The Magician’s Daughter

Orbit/Redhook. Feb. 2023. 400p. pap. $18.99. ISBN 9780316383707.
Parry builds an enchanting and richly imagined world that will draw in readers. Biddy has spent most of her life on the magical land of Hy-Brasil, an island off the coast of Ireland that is only visible to the outside world once every seven years. There are three rules to living on Hy-Brasil: don’t go into the woods after dark; always watch out for the trickster spirit that calls the island home and never accept a ride from it; and never hurt the black rabbits that make their way across the island. These rules are second nature to Biddy, as is the magic of her guardian, Rowan. When Rowan fails to return home one night, Biddy must step into the mundane world for the first time to save him. But doing so leaves her tangled up with his enemies and her own past. Parry’s evocative writing brings the characters and settings in this Gothic fantasy to life in vivid detail. Rowan is mysterious and mercurial, his reasons for doing what he does opaque. Readers follow along with Biddy, who must untangle a web of conspiracy, half-truths, and ill-considered lies from friend and foe. Biddy is a relatable character; she is sharp, clever, and very lonely. Despite having little experience in dealing with people, she must figure out whom to trust—and making the wrong choice may have disastrous consequences for the magical and mundane worlds.
VERDICT This is a must-buy for collections where fantasy is popular.

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