Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Magician

(The Last Magician #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  15,645 ratings  ·  3,232 reviews
Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern-day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their l
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published July 18th 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Magician, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jess Per Google, that is a double ouroboros. When two of them are intertwined while swallowing one another means "volatility" in alchemy. Seeing as every c…morePer Google, that is a double ouroboros. When two of them are intertwined while swallowing one another means "volatility" in alchemy. Seeing as every comment is about the Auryn and no one seemed to have googled it, I'll give you the definition of volatility as well -- "liability to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse"

It has been an alchemical sign since before the Neverending Story was a thing.(less)
J. To make it official, Lisa Maxwell said that she is writing the second one right now. :)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,645 ratings  ·  3,232 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1)
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads, 5-stars
Books With Friends July pick

Okay wow this is a new fantasy fave. It has SO many elements that I love:
• Time travel
• Intricate plot
• Complex & lovable characters
• Historical setting (1900s New York)
• Slow burn romance

Lisa Maxwell
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
You guys. This book has been such a labor of love. History. Magic. Cute boys in suspenders. It's like magical newsies without the singing or gangs of New York with magic. There is time travel, a badass girl thief, secret societies, a diverse cast, and so much more. I have loved writing these characters and this world and I hope you all love it too!! ...more
Ashley Nuckles
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reread March 2021: Still just as great as I remembered omg, so many twists and turns and I forgot about slooowwww burnnnn that romance was oh my godddd. I’m here for all of this and so ready for the third book to release!

Original review: This was so good. Like, SO GOOD. I’m so speechless right now I don’t even know what to say. Holy crap.
High Lady of The Night Court
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-read
I absolutely LOVED every part of this book, I'm completely enamored with it. The plot is amazing, the characters are amazing, the magic is amazing, the world is amazing. The time traveling aspect is not in the least bit confusing of haphazard because it's written very well.
The book follows Esta's journey into the past to retrieve a book that might just free all Mageus from the Brink. The Brink is a magical barrier that has trapped Mageus in Manhattan and trying to leave means risking being stri
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Did I enjoy this book?

That's a really great question.

I finished The Last Magician and it's like it instantly disappeared from my brain. Although I remember reading it, I cannot actually recall many details of the story at all.

From my limited recollections, there's this girl, Esta, she lives in modern times, but has the ability to travel back through time.

She works for a mysterious Professor, who gives her an assignment to travel to 1902-Manhattan and steal an ancient book that holds some magi
*slams fist on table*
HOW DARE YOU? How dare you leave me all alone with no one to talk about this?
Why are you not reading this series? How are you all not obsessed with it? Why is there no fanart? Why is no one raving about these characters? Why is no one screaming about the wait for the third book?

My mission will be convincing all of you to read this series right now.

“Find the Magician,” he told her. “And stop him before he destroys our future.”

I wasn’t expecting to be swept away by this w
✨    jami   ✨

I picked this up on a whim because the audiobook sample sounded good and I needed a book about a heist or thieves for a ReadAThon prompt. I ended up loving it SO MUCH. This book has so many things I love, let us tick them off: historical fantasy, early 20th-century setting, magicians, secret societies and gangs, angsty romance, heists, thieves, morally grey characters, and PLOT TWISTS ALL OVER
ELLIAS (elliasreads)
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, 2019-books
WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. Just Happened??!!
My mind is reeling after the last 20 pages.....

Full review to come. But first, sleep.
Eva Rian ☾
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually bought this book because the cover is so pretty.

But it was a very interesting book. I loved that it envolved time travelling. I did find it a bit slow at times. But overall I really enjoyed it!
Edit on 5/12/18
I’m officially bumping this rating from a 4.5 to a full 5 stars! I started reading through it again and I realized that this book is incredible, amazing, and all the good adjectives that I can’t think of right now. That is all. You may proceed.

The Review
Wow. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did.

The first time I picked it up was back in August and only read the first chapter or so before I put it down. I didn’t know when I would pick it back up until my friend
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

“Liars Make the best Magicians, and he happened to be exceptional!"

