This book marks the second time where I can say, “Hey, I know this person!” when I talk about the author. It’s pretty darned exciting, let me tell you. I mean, I’m excited for her, but it’s also a reminder that I could do this, too, if I get around to actually, you know, writing.
Anyway, Grey Magic follows fifteen-year old Grimoire Tobin, who lives in a Medieval world of fantasy and magic. Sorcery divides people, as a big war between sorcerers ended many years ago, with the winners and the heroes living on in posters on teenagers’ walls (so to speak), and the villains are feared even as someone mentions their name. Grimoire studies the history of magic behind her uncle’s back, learning about the war despite his protests, and one night she learns why. She overhears her uncle speaking to someone else, and he reveals that he’s a sorcerer. The revelation, coinciding with her feeling about sorcerers in general, sends her fleeing from her uncle, where she starts a journey of self-discovery that’s fraught with danger.
The story is compelling and readable. Ms. Long has a knack for painting a setting using the fewest details possible. Her secondary characters are also very lively and vivid, sometimes even more so than the main character. She has a skill for highlighting the importance of the small details, and the relationships that exist between the characters. The friendship of Grimoire and Lark, and the tense respect between Grimoire and Oleander, her teacher, were the high points of the book for me, because they felt real and honest.
This book is the first in a trilogy, so what happens in it is really just the setup for the larger story. It left me a little unsatisfied because I wanted to see where the story went from there, but that’s not really a bad thing. Any story that leaves me wanting more is certainly one that was worthwhile to read.