Book Review | The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

the last magician
Title: The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1)
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Publish Date: July 18, 2017 by Simon Pulse
# of Pages: 500
Buy it*: Amazon

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(From Goodreads) Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.


Rating (1-5, 5 is exceptional)

Quality of Writing
5_stars-01 STAR
3_stars-01 STAR

Plot Development
4_stars-01 STAR
4_stars-01 STAR

4_stars-01 STAR
4_stars-01 STAR

Overall Rating
4_stars-01 STAR


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell is an exciting romp of magic, betrayal, and intrigue. When Esta, a talented and trained thief with the ability to manipulate time, is tasked with traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book from the Order, she doesn’t expect to become so deeply entangled with the Magician. Harte, the Magician, had once destroyed the powerful book, and it’s Esta’s job to stop him.

The Last Magician was so cool! Honestly, it had been sitting on my bookshelf for so long, taunting me with its beautiful cover. I’m happy I finally committed to reading it, because it was well worth the time! The book was beautifully written, rich with detail and expert world building. I felt like I was walking alongside Esta as she stole priceless gems and navigated the cutthroat gangs she was embedded with. While the pacing felt slow at times, it was never a deterrent from wanting to continue reading.

The story itself was magical. Truly. Part of what made the story magical was how in depth the plot and story development was. Each character’s backstory was extensive, wonderfully executed, and woven with care into the overarching plot. Whether I was following Dolph, the gruff gang boss, or the slippery Harte, each character had a story to tell.

I liked the grittiness of the gangs in the book. It reminded me faintly of Six of Crows, with Dolph being magic’s version of Kaz. I liked the danger of the gangs, the broken loyalties, and how powerful the gangs were in the city. The gangs really forced the story in some ways, backing the characters into alleys they may not have down otherwise.

I really enjoyed how the nuances of time travel was handled in The Last Magician. Esta was a powerful manipulator of time, but she wasn’t all-powerful. Her crutch rested in the tools she needed to help her travel. There were rules to time travel–a structure to it–which I appreciated.

The ending left me on a cliff. What happens next? I can’t fathom, but you’d better believe I’ll be voraciously consuming The Devil’s Thief to find out!

The characters really made the book. I didn’t find Esta overly compelling, but Dolph and Harte were amazing. Dolph is so jagged and harsh, yet oddly compassionate. Then there’s Harte. He doesn’t need girls or relationships. With a past full of demons, he just needs to get out of New York City.

If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend it!



  • “‘Change your feathers often enough, and the mark won’t recognize the bird.'”

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Have you read The Last Magician? Are you looking forward to the sequel?

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5 thoughts on “Book Review | The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

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