"Follow your hearts. Protect one another, trust one another, because, at the end of the day, all of these people want something from you, or want you to do something for them, or be something that you are not. Your only responsibility is to one another." - Niten the...
"Follow your hearts. Protect one another, trust one another, because, at the end of the day, all of these people want something from you, or want you to do something for them, or be something that you are not. Your only responsibility is to one another." - Niten the Swordsman, also known as Miyamoto Musashi, to Josh and Sophie Newman in The Necromancer
When Niten spoke to words to Josh and Sophie, the both agreed with him. For Josh, Niten''s words echoed almost exactly what he had been thinking privately for days. Unlike his twin, Josh Newman had been mistrustful of the immortal humans, Next Generation and Elders almost from the moment, just a week ago, when he and Sophie discovered they existed. Yet a mere twenty-four hours after agreeing with Niten wholeheartedly, Josh would turn his back on his sister, leave her behind in favor of escape with the immortal humans John Dee and Virginia Dare - who have, up until now, been the twins'' enemies. He may have chosen to leave of his own free will, or he may have been influenced by Dr. Dee''s very persuasive lies and powerfully compelling spells (Dr. Dee is the Magician, after all). He might even be yet under the control of Mars Ultor, the Elder who awakened him. Josh''s motivation is unclear, but the result is not. The struggle to determine the fate of humanity and the world is drawing perilously close and Josh and Sophie Newman, the gold and silver twins of legend, are standing on opposite sides.
After six hundred years, it seems that Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel must surely fail. They have lost the Codex - the Book of Abraham the Mage - and with it the formula for immortality. With each passing day the Flamels age and weaken; the constant demand on their auras over the past week has only hastened their inevitable demise. Josh''s betrayal, whether voluntary or not, spells doom for humanity and it is this blow, after the many risks and sacrifices, that has stolen the last of Nicholas Flamel''s power. He now lies unconscious and it is unclear whether he will ever wake again.
Perenelle Flamel must now face the horrors of Alcatraz - and the end of the human world - without Nicholas by her side. Before his failure to capture the Newman twins and kill the Flamels made him an outlaw with his Dark Elder masters, Dr. John Dee imprisoned a collection of monsters - creatures that represent the very darkest of humanity''s fears - on Alcatraz Island in preparation for setting them loose on San Francisco and the rest of the world. Perenelle is determined to eliminate that looming threat before another servant of the Dark Elders can set the plan in motion. But she never expected to be so very alone.
Scathach and Joan of Arc disappeared while passing through a leygate between Paris and San Francisco. Perenelle believes they were cast back in time, but in actuality they have travelled to a Shadowrealm created by the mysterious hook-handed man. After seeking assistance form Tammuz the Green Man - Palamedes''s Elder Master - the Comte de Saint-Germain, Palamedes and William Shakespeare have been flung into the same Shadowrealm to be reunited with Scatty and Joan. The hook-handed man, who calls himself Marethyu (the ancient word for death) tells Scathach, Joan, St. Germain, Palamedes and Shakespeare that they must travel back in time, to the very battle that caused the destruction of Danu Talis. If the ancient island kingdom, which has also been known as Atlantis, does not fall, the world of humans will never have had the chance to exist.
In the California of the present day, Perenelle''s possible allies have fared no better. Aiofe of the Shadows, Scathach''s twin, sacrificed herself to drive the Archon Coatlicue back into her Shadowrealm prison. The two are now locked in eternal combat, sealed in a world that holds only darkness. Prometheus, the Elder who taught Josh Newman Fire Magic, exhausted himself when he helped Nicholas and Perenelle track the boy into Dee''s lair using an ancient crystal skull. He now has so little power left that his own Shadowrealm is disintegrating around him. So Perenelle fears she must fight the next battle alone, as she has always known she would. Almost seven hundred years ago, the hook-handed man foretold the child Perenelle''s future, and with it, the future of the world. She has always known what she must do, now it only remains to do it.
Events race toward what must surely be an explosive conclusion in this, the penultimate novel in Michael Scott''s series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. A combination of myth and legend and folktale with the very best of urban fantasy, this series has been exciting and compelling and surprising and all sorts of other `ings'' right from the very start. The characters are rich and complex, it is virtually impossible to tell who, if anyone, is being entirely truthful. In The Warlock, Mr. Scott does a masterful job drawing all of the story threads - both major and minor - together, just in time for The Enchantress, the sixth and final novel, which is due for publication in the summer of 2012. The last time I waited this anxiously for a series finale, it was 2007 and the book was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.