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Book Review: A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry

Book Review: A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry


A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher (Orbit/Redhook) and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians is a truly brilliant example of alternative history. Parry managed to stay completely faithful to the persons and events that make up the true history of this time period while deftly adding in the existence of magic and exemplifying how that existence might have impacted the French Revolution and the British fight to abolish the slave trade. Historical figures like William Pitt, William Wilberforce, Toussaint Bréda L’Ouverture, and Maximilien Robespierre are all exquisitely portrayed both as individuals that really existed and fictional characters whose minds were are invited to explore. Parry balanced this contrast beautifully. She could have rewritten history in a way that made it somehow less. She could have stayed so true to history that the narrative felt more like a nonfiction text than a novel. But she did neither of those things. She was able to bridge that divide in a way that both informs and inspires, that encourages both historical curiosity and fantastical imaginings. I’m truly in awe of what she was able to do with this novel.

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