The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel)
I read a little bit ago that the titles of these books are a reference to the title character featured in each book, which only served to make me extra excited to get to this one. Perenelle Flamel (for some reason my brain hadn’t noticed the rhyme there until just now, weird) is the Sorceress and she is magnificent in the same way I imagine Cleopatra would have been magnificent. She’s beautiful, of course, but she has the motherly caring about her that is endearing without being cloying. Layered beneath that is this cloud of power and a certain amount of smoldering anger. In short, she is not to be fucked with and it’s so gratifying to read. She kind of reminds me of the person Buffy would become if she were to live to the ripe old age of 700.
We return to the story to find Nicholas and the twins riding into London on a train. London, you see, is Dee’s town and virtually all of the Elders, Next Generation, and immortal humani are loyal to the Dark Elders, which makes taking the twins of legend into the heart of the city particularly problematic. Flamel is desperately trying to keep the twins safe while simultaneously worrying about Perenelle, who is still stuck on Alcatraz, surrounded by monsters. Sophie, Josh, and Flamel are immediately discovered and followed by a group of three flesh eaters and the monsters just keep on coming. Ancient kings will be found, the greatest writer to ever live wears police armor, and the twins continue to learn that the world isn’t at all how it seemed to them only a few days ago.
In some ways it feels a little weird to review these books individually because they connect seamlessly. Each book picks up, if not minutes, then no more than a few hours after last book left off. In some ways it feels like Scott wrote the whole story as just one long book and then broke it up for the sake of length. It’s not a bad thing, by any means, but it’s certainly noticeable when you read them back to back, which is almost impossible not to do.
However, this book is particularly rewarding for the Fantasy and/or Literary Nerd, of which I am both. Since part of the fun in reading these books is discovering which historical/fantastical figures Scott has written into his universe, I won’t tell you why. But I will say that some of my favorite fantasy components are in this book, from a literal knight in shining armor to the Wild Hunt. Once again, Scott writes in such a way as to always hold the reader’s interest without sacrificing any character development. In some ways, that is his master stroke. He has an uncanny ability to let his characters grow without the reader scoffing at it. It doesn’t stick out or break up the plot at all. In fact, considering the amount of action in the story, it’s kind of amazing that his characters have any time for growth, but they do so effortlessly. The main complaint I had with the first two books disappears in this one, primarily because Josh has been Awakened and therefore has less stuff to gripe about, but also because he grows out of it to a certain extent.
This story continues to be an enchanting romp through history and fantasy, filled with gods, immortals, and plain old people. 4 ink bottles.