The Warlock by Michael Scott

I stumbled upon the The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series a while back and devoured the books then available. And ever since I have been forced to wait as each new book is released.

The end is near, however, as The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) is the penultimate book!

Alas, it – like all the others – ends with both a plot twist and cliffhanger. And the waiting game begins again.

Publisher’s teaser:

In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.

With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

This is one of those series where the books are not stand alone reads. Each book is more like an episode than a stand alone novel. Once you start you have to keep reading; both to find out what happens but also to explore the world and the mythological characters Scott develops and introduces.

To use an already over-used comparison, it is similar to the Harry Potter books where being immersed in the world is just as important as things like tight plots and clean story lines. The Flamel books take you from plot point A to plot point B but the journey is as important as where you end up.

That is what makes reviewing a book like this a little tricky. Obviously fans of the series are going to read it. And those who haven’t read the previous book should start at the beginning.

Bottom line: I recommend the series and found this an interesting chapter in the larger story but with a vicious twist at the very end.

More thoughts below.

In this second to last book, the nature of a long series meant a rather slow story line as the various puzzle pieces are arranged to set up the – I am sure thrilling – conclusion. But the unwinding of the back-story is the interesting part in this one – and I enjoyed it. As the mythological characters begin to converge and the tension between Josh and Sophie increases you can begin to feel the picture coming into focus even as the mystery deepens.

There are some entertaining battles but the action is intermittent. The chapters alternate between Josh and Sophie and between the present and the past. Scott is weaving the two together and starting to reveal how they all lead up to an epic battle for the past and thus the possibility of a future.

What drives the story is the explication of the history of the Elders and the actions that led over the course millennia to the twins involvement and the way the sides lined up (Nicholas Flamel versus Dr. Dee, etc.).

As this plays out it becomes clear that Josh and Sophie’s involvement was not by chance and that there is a lot they don’t know about their destiny and their family. This leads to the ultimate twist at the end of the book.

And an interesting twist also develops when a disagreement develops between Dr. Dee and Virgina Dare and Machiavelli and Billy the Kid. As Josh continues to choose Dee’s side Sophie continues to try and understand what has happened to her and her brother but also how to do what she thinks is right but also rescue her brother. Humanity lies in the balance.

And as the tension build and you are weary of the buildup – Scott hits you with a big plot twist. And of course, then the book ends.

As I said, now the waiting game begins.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season - oh, and watching golf too).

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