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Evade the serpent. Heed the curse. Rewrite the present. Esta isn’t a stranger to high-stakes heists. She’s a seasoned thief who has no reservations about using her affinity for time to give her an edge, and she’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mage Evade the serpent. Heed the curse. Rewrite the present. Esta isn’t a stranger to high-stakes heists. She’s a seasoned thief who has no reservations about using her affinity for time to give her an edge, and she’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control. But the Book held a danger that no one anticipated—Seshat, an angry goddess was trapped within its pages. Now that terrible power lives within Harte, and if given the chance, Seshat will use Esta to destroy the world and take her revenge. Only Esta and Harte stand in her way. Yet in their search to recover the elemental stones needed to bind Seshat’s power, Esta and Harte have found themselves stranded in time with a continent between them. As Esta fights to get back to Harte, the Order is no longer the only obstacle standing in her way. Saving Harte—and magic itself—will put even Esta’s skills to the test. And all the while, another danger grows, one more terrible than both Seshat and the Order combined...


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Evade the serpent. Heed the curse. Rewrite the present. Esta isn’t a stranger to high-stakes heists. She’s a seasoned thief who has no reservations about using her affinity for time to give her an edge, and she’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mage Evade the serpent. Heed the curse. Rewrite the present. Esta isn’t a stranger to high-stakes heists. She’s a seasoned thief who has no reservations about using her affinity for time to give her an edge, and she’s trained her whole life for one mission: travel back to 1902 New York, steal the ancient Book of Mysteries, and use its power to destroy the Brink and free the Mageus from the Order’s control. But the Book held a danger that no one anticipated—Seshat, an angry goddess was trapped within its pages. Now that terrible power lives within Harte, and if given the chance, Seshat will use Esta to destroy the world and take her revenge. Only Esta and Harte stand in her way. Yet in their search to recover the elemental stones needed to bind Seshat’s power, Esta and Harte have found themselves stranded in time with a continent between them. As Esta fights to get back to Harte, the Order is no longer the only obstacle standing in her way. Saving Harte—and magic itself—will put even Esta’s skills to the test. And all the while, another danger grows, one more terrible than both Seshat and the Order combined...

30 review for The Serpent's Curse

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    I love big books, especially if they involve a certain angsty couple and an amazing magic system. I’m SO READY (actually....I need to reread both TLM and TDT before I can get to this one but that’s just details 🥲) ****** Excuse me while I start reading The Devil’s Thief and doom my existence because there’s no publication date for this book yet. I love big books, especially if they involve a certain angsty couple and an amazing magic system. I’m SO READY (actually....I need to reread both TLM and TDT before I can get to this one but that’s just details 🥲) ****** Excuse me while I start reading The Devil’s Thief and doom my existence because there’s no publication date for this book yet.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Nuckles

    (3.75 stars more likely) OKAY SO THIS BOOK. I’m slightly bummed because the first book was SO GOOD. And the second one I thought was ALSO GOOD. But I had to get halfway through this almost 800 page book before the story finallyyyy started picking up. I still loveeee these characters and I still like the plot no matter how absurd or crazy it may get, but the pacing....oh my goodness. When it’s slow, it’s SLOW. And when it’s fast, it flies by! This was very much a stop and go and stop and go kind (3.75 stars more likely) OKAY SO THIS BOOK. I’m slightly bummed because the first book was SO GOOD. And the second one I thought was ALSO GOOD. But I had to get halfway through this almost 800 page book before the story finallyyyy started picking up. I still loveeee these characters and I still like the plot no matter how absurd or crazy it may get, but the pacing....oh my goodness. When it’s slow, it’s SLOW. And when it’s fast, it flies by! This was very much a stop and go and stop and go kind of book for me, and I was ready to tear my hair out through much of it (partly because of the pacing and partly because of what was happening in the story lol), but overall I can’t say I’m not happy for more Esta and Harte content. Because I’m very much here for it hahaha

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    So.... we’re not gonna mention that 900+ page count No? Ok. I'm scared y'all. I'm excited and I'm scared So.... we’re not gonna mention that 900+ page count No? Ok. I'm scared y'all. I'm excited and I'm scared

  4. 5 out of 5

    Helena Paris

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    July 2019: THE COVER IS GORGEOUS!! GIVE IT TO ME! ////// I want it now. 😭👀

