The Magic Order by Mark Millar and othersThe Magic Order (Book 3) by Mark Millar (writer), Gigi Cavenago (artist), Valentina Napolitano (colorist), Clem Robins (letterer) 

Book Three of The Magic Order by Mark Millar features wonderful art by Gigi Cavenago and takes us further along on the journey started in the first two books: The focus is still on the Moonstone family, particularly on Cordelia Moonstone, who is the leader of the Magic Order. This book ends on a cliffhanger, so Book Four will be important to read to get a full conclusion to the story. In this book, we get a lot of backstory about quite a few key characters.

Mainly we find out about Cordelia’s parents: Leonard and Salome. After the death of their second child in the previous books, Leonard is seeking out Salome to give her the news in person. They have not seen Salome in many years, and nobody knows where she is hiding. Leonard eventually tracks her down, and they have a touching reunion as they reminisce about their earlier years together. We get a flashback to their first meeting — a sexual encounter — during which Salome predicts their future together, telling Leonard that they will conceive a child, get married, and raise multiple children only to watch them all die before they turn forty. In fact, Salome originally left Leonard and the kids because she loved them so much, she could not bear to stick around and watch them all die. We also get a flashback to when they lost their first child. Without giving spoilers, I can only reveal that it has to do with their battle with the Hordes of Kolthur led by the Wizard King.

There are two other main plot threads: The first has to do with the rule of the magic order that magic cannot be used selfishly for self-benefit. We meet Sammy Liu in the first few pages of the book, and we find out he is using magic for financial benefit, so part of the tension in the story is wondering if and when he will be discovered by the magic order as led by Cordelia. This rule will also hit closer to home as Cordelia discovers others, even closer to her than Sammy, who have been breaking this rule of the order. The second major plot thread involves Sacha Sanchez and the young Rosie, who is Cordelia’s niece. Sacha has dedicated his life to seeking out and defeating evil, even taking a vow of celibacy to remain focused. He takes Rosie under his wing and helps train her, because she is becoming one of the most powerful magicians of all time, even at a young age.

There is so much to love about this volume: Rosie and Sacha, in particular, are interesting characters, and their relationship takes a surprising turn. Leonard’s search for his estranged wife is also a great story with an unexpected twist as they hunt down the supernatural being — called the Puzzle — that killed Salome’s dad. And the backstory involving the Wizard King plants seeds that will come to fruition in Book Four of the Magic Order, though we do find out one key secret about the Wizard King in this book. This story has many surprises in it, and Millar knows how to keep the reader turning the pages. If you have already read the first two books, this is a must-read, as is the final installment currently available, Book Four. Highly recommended.


  • Brad Hawley

    BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

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