The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.
Some legends never die…
Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.
Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.
Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.
I’m a big fan of both comp titles – A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue was one of my favorite reads this year. And when the description mentioned Vlad the Impaler and a cursed ring – I didn’t care about the rest of the blurb. I needed to read this book.
What a thrilling adventure! Theo and Huck find themselves in one predicament after another while searching for her father across the Eastern European countryside. They struggle to survive – and with people chasing them, wolves, the elements, and magic, it’s not an easy task. That, combined with Theo solving ciphers and puzzles and the teasing dialogue gives this the feel of an Indiana Jones movie.
Theo is headstrong, intelligent, and determined not to remain on the sidelines while her father goes treasure-hunting. Huck is a good match for her, being equally stubborn and adventurous. His way of misquoting common sayings makes him even more adorable and appealing.
Folklore, hidden family secrets, romance, adventure, mystery, castles, cursed artifacts – this book is a wild romp. It’s a little lighter on fantasy than I expected; instead, it ventures into historical fiction, and the setting descriptions are vivid and rich. I’m not sure if the author plans a series, but if she does, I’ll be adding the next book to my list.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.