In the summer between Second and Third Year at Whitehall, Emily accompanies Lady Barb on her rounds of the Cairngorm Mountains bringing magical help to the locals and searching for new magicians. For Emily, tired and broken after the events of Study In Slaughter, it should be a chance to relax as well as a visit to a new part of the Nameless World, to put her responsibilities aside and just be herself.
But the locals aren’t quite what she expects, with problems of their own, while Lady Barb is a different person away from Whitehall. As children start to go missing and evil things are abroad in the night, Emily discovers that a deadly plot is slowly bringing the mountain community to the brink of disaster …and that her oldest enemies are about to make a very unwelcome return.
Yes! She finally did it. The big bada boom. Nuclear magic. I loved it. Now before you stop reading, this was of course not the only reason that I liked this book. It is another great book in the Schooled in Magic series by Christopher Nuttall. There is a lot to like about it.
This time we follow Emily on another summer trip outside of the walls of Whitehall. Unlike Lessons in Etiquette this trip is still related to Emily’s schooling though since Emily is traveling in the capacity of Lady Barb’s apprentice. It is a very enjoyable leisurely paced story where Emily, and the reader of course, is discovering more about the world she now inhabits and at the same time are forced to develop both her magic and herself.
The story gradually develops and what starts as a few discoveries and mysteries slowly develops into another big showdown against a seemingly invincible foe for Emily. The two main characters in the book are of course Emily and Lady Barb who’s relationship deepens throughout the book. Both the characters, the later action and the story as a whole was well conceived and written as usual and I enjoyed the reading very much.
I wrote that the book is leisurely paced and mostly it is. It is a mystery book in a magical fantasy world. Up until the end that is. Once the nefarious enemy is exposed the action explodes onto the pages and culminates into the big showdown where Emily finally mixes up some modern science and magic into a devastatingly powerful strike. Big bada boom! Nuclear magic!
Maybe I am a bit silly but ever since the author hinted at this possibility I have longed for it coming to reality. I am a sucker for surprise and “wow” moments in both books and movies. Of course I was a bit worried that once Emily had proven herself vastly more powerful than any of her peers or superiors then it would be a bit “game over” for any future stories but, without spoiling the story, let me just write that Mr. Nuttall took care of that in a way that I thought was satisfactory at least.
Although the main story of the book is brought to a conclusion it ends with a fair dose of mystery hints and a few loose threads for books to come. Nothing that I would call cliffhangers but more teasers and I for one are, again, looking forward to the next instalment.