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    Am I screaming because there is suddenly a cover for this novel? Why, yes. Yes, I am.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nastassja

    Warning, this review contains spoilers about The Serpent's Curse and the two previous parts of the series. I have to say I am perplexed and disappointed, all at once. I suppose partly I can blame my frustration on the fact that this book was released with a big gap between this one and the previous one. It was too long and I've forgotten a lot from The Devil's Thief. It doesn't help that in book 2 we had new characters implemented into the story. And I couldn't remember half of them. After I man Warning, this review contains spoilers about The Serpent's Curse and the two previous parts of the series. I have to say I am perplexed and disappointed, all at once. I suppose partly I can blame my frustration on the fact that this book was released with a big gap between this one and the previous one. It was too long and I've forgotten a lot from The Devil's Thief. It doesn't help that in book 2 we had new characters implemented into the story. And I couldn't remember half of them. After I manage to partially restore my memory I was bored to death with multiple POVs. I really didn't care about Antistazi and stuff due to my faulty memory and the abundance of events taking place in this book. But I was more than happy to concentrate on Esta and Harte, until I wasn't. Esta turned into a special snowflake/damsel in distress. Harte turned into a helpless ninny and a caveman. Gosh, it's a 180 degrees turn from the characters I ADORED in books 1 and 2. Now Harte can't stop thinking about Esta; he would do anything to save her. Esta can't stop thinking about Harte, and though he acts like a jerk, she would do anything to help him. His woman, Harte refers in relation to Esta. Well, it doesn't get worse than that. Oh wait, it actually does! They have sex and then Harte announces that he'll do an honorable thing if there are consequences. For god's sake, the girl arrived from the 21st century, why on earth haven't you grabbed a couple of condoms with you before going on a stroll in 1902?! The dynamic between Harte and Esta used to be hot as hell because of their rivalry and readiness to backstab each other. I get that love and all that jass happened but these two are acting absolutely out of character! Jack wasn't a bad antagonist in the previous books, but here his POV was unnecessary. Boring, boring, and boring! I suppose Nibsy is still alright but Viola stole the stage light of the best among all characters. I really enjoyed her POVs in this book. Color me surprised when I found out The Serpent's Curse is not the last book in the series. Agh, 700+ pages, and we still not near the ending. This book was exhausting, really. I don't know if I can take it one more time, which I probably will, because, hello, cliffhanger, and unresolved issues. But my only wish is for Harte and Esta to come back to their normal selves. To stop drooling and start acting like themselves. That's all I wish for, really. Bottom line, The Last Magician started as a series I highly enjoyed and was ready to put on my favorites pedestal and quickly - or slowly - derailed into your average young adult fantasy with star-crossed lovers. If things continue that way, I hope MCs end up like Romeo and Juliet. At least then, I will have something to mourn.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christine Manzari

    I thought this was the last book. It’s not. It ended on a cliffhanger but that’s okay, I’m glad I get more time with these characters!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    According to Goodreads this is now a 2021 release, Ms. Maxwell is making me nervous... * The Last Magician: ★★★★★ The Devil's Theif: ★★★ Will Lisa Maxwell redeem herself after making the perfect duology into a trilogy and adding a completely unnecessary book in the middle? Let's hope so because The Last Magician is one of my favorites and I really want to love this one too. According to Goodreads this is now a 2021 release, Ms. Maxwell is making me nervous... * The Last Magician: ★★★★★ The Devil's Theif: ★★★ Will Lisa Maxwell redeem herself after making the perfect duology into a trilogy and adding a completely unnecessary book in the middle? Let's hope so because The Last Magician is one of my favorites and I really want to love this one too.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Yeganeh

