must navigate a path between rival magicians' circles and demons hungry for human souls while trying to unlock the secret to Gerald's newfound powers. Mae, a tough and sassy heroine, is torn by her attraction to three very different men. Conflicting loyalties push her to the breaking point as secret–and maybe Faustian–deals are struck. Danger and lies are everywhere as the story builds to a climactic battle. All is not resolved, leaving readers hungry for the trilogy's final installment. A few passages are confusing but overall the writing is strong with lots of action and engaging characters. This book stands alone, but reading the first volume will make it even more enjoyable. Fans of Laurie Faria Stolarz, Casandra Clare, and Rosemary Clement-Moore will be enchanted.Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
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Seventeen-year-old Mae’s younger brother Jamie is claimed by magicians known as the Obsidian Circle, and Mae once again appeals to friends Alan and Nick for help. Although the four come together to face the power-hungry magicians, internal doubts and treachery threaten the outcome. This delicious mix of magic, conflicted romance, and trust issues follows The Demon’s Lexicon (2009), but here Brennan’s writing is stronger and more confident. Fans may also enjoy Holly Black and Melissa Marr as they await the concluding volume in this trilogy. Grades 8-11. --Cindy Welch