A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

A Novel , #1

544 pages

English language

Published July 23, 2020 by Orbit.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

A sweeping tale of revolution and wonder in a world not quite like our own, A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians is a genre-defying story of magic, war, and the struggle for freedom in the early modern world.

It is the Age of Enlightenment — of new and magical political movements, from the necromancer Robespierre calling for a revolution in France, to the weather mage Toussaint L'Ouverture leading the slaves of Haiti in their fight for freedom, to the bold new Prime Minister William Pitt weighing the legalization of magic amongst commoners in Britain and abolition throughout its colonies overseas.

But amidst all of the upheaval of the early modern world, there is an unknown force inciting all of human civilization into violent conflict. And it will require the combined efforts of revolutionaries, magicians, and abolitionists to unmask this hidden enemy before the whole world falls to darkness and …

4 editions

Review of 'Declaration of the Rights of Magicians' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

A look at late 18th century Britain, France, and Haiti if there were magic users and vampires. Very slow to start but it picks up during the French Revolution and Toussaint Louverture's slave uprising (I confess the bits about British parliamentary politics remained a bit of a slog--and the "just for now" justifications of war and slavery, while historically accurate, were frustrating). This book was well researched, and I am looking forward to the sequel, which I assume will feature the Napoleonic Wars.

Review of 'Declaration of the Rights of Magicians' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

The most important thing to know, if you're going to read this, is that this is not a standalone novel! This is part 1 of 2 and it does not end with a resolution. I considered quitting at the halfway point, but I made myself hold on to find out how it ended ... and it didn't.

A basic summary: In a magical version of late eighteenth century Europe, change is brewing. In England, Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce want to improve things for Commoner magicians (who aren't allowed to do magic) and achieve the abolition of slavery, both through sensible incremental legal means; in France, Commoner magicians rise up against the Aristocrats, led by Robespierre, a secret necromancer with the power of mesmerism, backed by a mysterious, powerful benefactor. On Haiti, the potion that keeps enslaved people docile zombies has failed, allowing a violent rebellion against white plantation …

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  • English literature