- LEA Pointy Toe Two Piece Ankle Strap Flat Patent Comfortable Insole Padded Arch Support (New Fall)
- Naot Footwear Women's Montana Winter Boot Black
- LQ Mens leather sandals Solid color mesh adhesive shoes, summer men's fabric breathable men's tide shoes, polyurethane non-slip thick-soled beach shoes, leaking toe increased men's word slippers
- Karrimor Summit Boys Walking shoes Sneakers Footwear
- INMONARCH Mens golden Brocade Wedding shoes Floral MJ0019
- Pratik Albert mens loafer Beste driving shoes.Very flexible combination of quality leather and rubber sole.very comfortable every day wear (39, Navy Suede leather)
- Flex Cloud Hockey Astro Training shoes 2018 - Red Black
- Classic Nude Sam Edelman Women's Felicia Ballet Flat
- JaHGDU Fashion Women Sandals Summer Boom shoes Wedges Weave Middle Heel Sandals Casual shoes High Heel Fashion Synthetic Skin Suede for Womens
- Wild Diva Women Glitter Lace Up Bunny Ear and Tail Sneaker GF98
- BIGTREE Long Boots Women Fall Winter Warm Faux Suede Black Lace Flat Over The Knee Boots
- BalaMasa Womens Sandals Closed-Toe Cold Lining Light-Weight Urethane Sandals ASL04431
- WeiPoot Women's Assorted colors Pu Kitten-Heels Round-Toe Pumps-shoes
- JooJooBeach Sanuk Ladies' Yoga Mat Flip Flop
- Women High Heels Peep-Toe Ankle Strap Thick Heel Black Fashion Sandals
- GIY Women's Mary Jane T-Strap Oxford Pump Bowknot Platform Chunky Mid Heel Buckle Dress Oxfords shoes
- Lady,Summer,Middle Heel Sandals Rhinestone,Rough With,All-purpose shoes
- WeenFashion Women's Round-Toe Ankle-High Kitten-Heels Solid Pu Boots, AMGXX111150
- Nike - Mercurial Superfly Academy Fgmg JR
- Sperry Womens A O 2-Eye Boat shoes
- Men's Casual shoes Fashion mesh Breathable Men's shoes Outdoor Climbing shoes
- T-JULY Luxury Winter Ankle Boots Women High Heel shoes Cow Leather Denim Mixed color Metal Decoration shoes
- ADA-XSHION Men Waterproof Windproof Outdoor Coat Pants Ski Suit Sets Jacket Snowboard Athletic
- Rieker Women’s M3725 Trainers Green
- JQfashion Ladies'High Heels High Waterproof Tables Sandals Hollow Out Sexy Nightclubs Black 46
- HILOTU Athletic shoes for Men, Outdoor Sports Sneakers Lace up Genuine Leather Running Training Walking (color White, Size 6.5 UK)
- Geox Men's U Loris a ABX C Derby
- JUJIANFU-shoes Men's Classic Driving Loafer Casual and Refreshing Premium Genuine Leather shoes with Soft Soles are Not Slippery Boat Moccasins (color Hollow Reddish Brown, Size 9 UK)
I’m a big fan of the magical school trope. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was one of those life-defining books from high school through the end of college, and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians books came right in after as I was starting my career as a college administrator and writer. Sarah Gailey’s debut novel Magic for Liars is like a third part of that transition, and I blew through the book in just about a day.
The story introduces us to Ivy Gamble, a woman who works as a private investigator, and who has a bit of a secret: her estranged twin sister is a brilliant magician. She’s hired by the headmaster of the Osthorne Academy of Young Mages in California, where her sister works. The two haven’t spoken in years, and when a teacher at the school is found dead in the library, they’re unexpectedly reunited.
Gailey is the author of the American Hippo novellas, and while I loved the concept, I felt that they were a bit weak, character-wise (one of the downsides to Tor.com’s novella line: sometimes, a story is too slimmed down, and could have been a bit longer.) That isn’t a problem here. Gailey brilliantly sets up these two sisters, and Ivy is a phenomenal, bitter character who is pretty much burned out on everything, stemming back to some deep-seated family history that drove her and her sister apart.
This book succeeds in two ways. First, it’s a fantastic mystery, and Gamble, an outsider to this magical community, is the perfect person to solve it, because she can approach it from that unknowledgeable angle, but who knows how perfectly messed up people are, and what sorts of bad decisions they can make. Secondly, it’s a great magical school entry. Hogwarts is delightfully twee, Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy is realistically cynical, and the Osthorne Academy of Young Mages is… a typical high school. There’s plenty of details that show off that kids — even magical kids, will be immature, do stupid things, are egotistical, and crave attention.
What really makes this book stand out is that it revolves around a couple of things that fantasy (and science fiction, for that matter), typically ignores: wOmEnS IsSuEs. I won’t spoil how this plays out, but it’s a mystery that comes down to teenage and family drama in ways that feels utterly realistic, and I’m guessing entirely relevant and relatable to any woman who picks up this book. Gailey also keeps the mystery entirely fresh throughout the entire read, throwing me off in a couple of places, and nailing the book with a fantastic (and frustratingly ambiguous) ending. She tells me that she’s not planning on a followup, which is also refreshing? There needs to be more standalone novels, although I would dearly love to see more of this particular world.