I have seen The Last Magician a few times at the bookstore but have never really been interested in it. It wasn't until I heard it involved historical fiction, magic, and a heist, I knew I had to get my hands on it. To be perfectly honest, after reading Six of Crows, I developed a love for heist stories. I may have read one or two in the past, but now I want more. And The Last Magician didn't disappoint.

500 pages of pur
myo (myonna reads)
i really enjoyed this story. i didn't think i would like it because i don't really read or care much for historical fiction and i didn't know how i'd love the time travel. i actually ended up really loving the time travel aspects of it especially the way it was described. although i could see how this book is compared to the diviner's especially because of how characters driven it is this but it also is plot driven, which i loved because it was a good balance of both. another thing i loved was t ...more
Mohammed Arabey
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A new chapter of the struggle of people with magical powers with those who don't.

And I admit, I checked the first 3 chapters because of the COVER.
and a very trusted friend told me it reminded her with The Diviners, my all time favorite., also Six of Crows.
But it's the cover...come on.

And it turned out everything I wished for in Urban Fantasy..
Time Travel, Early 1900s, Real historical character facts, Magic...and a Magician..

The Last Magician..

God I love it so much. I love how rich the characters
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya, dystopian
This twisty tale of alchemy and magic in Gilded Age New York will keep you guessing until the very last page.
“But then, liars do make the best magicians, and he happened to be exceptional.”


Oh, how I wanted to love this book. The Last Magician has a fantastic premise, and I hoped that this one would become a new favorite.

But it didn't.

I was...slightly disappointed by this? Don't get me wrong, this book was enjoyable and wholly decent. However, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was more to be desired in this story.

In The Last Magician, we follow Esta, our leading lady who lives in present day Ne
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really found the twists and turns of this book incredible. I love the world building and the characters are so intriguing. I loved Unhooded by Maxwell and was excited to read another book authored by her, and I was NOT disappointed at all!

Overall, a fun adventure with magic and corruption...always an amazing combination!
Noha Badawi
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't have enough words to explain how much i loved this book.
One of the best reads of 2017.
No, scratch that!
It's one of the best reads ever

Parties, extravagant jewels, magic tricks, raw power, betrayals and friendships and swoon-worthy romance ; the Last Magician was not confusing one bit, things took time to build up, and then the world manifested beautifully and the characters burst from the pages and I was in complete owe of the story.

I need to recover from this amazing adventure and wor
Renee Godding
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
(Based on personal enjoyment: 3 to 3.5 stars)

What would happen if Six of Crows and Passenger had a lovechild?
It would probably look and feel a lot like The Last Magician…

The best part of that analogy is that is does not only match the themes and feel, but also my eventual rating and enjoyment: Six of Crows is an easy five star, and an all time favorite of mine. Passenger was a two star, and had in my opinion quite some issues. The Last Magician lands somewhere in between, hav
Jamie Finch
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Wow! I really enjoyed this one! :D

I seriously loved every minute of this book, which is not something that I can say very often. The plot was compelling and full of so many twist and turns, most of which I genuinely didn’t see coming. The world-building and atmosphere was so well described, that it virtually transported me back in time along with them.

This book was filled with well written, complex, and likeable characters and they were definitely one of the main reasons I loved it as much I di
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The only rule that counted was to not get caught..."

Buddy read this book with my friend Shreya
This book was so enchanting. It had my heart from the first page and I knew when I started it, I was in for one hell of ride. Little did I know that this book would turn out to be one of my absolute favorites! From the writing to the plot to the characters, everything was so well done and I was incredibly astonished to see that n
Hari ~Brekker-Maresh~
There's gonna be a book 2... Right? RIGHT??????? I need more!!!! Also that last 10% was a constant tornado. Read it for the love/hate between Esta and Harte (those names tho!!!!!!!) so good, kinda info-dumpy in the beginning but the rest of the plot makes up for it entirely. Also, TIME TRAVEL ANYBODYYYY????? ...more
bee ʚïɞ
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
reread in december; five stars ∗

all of the stars | this reread just solidified the fact that this book is definitely one of my all time favorites. i’m so nervous to pick up the sequel but good lord, i need to know what happens next!