    All i'm saying is that it's been a while that i haven't read about two of the best main characters.god knows how much i love Harte and Esta. This book was epic.I think I liked it more than the second book, just because something is always happening at any point in the story, but the pacing felt a bit off because there were two climaxes. The page count scared me at first, but I somehow managed to finish this in three days;  I loved the characters and can’t wait for the next book.the last magician i All i'm saying is that it's been a while that i haven't read about two of the best main characters.god knows how much i love Harte and Esta. This book was epic.I think I liked it more than the second book, just because something is always happening at any point in the story, but the pacing felt a bit off because there were two climaxes. The page count scared me at first, but I somehow managed to finish this in three days;  I loved the characters and can’t wait for the next book.the last magician is absolutly a stand out book in historical fantasy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Spoilers are hidden below. Diving back into this series after a three year gap between the second and third book was difficult. This book jumps right back into the action immediately where book 2 left off which is great for readers who are binge reading the series but confusing for readers like me who waited the three years for publication. I wish the book had started with a recap of what had h Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. Spoilers are hidden below. Diving back into this series after a three year gap between the second and third book was difficult. This book jumps right back into the action immediately where book 2 left off which is great for readers who are binge reading the series but confusing for readers like me who waited the three years for publication. I wish the book had started with a recap of what had happened in books 1 and 2. However, after taking time to check out some summaries online and a quick reread of the last 100 pages of The Devil's Thief, I felt confident enough to jump back into this book. Unfortunately, this third book is a weak addition to a series that started out so strongly with The Last Magician. This book suffers from a bloated plot and poor character use. Firstly, the book is far too long and filled with so many dialogue scenes that add nothing to the story and are just there to fill in the page count. I lost count of how many chapters were filled with arguing between characters over what decision to make. I also got tired of characters being in mortal danger every 10 chapters or so and having to be rescued from death. This book could and should have been more heavily edited to get rid of the unnecessary scenes across the multiple timelines including, but not limited to, the scenes with Viola and Ruby in 1902, (view spoiler)[Harte and his step-brother in 1952, and the scene with Al Capone in 1920. This book also features pointless character additions that add nothing to the story; the Antistasi sharpshooter in 1904 and all of the characters featured in 1952. (hide spoiler)] The side characters that were integral to the story in the first two books felt pointless in this book. Cela, Abel and Jianyu added nothing to the story. Ruby was so unnecessary that the author herself wrote the character out of the story. (view spoiler)[ Viola was completely unsympathetic the moment she decided to postpone helping the dying Jianyu for 12 hours. (hide spoiler)] The villains felt extremely cartoonish in this book and some of the decisions around them were just perplexing and odd. (view spoiler)[ I also felt that Jack Grew and the machine he was building wasn't fleshed out enough and it just left me feeling confused on how it even worked. I feel like the Jack Grew plot line with the Magisterium could have been so much more interesting if the author could have just focused on the 1902 storyline instead of having Esta and Harte travel through three different timelines throughout the book. (hide spoiler)] Finally, I do not understand why this series needs a fourth book. Even though this book was already too long, I feel like if the author had just added the extra 200 pages and made the book the 900 page finale it was originally planned to be, this series could have successfully ended as a trilogy. Ultimately I was disappointed with this book especially because of how much I adored The Last Magician and how excited I was to see where this series would go. However, since I read this ARC at the same time as my best friend, Megan I am curious to see if our predictions for the fourth book come true. I think we have a good idea of what is going to happen.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kanak

    800 pages and for what

  13. 5 out of 5

    thea ♡

    2.6 stars. even though theo is a dear, viola vaccarelli and ruby reynolds were the only reason why i read this book. but no sapphic energy was found >:( check out my book blog! this is the third book, so spoilers ahead! the main problem i have with this series is the plot. this book is about to give me trypophobia from the amount of plot holes it has. for example, when they were in chicago and jack had ahold of esta, she couldn’t have gotten out of his hold with her physical training that she used 2.6 stars. even though theo is a dear, viola vaccarelli and ruby reynolds were the only reason why i read this book. but no sapphic energy was found >:( check out my book blog! this is the third book, so spoilers ahead! the main problem i have with this series is the plot. this book is about to give me trypophobia from the amount of plot holes it has. for example, when they were in chicago and jack had ahold of esta, she couldn’t have gotten out of his hold with her physical training that she used on other dudes a few paragraphs later?? i was just not vibing with the plot — it was chaotic, repetitive in some parts, and there was more tell than show. this book was longer than it needed to be. i enjoy the characters, esp my original gang back in new york, but esta and harte’s journey was not for me. still lowkey holding out the hope that through one of the artifacts, viola will bring back at least dolph, and maybe leena. that would spice things up a lot. enjoyed some parts, but overall: confusing, dragging, and i’m still gonna read the final book because i’ve made it this far.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Great as always. I just flew through the story again even if it is seriously big book. I loved the atmosphere and the characters, but I cannot say any more since this is the third installment in a series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    asbah

    apparently the cover and title have been leaked and iM IN LOVE 😍😍😍 it really is the year of snakes huh

