A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{November 10, 2011}   The Inquisitor’s Apprentice by Chris Moriarty

Plot: In an early 20th century New York where magic is both common and illegal, Sacha discovers that he can see witches. He is sent to apprentice with the High Inquisitor, not a good job for a nice Jewish boy but one that pays well. His first case is a big one: track down the person trying to kill Thomas Edison. But when the assassin is revealed as a dybbuk from Jewish mythology and all signs point back to Sacha’s own family, will he be able to both keep his new job and protect those he loves?

This was an amazing book, one of the best I read this year. Moriarty is a skilled writer who knows how to sustain a mystery; you’ll be on the edge of your seat until the last page. For those who are interested, she is already well established as a writer of adult science fiction and that experience really shows here.

The characters are great. Inquisitor Wolf is a magical Colombo, a rumpled and distracted appearance hiding a sharp mind (in case you didn’t know, I love Columbo). Lily, Sasha’s fellow apprentice, seemed like little more than a spoiled rich girl at first but she reveals surprising depth. We also get to meet a number of fascinating historical characters: Edison and Houdini amoung them.  Meanwhile Morgaunt is a truly eerie villain.

But where Moriarty really shines is in the description of Sacha’s family and his community in the Lower East Side. It was like living there. She also makes wonderful use of jewish mythology and folklore in her system of magic.

I had heard good things about the book before I picked it up but it surpassed all my expectations. This is how you write an alternate history. I look forward to more of Sacha’s adventures.

Challenges: None


Okay. My TBR pile will officially fall over when I add this and you know…that makes me a happy reader. Thanks!

roguelibrarian says:

My solution was just to have several piles. 😉

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