Review: “Magic Undying,” Linsey Hall

Pros: Just plain fun!
Cons: Formulaic; you’ll need to read another series first
Rating: 4 out of 5

Magic Undying (Dragon’s Gift: The Seeker Book 1) comes after Linsey Hall’s Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress (5 Book Series) Where The Huntress followed Cass, The Seeker follows her sister-by-choice Del (presumably there’ll be a series for Nix, The Protector). The young women are a prophesied magical Triumvirate, with powers over life (Nix), death (Del) and magic (Cass). When we left off at the end of book five of The Huntress, Del had died to save her sisters and a whole lot of other people from Victor Orriodor, an evil man who was causing a lot of destruction. Now Del wakes up to find herself in the underworld, where she must find a way to escape before she’s taken in front of the mysterious and hugely powerful Warden.

Of course the moment we read that the Warden is amazingly powerful, male, and not necessarily evil, it’s obvious he’s going to be Del’s romantic interest (I’ve mentioned before that the series is a bit formulaic). That’s okay; it’s a formula that works, and the characters do have chemistry. Roarke, the Warden of the Underworlds, quickly starts to fall for Del even as he tries to return her to where she belongs (having died and all). Del, for her part, finds herself starting to trust Roarke. But her powers are getting stranger and stranger as the story goes, and people with powerful and unusual abilities are supposed to be turned over to the Order of the Magica–and Roarke is all about following the rules.

I’ve read Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress (5 Book Series) too recently–I can’t say for sure whether this book provides enough information that you could come into it cold. Certainly these books should remain available as ebooks, and at the moment at least they aren’t expensive, so there’s little reason not to go back and read that series first. I certainly found it enjoyable.

Del and Roarke have to hunt down a super-powerful demon that escaped on Del’s heels. If they don’t, the demon will cause a lot of destruction and Del will turn into a demon, herself. The hunt takes them to Merlin’s Cave (!) and then Guinevere’s tomb. As a side note here, Guinevere is known by the old Welsh spelling of her name. Anyone who is familiar with the Arthurian legend–which is nearly everyone who reads fantasy–will know immediately that we’re talking about Guinevere. But none of the characters recognize the name, and even a Google search done by the characters turns up nothing. Uh, seriously? Please don’t underestimate the intelligence of your readers. (Since I’m picking nits now, I’ll mention that there’s still no explanation as to why everyone would rather use swords and bows with arrows than guns.)

It’s really neat to see the new and unusual powers that get triggered in Del as she goes along, and it’s fun to watch her struggle to control them. Clearly there’s more of this to come in the sequels, and I’m looking forward to it.

This is a fun series with some seriously kick-ass women in it, and I’m enjoying the ride. The fight scenes in particular are very well-executed and tense!

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