  16. 4 out of 5

    Becky Boudreau

    Hands down prettiest covers in a series. Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Books 1 and 2 have created such an intense and fun story, so excited for the conclusion!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Whetten

    I might be done with this series. Book 1 was a five star read, but I hated Book 2. Was hoping that it was a fluke and Book 3 would be back to form, but it was just more of the same stuff I hated from 2. It's too long, too many characters and not enough stuff happens to justify the page count, not to mention a fourth book in the works. I just stopped caring about 400 pages in. The characters, magic and world that once held my interest have become so convoluted and bland and drawn out that it no l I might be done with this series. Book 1 was a five star read, but I hated Book 2. Was hoping that it was a fluke and Book 3 would be back to form, but it was just more of the same stuff I hated from 2. It's too long, too many characters and not enough stuff happens to justify the page count, not to mention a fourth book in the works. I just stopped caring about 400 pages in. The characters, magic and world that once held my interest have become so convoluted and bland and drawn out that it no longer excites me. This book was a slog to get through even though the short chapters made the 700+ pages feel quick. Mostly I had no interest to pick it up. Overall, this series is probably one of the biggest disappointments for me and I probably won't be returning to it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    nally nalka

    What a mental marathon!! this was so incredibly - perhaps unnecessarily- looong but I enjoyed the escapism nonetheless and it had many great moments but not enough Jianyu POVs in this one at all T__T hoping the finale rectifys that! Full review to come.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kika

    First of all,why is this book so long? With the plot it has it could easily be written into 300 pages. I don't like that nothing happens in it as well. The ending felt rushed and absurd . The characters also made idiotic decisions which i couldn't justify anymore even if i wanted to like this book. I couldn't wait to see what will happen after the 1st book. I had mixed feelings about the 2nd one but now? I couldn't care less even if all of them died and Seshat won in the end (and actually now i First of all,why is this book so long? With the plot it has it could easily be written into 300 pages. I don't like that nothing happens in it as well. The ending felt rushed and absurd . The characters also made idiotic decisions which i couldn't justify anymore even if i wanted to like this book. I couldn't wait to see what will happen after the 1st book. I had mixed feelings about the 2nd one but now? I couldn't care less even if all of them died and Seshat won in the end (and actually now i prefer that ending).

  20. 4 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    The wait for this has me dying The Last Magician (The Last Magician #1) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maren Johnson

    *sigh* This book put me in a reading slump. Minus a star for that lol. The Good - Esta and Harte. Legit why I'm here. I will even read book 4 just for them. I like them both, and believe it or not, I'm now here for the romance. It's the silver lining in this massive tome. - You know I actually don't mind North and Maggie. Weird, I know. - Jianyu has grown on me. His plot line is still a waste of space, but I like him more now. - Okay, that whole San Francisco spot and the time traveling and the f *sigh* This book put me in a reading slump. Minus a star for that lol. The Good - Esta and Harte. Legit why I'm here. I will even read book 4 just for them. I like them both, and believe it or not, I'm now here for the romance. It's the silver lining in this massive tome. - You know I actually don't mind North and Maggie. Weird, I know. - Jianyu has grown on me. His plot line is still a waste of space, but I like him more now. - Okay, that whole San Francisco spot and the time traveling and the freaking plague section. Wow, that was a 5 star section, kids. - The time travel and magic is still dope. My Complaints - This series is really starting to feel like a giant wild goose chase. The characters have been trying to do the same thing for TWO MASSIVE BOOKS, and they've made absolutely NO PROGRESS. The end of book 3 looks just like the end of book 1. Did I also mention that the problem these massive books are trying to solve is one that the CHARACTERS CREATED OUT OF MISCOMMUNICATION??? So the whole plot these days feels like a waste of time. *sigh* - Too many characters and POVs. *sigh* I'm just glad I've finished, and I hope I can continue to read in my life, and this book wasn't the end of it all. (also I thought this was the last book, but now there's going to be a 4th, and that makes this book even more of a waste of space)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kiki Forest

    AHAHSJFJSDI this cover will drive me insane and April is too far away for me to wait

