Review Blog

Aug 23 2010

Heart of Gold by Michael Pryor

cover image

The Laws of Magic 2. Random House Australia. ISBN 9781864718638.
Without even a slight general easing into the book, Michael Pryor resumes Aubrey Fitzwilliam's exploits.
Using an ornithopter, even though he had no night flying experience, Aubrey casts stunning combinations of magic to stage a rescue from a flaming Gallian dirigible. From there the reader is quickly whipped into the fragile politics of a world nearing war. Aubrey and his loyal offsider George, are sent to the Continent, given errands to do in Lutetia by various members of the family. Aubrey is determined to do everything himself, without calling on the fact that his father is an eminent politician in Albion, even though he is still plagued by extreme tiredness caused by his dabblings with Death Magic.
In Lutetia, Aubrey and ever present, ever loyal George meet up again with the 'Formidably competent. Utterly presentable. Endlessly bewildering' Caroline Hepworth. Aubrey feels the need to have Caroline by his side so he connives to have her studentship terminated at the university.  Together the threesome tackle the errands given to Aubrey whilst trying to come to grips with the strange happenings in the town; people losing their souls roaming the streets wildly till they are locked away; magic being used to manipulate groups of people; the comings and goings of the Holmland spy von Stalick; the agitant Sons of Victor; buildings becoming insubstantial and disappearing.
To top it all off, Lutetia starts to fall apart when the precious Heart of Gold that has been ensconced in the care of the nuns for years, is stolen. Aubrey and his friends seem to be the only ones who realise what is going on, and it again seems to involve the damninable Dr Tremaine and his evil magic.
Reinstating the Heart of Gold is essential to staving off the dreaded war. Aubrey, using a little magic, untried by before, strives to save the day. Unfortunately, just when everything seems to have been sorted, his sabotaging of Caroline's studies comes to light.
Another great adventure, come mystery with magic attached.
S. Whittaker

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