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A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  10 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 revolution in France to the weather mage
...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Expected publication: June 23rd 2020 by Redhook
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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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DNF @ p. 184



I had a really tough time reading this book because on the one hand, I wanted to enjoy a dark historical fantasy. In this world, set in the late 18th century, the wealthy aristocracy use magical bracelets to keep the poor from using their magic. Likewise, the slaves who work in plantations are force-fed magical concoctions that turn them into zombies and eradicate their magic, too.



Some people have started to think this is
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Genevieve Cogman
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rich, eloquent, fluid, detailed, positively mesmerising.
Alix Harrow
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sprawling, rich, indulgent, epic, profoundly political, delightfully magical--if you've ever wanted a magic-infused retelling of late 18th century Atlantic politics, this is your book. I just adore a historical novel that takes history seriously, as more than mere aesthetic, and this book takes the political and moral upheavals of the era with gravity and attention. I loved it.
Dave
"A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians" is an incredibly clever and bold approach to the fantasy genre. It's an alternate history of the late eighteenth century, the time of the French Revolution's madness and excesses. Shuttling between London, Paris, and Haiti, it's a world filled with magic. In France and England, magic is suppressed by law. The Knights of Templar regulate magicians. Only aristocrats can use it. In France, its use is limited by bracelets. In Haiti, the enslaved drink a ...more
Lauren Griska
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians follows three sets of characters: the new British PM William Pitt and his friend Wilberforce fighting for abolition in post American Revolutionary Britain, Robespierre at the dawn of the French Revolution, and a woman, Fina, enslaved on a Jamaican sugar plantation. However in this version of our world there is magic. Magic is typically reserved for the elite and commoners are imprisoned or executed for its use by the Nights Templar. Pitt and Robespierre ...more
Eric
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. 2/5 Stars.

In theory, a book about the Age of Enlightenment and magic would seem rather interesting. In practice, however, the story was too much politics and not enough magic.
Lauren
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting and super detailed alternate historical fantasy where magicians are randomly born but only the rich can legally use their magic. Its a story of revolution, of young people looking to make the world better, of the Revolutionary period in not just America but France and the abolition movement. Its a reassessment of the emergence of the Western World but if there had been magic. Very political and wordy, so be prepared for that. But still super interesting. ...more
Grace
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: very-much-yes
This was... awesome.

It's an alternate history, a magical retelling of the late 1700s. But I've read quite a few alternate histories, and quite a few books that try to pull the "ohoho this historical famous person turns up in my story" gambit, and most of them fall flat. Most of them are hackneyed, and just seem gimmicky. This, like I said, was awesome.

The most important thing you need to know is that it's political as heck.

Do not expect a rip-roaring action adventure, although there certainly
...more
Sarah Canfield
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-challenge
A perfectly entertaining and interesting take on the Enlightenment and the French and English History of the time with the twist of Magic thrown in. Magic acts as a perfect proxy for the class issues that were driving the late 18th century politics. The issue of slavery also comes into play as the British and French try to figure out how to make their economies work while being convicted that slavery is immoral. The characters came alive right away and came together in interesting and surprising ...more
Kristen McDermott
My review of this book will appear in Historical Novels Review issue 93 (August 2020)
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H.G. Parry lives in a book-infested flat in Wellington, New Zealand, which she shares with her sister and two overactive rabbits. She holds a PhD in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, and teaches English, Film, and Media Studies. Her short fiction has appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, and small press anthologies. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah ...more

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