Eighteen-year-old art student Susan Arkshaw arrives in London in search of her father. But before she can question crime boss Frank Thringley he's turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin. Merlin is one of the youngest members of a secret society of booksellers with magical powers who police the mythic Old World wherever it impinges on the New World - in addition to running several bookshops, of course! Merlin also has a quest of his own: to find the Old World entity who arranged the murder of his mother. Their investigations attract attention from enemies of the Old and New Worlds.
Soon they become involved in an even more urgent task to recover the grail that is the source of the left-handed booksellers' power, before it is used to destroy the booksellers and rouse the hordes of the mythic past. As the search for the grail becomes strangely intertwined with both their quests, they start to wonder... Is Susan's long-lost father a bookseller, or something altogether more mysterious?
Susan Arkshaw leaves her quiet English village to go to London in search of her father. Instead she meets Merlin, who is gorgeous and a member of a mysterious secret society of magical booksellers, who is on a quest of his own.
Strangely, their searches seem intertwined and Susan becomes immersed in the secret world of magic. But where will their search lead them?
This is another excellent book from master storyteller Garth Nix. I love the way he creates mystical worlds, but then weaves it all so seamlessly into the real world.
Readers will love the brilliant characters and the quest of good versus evil, as well as the mystery that will keep you turning every page eagerly.
Fantasy lovers will thoroughly enjoy this book, and it is best suited to readers in middle-secondary and up.
Reviewed by Michelle