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  • Writer's pictureDawn Dalton

These Are a Few of My Favorite Books: Magic Ex Libris

I met Jim C. Hines many years ago when he was a guest at Gen Con. One of the things that drew me to him was his sense of humor. At the time, he was talking about a series of photos he did with friends where they parodied the stereotypical female heroine covers. I fell in love with his Princess series and was hooked on his writing style.

The Magic Ex Libris series follows Isaac, a libriomancer and member of the secret organization called the Porters. Libriomancers are magic users who can reach into books and pull out objects based on the belief of the readers of that book. Objects can't be bigger than the book, so you can't pull characters out, but Lucy's cordial from The Lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe is fine.

Magic has its limits. Books can only be used so many times before they char and can no longer be used. Libriomancers can only do so much magic in a short period of time before the books start talking to them and making them go crazy. There are also books with magic items so powerful that they've been locked from use.

That doesn't mean other magical species don't exist. Unsuspecting libromancers (and a few on purpose) have reached into books only to be bitten by vampires or werewolves. Isaac also has a fire spider named Smudge he pulled out of a book (a nod to another of Jim's series).

Isaac is a character after my own heart. He falls backwards into a lot of mayhem, like any good urban fantasy hero does. But he also plays with the possibilities of his magic and pushes the boundaries. Is libromancy limited to print books? What about pulling abilities out of books?

As a huge reader, I love the idea that I could pull items out of books. Or if I don't have the skill, my belief in the book helps those who can. It also doesn't hurt that Jim puts a bibliography in the back of the book of all the books refenced as well as which ones he made up so he could put items into the story.

All in all, the four book (and a novelette) series is a fun look at magic and reading. Even though I wanted it to continue past its four book arc, it feels complete. If you're looking for a good solid urban fantasy read to tide you over until your favorite author puts out another book, give this one a try?

Who's your favorite fantasy author? Let me know what other series I should try out!

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