Tanya Huff,
Stealing Magic
(Edge, 2005)

Stealing Magic is an immensely enjoyable book. It's in flip-book form, with one half devoted to Huff's incomparable Magdalene, the world's most powerful (and laziest) wizard, and one half devoted to Terazin, top-notch thief. The title is exquisitely well chosen, and works for both halves of the book, depending on which word the emphasis is placed. And these are just plain great characters and lots of fun to spend time with.

The world's most powerful (and laziest) wizard gets a little more page time than Terazin, but that's OK. There are seven Magdalene stories, but only four Terazin stories, which was fine with me, because -- to be honest -- I like Magdalene better. It's hard not to like a character who is best friends with Death, to whom demons apologize when they're trying to invade our world and who just looks at a dragon and it gulps and goes elsewhere.

Which is not to say that Terazin isn't a great character, too. She's dedicated to her calling and the best at what she does. I just found Magdalene to be more fun.

You may find that some of these stories seem familiar; they have all been published elsewhere. In her afterword, Huff notes that the stories are arranged in roughly chronological order and hopes that her more mature writing ability shows. I don't think she needs to worry on that score.

If you're ready for some fun, I can recommend some time spent Stealing Magic.

by Laurie Thayer
20 January 2007

Buy it from Amazon.com.