Length: 416 pages
Audiobook Length: 13 hours and 53 minutes
First Published: 2023
Half-sisters Joanna and Esther Kalotay were raised among their father’s collection of rare magic books that he spent his whole life protecting. While Esther fled to a remote Antarctic base, Joanna has isolate herself in the family home. When their father dies, the sisters reunite and discover that their parents have been keeping secrets from them. Secrets that could change everything.
I have mixed feelings about Emma Törzs’s debut fantasy book. While the worldbuilding aspect of the magic was intriguing, the pacing was all over the place. The setup took too long; It’s well past halfway through before the action finally begins and the three main storylines start to intertwine. Yet, the ending felt a little forced, rushing to a conclusion without letting the main characters develop realistic connections.
In this spellbinding debut novel, two estranged half-sisters tasked with guarding their family’s library of magical books must work together to unravel a deadly secret at the heart of their collection—a tale of familial loyalty and betrayal, and the pursuit of magic and power.
For generations, the Kalotay family has guarded a collection of ancient and rare books. Books that let a person walk through walls or manipulate the elements—books of magic that half-sisters Joanna and Esther have been raised to revere and protect.
All magic comes with a price, though, and for years the sisters have been separated. Esther has fled to a remote base in Antarctica to escape the fate that killed her own mother, and Joanna’s isolated herself in their family home in Vermont, devoting her life to the study of these cherished volumes. But after their father dies suddenly while reading a book Joanna has never seen before, the sisters must reunite to preserve their family legacy. In the process, they’ll uncover a world of magic far bigger and more dangerous than they ever imagined, and all the secrets their parents kept hidden; secrets that span centuries, continents, and even other libraries . . .
About Emma Törzs
Emma Törzs is a writer, teacher, occasional translator, and author of Ink Blood Sister Scribe. She currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit the author’s website →