THE LAST PAGE is a love story. Here we meet Caliph Howl, reluctant (and questionable) heir to the throne of a duchy on a world populated by men and monsters. Caliph meets Sena while plotting revenge on a rival and eventually falls for her. Unknown to Caliph, Sena is a witch trained in the dark arts of magic, deception, and sexual espionage. Both practice magic, which in this world is powered by blood.
It seems that Caliph would rather live a simple life, but instead finds himself compelled to rule and thus must come up with a plan to repel a civil war that seeks to take his throne. Sena eventually realizes that she is in love with Caliph but remains divided in her loyalties. She has accomplished her heart’s true desire: to track down a legendary magical tome. To unlock the book, she must first betray Caliph. Both Caliph and Sena seem to have daddy issues. Things get out of hand.
THE LAST PAGE is dark, creepy and violent. The main characters are conflicted and often wrestle with their own self-loathing. The technology is advanced to the point where it resembles magic. It can be used to distill souls from man and beast, and use them to power cities or build doomsday devices. The magic is unpredictable and the witches are like a sisterhood of female ninjas who take hallucinatory drugs and hold bacchanal ceremonies to cast hexes capable of atomizing entire cities. There are zeppelins and towering war machines bristling with projectile weapons of every flavor imaginable. Besides the rebellion, the kingship, the witchocracy, and the various nations surrounding Caliph Howl’s duchy, one of the interested parties is obviously a Cthulhu cult. Everyone is a spy.
Did I mention that BLACK BOTTLE, the long-awaited sequel to THE LAST PAGE, is coming from TOR Books in August? I will be reading it as soon as I can get a copy delivered to my underground lair.
Creepy Factor: 4 out of 5
Suspense Factor: 4 out of 5
Weird Erotic Tension Factor: 3 out of 5
Funny and/or Strange Factor: 5 out of 5
Final result: Sena might be like Lyra Belacqua if she was a beautiful witch who got around, if you know what I mean, and if she was losing her mind to a grimoire penned by elder gods, but only if she was living in New Crobuzon from Mieville’s PERDIDO STREET STATION. It’s a love story. You should really go get this book.
Thanks very much to TOR books for the copy of this awesome book. See you next time!