This is a great book I’ll long remember. Stories about magic haven’t been my favorite, because the OTHERS have what I’ll call “unbelievable magic.” Usually such fiction involves magical powers that borderline god-like omnipotence. The only way those stories can have a good Plot is for the magic wielder to stupidly forget he can take down the villain with a technique he’d used four chapters earlier. But Brasher’s Far Knowing feels much more believable. Magicians in this story don’t leap tall buildings in a single bound or topple buildings with the power of their mind. These magicians have to work hard to get a minor advantage, and it wears them out. It feels as difficult for them as I’d find trying to balance myself on two stacked basketballs. I call this “believable.” Other stories might have magic that makes a person invisible, but Brasher creates magicians who can simply distract people from noticing them. I swear I’ve known people who seem to have this skill and it’s this “almost reality” sense throughout the story that makes me Love it.
Oh, and the twists in this story! Far Knowing not only has a great blend of foreshadowed changes and sudden surprises, but they also harmonize—a hoped-for change in one aspect adds to the pop from something totally unexpected. I’d love to give examples, but I don’t like reviews that spoil the plot.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)