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Book of Night    by Holly Black order for
Book of Night
by Holly Black
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Holly Black is well known for her series aimed at younger readers, The Spiderwick Chronicles and The Curse Workers. Now she opens a new adult fantasy series with Book of Night, starring thief/con artist Charlie Hall.

Shadow magic is central to this tale, which begins by introducing Remy, whose shadow is entirely separate from him. Remy feeds it small amounts of blood and calls it Red. Next we meet protagonist Charlie Hall - 'Never met a bad decision she wasn't willing to double down on. Had fingers made for picking pockets, a tongue for lying, and a shriveled cherry pit for a heart.' You'll love this antiheroine.

Charlie is trying to reform, with a steady bartending job 'and a stolid brick of a boyfriend' (shadowless Vince). But her past soon catches up with her. Helping an old schoolmate pulls her into a magical maelstrom of trouble. Complicating matters, Charlie's sister Posey, who does tarot readings for a living) is desperate to develop magical powers of her own.

The bad guys are obsessed with acquiring a book, Liber Noctem, a source of great power. Horrific murders follow, and Charlie learns that Vince is not who she thought he was at all - how can she trust him? Soon she realizes that she 'had been walking away from herself her whole life'. She stops doing so as all hell breaks loose.

The book ends with a great change in Charlie's life and circumstances - a cliffhanger that will leave fans (me included) very anxious for her story to continue!

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