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katrín Rós

    *** 4.5 stars *** I really loved this installation in the series. It was almost perfect. The reason I'm not giving it a five-star rating is because for me the plot dragged a little, and the book definitely could have been shorter. However, I LOVE the characters and I can't wait to see how everything turns out in the last book. (view spoiler)[ I really loved Esta' journey through this book - and the evolution of her and Harte's relationship. I almost died during the scene on the train. "You weren't s *** 4.5 stars *** I really loved this installation in the series. It was almost perfect. The reason I'm not giving it a five-star rating is because for me the plot dragged a little, and the book definitely could have been shorter. However, I LOVE the characters and I can't wait to see how everything turns out in the last book. (view spoiler)[ I really loved Esta' journey through this book - and the evolution of her and Harte's relationship. I almost died during the scene on the train. "You weren't some itch I had to scratch last night, Harte. I have no interest in being some kind of hero. I don't want to die to save the world. But I'd happily give my life to save you." "What makes you so certain I don't feel the exact same way?" THESE IDIOTS ARE SO IN LOVE IT'S ALMOST PAINFUL. I think Seshat and her story is going to be very interesting in the next book, given that Esta has promised to help her save magic- and therefore save time as well. I love that Esta and Harte are returning to New York, and I'm nervous for them to meet the others again so many years later. Also, I'm so glad that Jack Grew is dead, I f*cking hated him so much. Same with Nibsy, I can't wait for his schemes to bite him in the ass. That little sh*t deserves everything that's coming to him. (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Myra

    This is a fun action packed book that's perfect if you're looking to escape on an afternoon. Don't get scared by the hefty page count - it flys by... Lisa Maxwell is the master of cliffhangers and complicated feelings that are in shades of grey. I can't wait for the next book. I really hope it doesn't take forever again. There were a few things that hampered my reading experience though. I read the last book right when it came out and it's been a few years since then. I didn't re-read the second This is a fun action packed book that's perfect if you're looking to escape on an afternoon. Don't get scared by the hefty page count - it flys by... Lisa Maxwell is the master of cliffhangers and complicated feelings that are in shades of grey. I can't wait for the next book. I really hope it doesn't take forever again. There were a few things that hampered my reading experience though. I read the last book right when it came out and it's been a few years since then. I didn't re-read the second book before I started reading this again. So when this book starts off right where the last book left us - I was a bit lost. There are a long list of characters, especially one character that has multiple names and I had forgotten those details. It would have been great if there was a preface that summarized the last book a bit or at minimum a list of characters to help us follow. I also do think there are too many points of view. I like multiple POV books- but this was a bit too many. Overall it was a fun reading experience. I think it's best if you read all 3 in a row. That way you can get the best out of this adventure!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This book was too long (a lot of unnecessary filler), confusing with al the timelines (we have multiple timelines for the same pov, so it’s hard to keep track on what’s happening when and with whom sometimes) and very slow. This also should have been the end of the series, but after 700+ pages, where all everyone did was search/lose artifacts, there’s going to be a fourth one?! I hope it’s better than this one...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing - Margaret K. McElderry Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. Having read the first two books in the series and completely loving them, I expected nothing less from The Serpent's Curse and was not disappointed. One of the reasons I loved this series was that there was action and drama on every page and this book was no different. A thrillride that This book was received as an ARC from Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing - Margaret K. McElderry Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. Having read the first two books in the series and completely loving them, I expected nothing less from The Serpent's Curse and was not disappointed. One of the reasons I loved this series was that there was action and drama on every page and this book was no different. A thrillride that will impact your views on YA adventure series. Accomplishing the goal of stealing the book of mysteries and later find out that there has been a goddess trapped all this time that is extremely evil and after civilization, the story takes a whole new turn. I really am waiting in immense anticipation for the fourth and final novel in this series and I know it will be the best for last. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Library *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy / Historical *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* The Serpent's Curse is the third installment in author Lisa Maxwell's The Last Magician series. Key characters in this book are: Esta Filosik, who has the ability to manipulate & travel through time; Harte Darrigan, who is struggling mightily with the Ars Arcana Book being part of his very being and its draw towards Esta. Plus, since the author loves multiple narrations, Jericho Northwood, Maggie, Viola Vaccerelli, N *Source* Library *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy / Historical *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* The Serpent's Curse is the third installment in author Lisa Maxwell's The Last Magician series. Key characters in this book are: Esta Filosik, who has the ability to manipulate & travel through time; Harte Darrigan, who is struggling mightily with the Ars Arcana Book being part of his very being and its draw towards Esta. Plus, since the author loves multiple narrations, Jericho Northwood, Maggie, Viola Vaccerelli, Nibsy Lorcan, Jack Grew, Jianyu Lee, Ruby Reynolds, Logan Sullivan, and Cela Johnson. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

