1925 in the American Midwest was a simpler, more innocent time. Radio was new, The whole town came out for the Fourth of July. The diner served the same thing every day. Life in Brightness Falls was quiet and predictable. Or was it?
First, Frank McCorrie, the town librarian, meets an alchemist on the train. Then, a beautiful young witch appears in his library. And when a magician emerges from a shack on the riverbank, Frank finds himself at the center of magic, love, and intrigue.
Funny, touching, and frightening, The Magic War is a tale of a young man's entry into adulthood and adventure set in a lost America.
Learn the story behind The Magic War in this Interview with Mark.
"The Magic War by Mark J. Mitchell takes place in 1925, a time when everything seemed quiet and predictable, innocent, and everyone knew everybody's business. Frank McCorrie has a routine, working in the library during the week, and visiting his mother on Sundays. Everything changes when he meets an alchemist named Felix H. Culpepper on the train, then meets the beautiful Rainey Ballantine who claims to be a witch. Soon Frank finds himself caught in between two fighting alchemists, while he discovers magic, betrayal, and love.
Mark J. Mitchell has a delightful writing style, with the lead, Frank, having a strong voice, one that's a bit naive to the world, but he's also genuine. You can't help but want him to be happy. He spends most of the novel unsure if magic is real, and if he should believe these strangers, which works wonderfully as magic is left up to interpretation as to whether or not it's truly real. However, the scenes and descriptions have their own kind of magic found in Frank's comfort in books and words, specifically translating Latin poems.
The humor is old-fashioned and witty, perfectly capturing the era. The characters are charming, mysterious, and have subtle oddities. The prose is light and endearing, but there's a darkness to the story that slowly unfolds in the background until it slams into Frank's reality at the end. The Magic War is an enchanting mix of magic, charm, and wonder, with mystery and romance... a story of life, loss, and growing up. The Magic War is a true joy to read!"
-- Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars