The Books of Magic: Reckonings
by John Ney Rieber, various artists
(DC/Vertigo, 1997)

In Reckonings, Timothy Hunter begins to deal more directly with his power -- a development made necessary by, among other things, an unexpected trip to Hell.

Tim, a 13-year-old mage-in-training destined to be the most powerful magician of his age, has trouble with some of the more mundane aspects of life, such as buying ice cream for his young, more worldly girlfriend. But even Molly's patience is strained when her relationship with Tim makes her the target of an infernal kidnapping scheme by hellishly pudgy dinosaurs and a dramatically cruel headmistress who wants to tutor/torture the girl into primness. Tim's solution to the problem is unique, touching and oh so romantic.

John Ney Rieber continues to map out an intricate story for young Tim, with side plots devoted to his possible future as the homeless thrall of a fat blue demon, a pair of twig-like creatures, a junk-toting bird-like thing, countless tiny alter-egos and an angel who has broken his chains. And The Books of Magic keeps growing as a fascinating, multilayered mythology for modern times.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 15 November 2003

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