    how do I put all my thoughts into words. my head is a mess right now. I feel like I have two brain cells left. the last magician was one of my favourite reads at the beginning of the year. then I read the devils thief and I was disappointed but had hopes for this book. now that I've finished this latest instalment I don't know if I'm going to finish this series. my biggest problem was with how convoluted it was. I get it, the author remembers everything that happened in the second book- but I don how do I put all my thoughts into words. my head is a mess right now. I feel like I have two brain cells left. the last magician was one of my favourite reads at the beginning of the year. then I read the devils thief and I was disappointed but had hopes for this book. now that I've finished this latest instalment I don't know if I'm going to finish this series. my biggest problem was with how convoluted it was. I get it, the author remembers everything that happened in the second book- but I don't. and I wasn't going to go back and read that thick gal. I was lost around 96% of the time. although so much happened, I felt like nothing happened at all. it just felt so filler- for no reason. everything with the aether, the order, the anastasi, newton, the brotherhoods, seshat, thoth, and all the other stuff I can't remember became too much. either it was so vague i was lost or there were moments that were too drawn out that I lost my train of thought. what I loved so much about the first book was the whole jumping through time thing, but in this one it just became overwhelming. then the whole thing about not being able to cross the stones or whatever. then the whole thing with Esta like disappearing cause her younger self didn't have the cuff. (side note- can someone tell me where her younger self was this entire time?) then the whole thing about time playing up or whatever. I just couldn't get a grasp on anything. there were also plot points that felt so irrelevant. like the whole thing with them separating in the second book and that continuing on for eons in this one. this book could have been 400 pages. but no. I just couldn't understand a damned thing. I really should have reread the first two but since I was disappointed with the second book I couldn't bring myself to do that. yes, I love the abundance of diversity in this book but the amount of pov's became tiresome and confusing. characters that we met for two seconds in the first or second book were somehow of importance. like huh? mooch and torrio, I'm on about you dudes. also, the Esta and Harte that we met in the first book are nothing like those in the serpents curse. they felt so disconnected. also, I needed some ruby guys. WHAT WAS THE REASON? don't get me wrong, there were things I loved. like the previous two books, I loved Maxwell's writing style. considering everything, this is defo what made me continue reading. I don't meant to sound cruel but I was just so disappointed that my most anticipated read fell so flat. I honestly don't think ill be finishing the series. I defo believe it should have stayed a duology.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rue