..... W H A T?!?

i’m literally speechless right now. like ??? holy frick i loved this book sososo much!!

okay so the characters were all a m a z i n g! some people have compared it to six of crows and i mean i can kinda see that but we can’t compare all heist books to
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
“his life might have been built on illusions, but his death would be his greatest trick.”


It’s 1902 and a mysterious magician steals the most powerful book to the magical universe, never to be seen again. A century later, magic is almost extinct, and the last, surviving, magician is sent back in time to steal the book before it vanishes with The Magician to save the future. From there starts the concoction of the biggest illusion spectacle of all, to steal the book from under the mos
Claude's Bookzone
CW: (view spoiler)

4.5 Stars

Well after a confusing start this ended up being a brilliant fantasy heist story.

This novel began with some very loose world building and skipped around different story threads. My interest was waning quickly. It was at about the 30% mark that everything fell into place and from that point I was absolutely hooked. It is an incredibly full cast of ch
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 STARS The only reason this wasn't a 5 star and sitting on my favourite shelf was because of the ending... but it was still utterly amazing...

This book, from page 1, was memorizing, magical and definitely something that pulled me in, almost magnetic in nature. I loved it! However, that ending was a little disappointing.

I've never read any of Lisa Maxwell's books before and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, the writing style was amazing, the world building intriguing and the characters
Beatrice in Bookland
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The only rule that counted was to not get caught.”

Masterpiece alert.

Esta, our main character, is funny, smart and has her priorities straight. She's perfect omg. She's a formidable pickpocket from our time and has some old magic, she can manipulate time and also travel through it with a magical stone. Her mission is to steal an old book from 1902 and in order to do that she has to infiltrate Dolph's gang of thugs.

Our second protagonist is Harte, a magician from 1902 who used to be part of Dolp
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Magician is gold.

And when I say gold, I mean lustrous gold that doesn't fail to catch your attention. And while we are at the gold analogy, let me draw another resemblance between the two: the novel is pure gold, not an alloy because it has such a unique plot!

Throughout the novel, I was at the edge of my seat, wondering what will come next. And what comes next isn't anything that will fall within the ambit of your predictions. This is largely due to the well fleshed out characters that are
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
Not my favorite fantasy in the world. I couldn’t seem to get into it, and I wish the magic system was fleshed out more because it had me muddled for majority of the novel. I wish I loved it more because the synopsis was right up my alley, but the story itself wasn’t what I thought it would be.

(Side note: the audiobook narrator didn’t help as well. The way she narrated the story made it tedious to listen to, so for a decent chunk of the novel I zoned out)
Wendy Higgins
So, so gorgeous. All consuming. I cannot wait for the 2nd part of this duology!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)
  • Sorcery of Thorns
  • Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle #1)
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)
  • These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
  • Renegades (Renegades, #1)
  • An Enchantment of Ravens
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)
  • An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
  • The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
  • To Kill a Kingdom
  • We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
  • Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2)
  • Archenemies (Renegades, #2)
  • The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)
  • Blade of Secrets (Bladesmith, #1)
  • A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Lisa Maxwell is the New York Times Best-Selling author of THE LAST MAGICIAN. Also of UNHOOKED, SWEET UNREST, and GATHERING DEEP. When she's not writing books, she teaches English at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys. ...more

Other books in the series

The Last Magician (4 books)
  • The Devil's Thief (The Last Magician, #2)
  • The Serpent's Curse (The Last Magician, #3)
  • The Shattered City (The Last Magician #4)

Articles featuring this book

From the sprawling territories of Erilea to the 12 districts of Panem, YA superfans have covered a lot of familiar ground. To...
184 likes · 106 comments
“But then, liars do make the best magicians, and he happened to be exceptional.” 54 likes
“Don’t start telling yourself stories about me, Esta. I’m not some knight in shining armor. I don’t have some hidden heart of gold. I’m a bastard, in every sense of the word.”
“Who said I want you to be anything but what you are? I like your angles and your edges,” she told him, hoping he could hear the truth in her words. “I have plenty of my own, you know.”
More quotes…