Angel Mage by Garth Nix
If I was offered the chance to leave the stresses of our world behind and step into Sarrance, the stunningly well-realised world of musketeers and magic in Garth Nix’s Angel Mage, where mages summon powerful yet costly angels, and a forsaken people are turned to horrific beasts, I would do so without hesitation. (Perhaps after saying goodbye to my loved ones and urging as many of them as possible to come with me.)
In Angel Mage, four young heroes are drawn together by unseen forces and are embroiled in a plot that threatens to shake the foundations of their world. Agnez is an aspiring Musketeer whose tongue is almost as swift as her sword; Simeon is a burly doctor whose size hides his deft and caring physician’s hands: Dorotea is a spacey but sweet scholar skilled at making the angel-summoning icons that serve as the basis for Angel Mage’s magic, whose talents draw her into danger; and finally, Henri is a young clerk with an eye for money and a near permanent state of disgruntlement. These heroes, their growing friendships, and the incredibly lifelike cast of characters around them are the lifeblood of the story and I fell in love with every single one of them.
I could talk forever about Nix’s exceptional world-building, but I couldn’t truly do it justice. Rest assured, he has created something special here which will entrance you from cover to cover – utterly creative, yet as grounded as a historical novel. The adventure is riveting until the end, the writing dances off the page with wit and style, and the heroes are tremendous fun. What’s not to love?!