Book of Night

Tor. May 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781250812193. $27.99. FANTASY
DEBUT Best-selling YA author Black (The Cruel Prince) makes her adult debut with this gritty urban fantasy where the shadows have not only eyes but teeth as well—and feeding them is the way to magical power. Charlie Hall, formerly a low-level con artist, is trying to live on the straight and narrow. She’s gone from pulling jobs to pulling drinks, living with her totally mundane boyfriend, trying to keep her sister in school. At least until a shadow-mage dies in her bar, and her life is thrown into chaos and back into the underworld she tried so hard to leave. Her old life has just been waiting in the shadows to draw her back in—whether to destroy her illusions or kill her outright is the question. Charlie wishes she didn’t have to find out the hard way, even if that’s the only way she knows.
VERDICT Charlie Hall is every “bad luck and worse trouble” protagonist to ever magic her way into urban fantasy. She’s desperate, she’s profane, she’s fascinating, and she kicks ass and takes names with the best antiheroes of the genre. Her world is gritty and mysterious, the stakes are always high, and the power is always tempting.
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