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Blue Magic    by A. M. Dellamonica order for
Blue Magic
by A. M. Dellamonica
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Blue Magic follows Indigo Springs to conclude this environmental fantasy about an alchemical apocalypse and its aftereffects.

The series began with Astrid Lethewood's inheriting her father's house in small town Indigo Springs. Her artistic stepbrother Jacks and her friend Sahara joined her there. Astrid found chantments in the house (objects that work magic) and shared that knowledge. Then, when they found a source of vitagua (liquid magic) in the house, both Astrid and Sahara were contaminated by it.

While Sahara grew ever greedier for power, Astrid tried to undo the harm she had inadvertently caused. She also recovered memories of her father and of witch-burners who hunt and kill chanters. Sahara created an eco-terrorist cult (Alchemites) with devoted followers worldwide, but was captured by authorities. Psychologist Will Forest's wife became one of Sahara's cultists, hiding their children from him.

Now, as Blue Magic opens, Will decides to seek Astrid's help to recover his children. Astrid (dubbed Filthwitch by Alchemites) and her followers are under siege in Indigo Springs, having promised the trapped residents of the unreal (Fairyland) their freedom. But doing it all at once will unleash magical catastrophes on the world. Astrid hopes to delay Boomsday and reduce its death toll.

After Will joins Astrid (whose grumbles give her insights into what's ahead for all of them), they seek his children. In the meantime, US Marshall Juanita Corazon (in charge of Sahara during her trial) is blackmailed (with threats to her family) to get chantments to Sahara. And Fyreman Gilead Landon and his fellows want to burn all chantments, Alchemites, and anyone associated with magic. Can Astrid's Happy After really happen?

The story came together nicely in this second episode, with plenty of action and conflict to hold a reader's interest - and a clever resolution. This series is something quite different in the fantasy genre and well worth reading - but do start at the beginning with Indigo Springs as Blue Magic would be hard to follow without that background.

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