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The Sorceress: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel    by Michael Scott order for
by Michael Scott
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Sorceress - the third (following The Alchemyst and The Magician) in Michael Scott's brilliant series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel - is just as action-packed and filled with magical encounters with legendary figures as the first two enthralling episodes. It keeps up the tension - of the Flamels' race against accelerating aging and the siblings' race to gain all their powers in time to save the world - and also continues to introduce murky questions about the real motivations of Nicholas Flamel.

In The Alchemyst, twins Sophie and Josh Newman helped immortal alchemyst Nicholas Flamel and his sorceress wife Perenelle against Dr. John Dee, who stole (most of) the Book of Abraham the Mage from them. If Dee gains the entire book, the Elder Race will be able to rule Earth again, not a good prospect for humanity. Sophie and Josh learned that they are the twins long prophesied to either save - or destroy - the world. Each of the first two episodes played out as magical rollercoaster rides of flight and pursuit - and the same thrilling pace continues in The Sorceress.

As the book opens, Flamel, Sophie and Josh have just arrived in London (filled with Dee's allies) to ask mad Gilgamesh to train them in the Magic of Water. They fend off an immediate attack and are taken by Palamedes and William Shakespeare (who has a bad history with Flamel) to Palamedes' scrap yard fortress. Sophie worries about losing her own identity in the Witch of Endor's memories, while Josh at times takes on the persona and skills of Mars, God of War. They are disturbed at what they learn of the terrible fates of previous sets of twins that the Flamels have sought out.

Macchiavelli and Dee explain their previous failures to their superiors, who have big plans for the summer solstice. The former is dispatched to California to join forces with Billy the Kid and the Old Man of the Sea to deal with Perenelle (now loose on Alcatraz with the help of ghosts, Old Spider, and the Morrigan) while the latter heads to Britain to oversee Flamel's destruction and to capture the twins and missing pages of the Book of Abraham. After besieging Palamedes' scrap yard, Dee and the Wild Hunt pursue Flamel and the twins to a formidable confrontation at Stonehenge.

Though Nicholas and Perenelle are finally reunited in The Sorceress, an important ally fell into their enemies' trap; they're still aging fast; and the twins are filled with doubts about their roles and their mentors. Along with a multitude of other fans of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, I'm anxiously awaiting what comes next.

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