I loved the first two books of this series, The Alchemyst and The Magician. The Sorceress is the third, and it is well written, continues to richly use myth and legend to excellent and at times surprising effect, and is enjoyable. And yet, it kinda fails.
The recap: All the myths and legends are real. Seriously: all. And there’s a prophesy about twins who could save or destroy the world. Nicholas Flamel, an immortal, believes Sophie and Josh Newman are those twins. He takes them under his wings, protects them from the bad guys who want to use them to destroy the world, gets their magic potential awakened and starts their training.
Of course, if Flamel hadn’t found them, they may not have been in any danger in the first place. And the process of awakening their auras, the source of their magic, could have killed them or driven them mad.
Which we’ve known since page 204 of the first book. Which Sophie and Josh have known since page 204 of the first book. Hell, they spend fifty pages dealing with it. And then they seemed to move one. So why, I ask you, do Sophie and Josh act like they never knew, and feel the need to spend a chunk of the third book freaking out about what could have happened? It was big, it was traumatic, and, for the characters, it was all of six days ago. And they… forgot? Weren’t really paying attention during the several arguments? In which they were participating? It’s one of a handful of blatant continuity errors, though it’s the one that bothered me the most.
In The Magician, the author asked us to believe something that made very little sense; in The Sorceress, he asks us to be surprised by something that I always assumed. Between this and the continuity errors, I’m starting to feel that he doesn’t respect either his readers or his characters. He could be writing amazing, rich, detailed, thoughtful books; we know, because he did it in the first book (and, basically, the second). Instead, the seeds of that amazing, rich, detailed third book are mired in sloppiness. And that’s unbelievably frustrating.
Available May 26, 2009