The Sorceress by Michael Scott

(Cover picture courtesy of Michael Scott’s website.)

Paris:

Dr. John Dee has torn the city apart in every attempt to intercept the immortal Nicholas Flamel and Sophie and Josh Newman.  Paris’s streets are in ruins, Notre Dame destroyed, the Comte de Saint-Germain’s home leveled.  Dee has the book of Abraham the Mage, but he’s still missing the two pages the Dark Elders need for the Final Summoning.  Without them the spell cannot be cast, and Dee is well aware that the Dark Elders will not rest until they are in power and the human race is destroyed—or he is.

London:

Nicholas Flamel’s heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him.  The city was demolished by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction.  Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of legend, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day.  Perenelle is still trapped on Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection.  Except for Clarent—the twin sword to Excalibur.  But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find someone who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic—Water Magic.  The problem?  The only being who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane.

I’m a sucker for tragic characters, I must admit.  Lancelot, Hamnet and now Gilgamesh, the oldest immortal human.  He has lived so long that his mind is fractured, but because he was made immortal by his friend Abraham the Mage instead of an Elder, he cannot die.  The saddest thing of all is that he writes things down to remember in his periods of lucidity because he knows his mind is going.  After living for so long, all he wants to die is finally die, which is why he makes the twins promise to bring him the book when they obtain it.  And who can blame him?

Michael Scott not only has a gift for creating memorable heroes, he creates memorable villains as well.  What makes The Sorceress so much more enjoyable for me is the fact that Niccolò Machiavelli plays a much more important role.  I love my villains and Machiavelli is one of my favourites, so you could fairly accuse me of being biased.  Nevertheless, Michael Scott’s characterization is excellent and it is part of what keeps readers coming back for more.

Michael Scott superbly weaves mythology and history into his fast-paced narrative, which is why his series is so popular.  He combines better known Greek mythology and famous historical figures like William Shakespeare with Celtic mythology and more obscure figures like the legendary Palamedes.  Of course, the fact that his plot is very fast-paced helps quite a bit.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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