The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #2: The Magician

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Michael Scott
Publisher: Random House
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9780385737289
Pages: 461


Josh and Sophie Newman are now in Paris with Scatty and Nicholas. The more Nicholas uses his magic, the faster he ages. If they don't get the Book back, Nicholas will die in a few weeks. Not only are they being chased by Dr. John Dee, but also the immortal Niccolo Machiavelli—both very dangerous men with Dark Elders on their side. This unique bunch of people find shelter and food from a former student of Nicholas. The Comte de Saint-Germain and his wife Joan of Arc. Josh still doesn't trust Nicholas, but he and Sophie have nowhere to go. Sophie is still learning to control her newly Awakened powers, and with the help of Joan and Saint-Germain teaching her the magic of fire, Sophie is starting to understand how dangerous it can be to have magic. Dee and Machiavelli set in motion a plan to capture the twins with a mythical creature the Nidhogg. Little do they realize that Josh has the twin of Excalibur, Clarent. Josh fights off the Nidhogg and runs after it as the Nidhogg attempts to escape with Scatty in its claws. Josh eventually defeats it and willingly goes with Dee and Machiavelli to have his powers awakened. He is awakened by the God that Sleeps, or more well known as Mars. Sophie and Nicholas rescue Josh and flee to London. While all this is happening, Perenelle has defeated the Morrigan at Alcatraz and is now in league with the spider Elder, coming up with a plan to stop Dee from bringing the Dark Elders back into the world.

Once again Scott brings to life history and myth. Not only does he bring to life the Flamels, but many more historical figures that readers will recognize. He gives personality and depth to Joan of Arc and Saint-Germain through their involvement in aiding Josh and his group to combat darkness. The author also makes you fear some very powerful historical people. Readers will want to learn more about Niccolo Machiavelli and discover what he contributed to society as well as Saint-Germain and the discoveries he made in his time. Scott’s mythical creatures have such detail you'll wonder if they are real. Nidhogg is described as looking like a Gila Monster that you'd find around volcanoes. Characteristic of many fantasy novels, the author brings an element of truth into whatever he is describing or creating that you start to question the plausibility of the thing. Scott's description of Paris is magnificent. From the Eiffel Tower to the quaint streets and little shops, the reader is transported to the life and energy of France. Scott even brings in some interesting details of Paris’s underground and its catacombs. He provides a small history lesson at the very end of the story, to give reference to the timeline of the story.  Scott also creates realistic emotion throughout the novel: the fear Sophie feels at losing Josh, the distrust and anxiety Josh feels about Nicholas and his friends, the hope that they will somehow overcome evil. Thematically, The Magician plays on the idea that not everything is as it seems. Perhaps sometimes people feel they are doing the right thing, when in reality, they are very wrong. Scott shares the message that it is important to build your own opinion of something before making a decision, rather than relying on the ideas of others.

*Contains moderate violence.