    3.5 stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Disclaimer: this is a 4.5 star read. But it's a really, really solid 4.5 stars and this godforsaken hellsite is making me round up. Anyways, feel free to bury me with this series. It's only been a year since I got into this series, but The Last Magician is without a doubt the most underrated series I've ever read. It's the perfect blend of fantasy and historical fiction, magic and wonder, and hits literally every single mark of what I look for in a series. After discovering that this third book w Disclaimer: this is a 4.5 star read. But it's a really, really solid 4.5 stars and this godforsaken hellsite is making me round up. Anyways, feel free to bury me with this series. It's only been a year since I got into this series, but The Last Magician is without a doubt the most underrated series I've ever read. It's the perfect blend of fantasy and historical fiction, magic and wonder, and hits literally every single mark of what I look for in a series. After discovering that this third book would not be the conclusion as I anticipated it being, and that it would now be stretched into a four book series, I wasn't happy. I didn't want to wait yet again for more of this story and just wanted to get to the ending. But I get it now. Though Maxwell covered so much in this third book, there are still so many things left to resolve, so much more to do, and I see why she needs more time. This isn't a story that can be rushed or fixed with simple solutions; it needs to be thought out, it needs to be delicately crafted, and I'm confident that Maxwell is capable of doing just that. She has to be one of the most talented writers I've discovered in a while and I think if this was in other hands, this story would be an absolute disaster. But that speaks to Maxwell's talent, which I've talked about before, so it makes me incredibly happy to still be thinking so on the third book. This book picked up right where the last one left off, with Esta reeling from the fact that Harte left her alone and took the artifacts with him in 1904, and with Viola coming to terms with Jianyu fighting for his life in 1902. What I find interesting about this series and where we are in this book is how though we're dealing with two very different timelines, it always feels like the same story. Because of Esta's affinity, she is able to pull the strings of time and travel and go to any time in history she needs to, but whether the story takes place in 1902 or 1904 or 1952, the main characters are always battling against Jack Grew, the main antagonist, and trying to save magic. I think it's really interesting to see how, in 1902, Jack is still grappling for power and control within the Order and that storyline of procuring the ring artifact involves so many different players, but then in the future years Esta is able to travel to, that image of Jack that they're fighting has essentially done what he'd dreamt of in 1902. And while it looks and sounds dire, because Esta can time travel there's never any lost hope just because Jack accomplished all those things and gained power through outlawing and attacking Maegus over the years. Though I'm firmly against time travel because no one ever seems to follow the rules, I really enjoy seeing it in this series because Esta never tries to work against her affinity or whatever ripples in the timeline she creates, but works with them. I like that she has a very strong understanding of time travel and history, which is a great reflection of Maxwell, and uses whatever year she ends up in to her advantage rather than just jumping back into time travel. A great example is how she and Harte travel to 1920 to procure an artifact and try to stop an attack on Maegus at the RNC to prevent a terrible future of Jack Grew as president. I like that Esta doesn't just disregard the consequences of her time travel and regardless of what year she's in, she's always fighting to stop the Order and save magic. It makes it exciting and unpredictable, regardless of what plot timeline you're following, because anything really can happen. Another thing I loved about this book was how it's very plot heavy and is full of action and different storylines that come together for that common goal, but it also doesn't really ignore its characters. I love the storyline of Harte coming to terms with his relationship with his father, Esta's relationship with Harte and her role in the war for magic, Cela and Abel's relationship with their community and magic, and Viola's relationship with unlearning the toxic hatred her family has instilled in her. Because there's so much story going on it's easy for characters to get lost, but I feel like Maxwell did a good job involving the characters and providing them with necessary development. And though I hate Jack and Nibsy equally, it's really interesting to see their antagonistic side of the story, how they become the way they are and how they work against the characters and the story itself. I do feel like we underused Jianyu a little bit, since I feel like he's just as important to the story as everyone else, but given how he was on his deathbed for a good chunk of the book it makes sense how his POV was lacking. Though the POVs weren't wholly balanced, I still feel like we constantly got a well rounded look at what was happening in this story, regardless of where we were in the timeline, and it was constantly interesting, constantly relevant, and never predictable. I think the reason I docked a half star is because there were some elements of the story that felt a bit unresolved, like what happened with Ruby's character but one can only assume that she'll be back for the grand finale, and part of me is still slightly confused about the involvement of Seshat and Thoth. I definitely understand them a lot more now, and I think it was explained really well near the end of this book, but I wish that the recap of how they happened to be in the story and both Harte and Jack was done a bit better. The overall recaps were well done and triggered my memory when necessary, but there's always room for improvement, you know? This was a hefty book, one of the biggest I've read in a while, but it was so solidly good. I truly admire Maxwell for being able to balance the magic of fantasy and the heaviness of historical fiction, and you can feel how well researched everything is and how astutely she goes about tackling what could be difficult times in history. Just like Esta, Maxwell works very well with different times in history rather than against it or glossing over things that can be seen as ugly because, as said in her Author's Note, history is ugly and historians don't have the luxury of glossing over such things. The theme of prejudice and superiority is a constant in the story, whether it's with the Maegus and the Sundren or the Black and Asian communities in history respectively, and I love how Maxwell uses them in the story as driving points for various characters rather than relying on them to tell her story for her. As I said, this is a very well done series, written and crafted so solidly and constantly improves over the series, and I truly cannot wait to see how it all ends now that I know where and how it plans on doing so. Seriously, if you haven't picked up this book yet you really need to. The most underrated series I've ever read and will be one of my favourites for years to come. But if I have to wait over a year and deal with more pushback I might have to riot. God, what a magical yet stressful series; I love it.

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