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The New Improved Sorceress
Wayward Mages #2
by Sara Hanover
DAW, $16.00, 368pp
Published: January 2020

The second book in this contemporary fantasy series returns to the life of Tessa Andrews as she balances the magical and mundane worlds.

Tessa didn't believe in magic, but magic believed in her, and that started a fight for her life.

An ancient artifact known as a maelstrom stone has embedded itself in her left palm. It thrives on chaos, which describes her new life perfectly. She battles to find a balance between the ordinary world and the magical one, all while freeing her father from his ghostly state, helping a phoenix wizard restore his rejuvenation ritual, and retrieving the stolen Eye of Nimora for the Broadstone clan. Tessa must also help her mother navigate the rocky road of academia and single motherhood finances, fall in love herself, and steer her college teammates to a divisional championship. She needs friends, both ordinary and magical, by her side.

Then a strange and forbidding book of the Dark Arts strikes her with actual power...and Tessa realizes more than ever that there is no I in team--unless it's the one in new, improved sorceress.

Tessa’s life keeps getting more complicated.  While still struggling to learn how to use the Maelstrom Stone it absorbs a book of the Dark Arts making her a sorceress albeit a sorceress without training. When Hiram Broadstone asks her to find the lost Eye of Nimora she cannot turn him down, the fee he offers will solve so many of Tessa and her mom’s mundane problems. Hiram’s late father gave the Eye to his wife, a harpy, who disappeared before Hiram’s father died along with the Eye. Of course, things are more complicated than expected as Tessa has to find Germanigold before she can begin to track down the Eye.  Then there are still the problems of the Professor who still has not performed his phoenix ritual, Tessa’s dad is still a ghost in the basement and mundanely, Tessa’s mom is being told to finish her dissertation or look for another job and Tessa’s hockey team is on track for the championships if Tessa can avoid her opponents being inhabited by demons out to get her. There are also elves to fight and a new dog to help Tessa in her magical quests.

A great second outing in this series. Things are coming to a head on several fronts, we have a cliff hanger ending and I can hardly wait for the next book. Highly recommended. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

For more titles by Sara Hanover click here

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