Libby's Reviews > The Last Page
The Last Page (Caliph Howl, #1)
by Anthony Huso
by Anthony Huso
Dec 01, 2010
The Last Page is a heady brew of dark fantasy and Steampunk. It is complex and convoluted like the glyphs in the obscure and perilous book of magic sought by Sena, a witch and anti-heroine. Sena seeks out Caliph Howl, the heir to the throne of Stonehold, to bind his love and steal his blood for a potion to unlock the secrets of the book that can control the gods. Most of the action takes place in Isca, the capital of Stonehold, a city of sewers and towers, of labyrinthine politics and steamy fogs. In Isca, Grand Opera and Public Surgery are spectacles for those with the price of a ticket. A Civil War is brewing, led by a passed-over candidate for the throne, abetted by rival countries and coteries of witches. Everyone wants something; power, the magical tome, money, love or someone else's downfall. Betrayal and treachery proliferate like kudzu, with everyone selling everything to everybody. This is a fat juicy novel full of wonderful and original concepts such as the clanking dank machineries run by glowing green slime and bombs powered by souls. The beauty of it is that the characters are as rich and multi-layered as the plot. Caliph Howl for example, is much more than the love-sick dupe and Sena is more than a hot honey in a tight dress. As the plot thickens so too do the motives, histories and quirks of the dramatis personae. Be alert for twists and changes as this author never brings a cannon onstage unless he intends to fire it. I hope Anthony Huso enjoys writing so much that he scuttles back to his no doubt steam powered writing engine and writes me another crackling good story.
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