The Masquerading Magician By Gigi Pandian: Review/Giveaway

Jan 16, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Fantasy & Fangs, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of The Masquerading Magician, and a link to purchase it where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Over 300 years ago, apothecary Zoe Faust discovered the Elixir of Life, which granted her immortality. With that gift came tragic consequences, as Zoe was unable to transfer her unaging life to her ill brother, the reason she was seeking the secret in the first place. Until recently, Zoe has lived a very lonely life, outliving those she loved and forced to move from city to city to hide her continued existence.

Three months ago though, Zoe finally gave in to her desire to put down roots in Portland, Oregon. It was after opening the secondhand store, Elixir, that another lonely soul in the form of Dorian, a gargoyle, sought her out seeking, a solution to his own fate of reverting back into stone. After hundreds of years of running from her gifts, though, Zoe is learning that recovering them enough to study the book of Non Degenera Alchemia is proving more challenging than she ever could have

With all of the pressure of living a dual life and attempting to save a new friend, Zoe believed that a rare date with policeman Max Liu at a retro-Parisian magic show would be a welcome break. Unfortunately, Dorian’s sudden appearance, the belief by a young friend that the magicians could be alchemists, and a new murder, all ensure that the alchemy which is slowing down Dorian’s fate won’t be the only factor weakening a much-stressed Zoe.

This second in the series follows up what has turned out to be one of my favorite new series of the past year. Author Gigi Pandian introduces readers to alchemy by explaining it as a science, and her compelling historical facts about its practice are integral to the plot. Beautifully woven into the story are descriptions and recipes of Dorian’s expertise at French cooking, especially as he caters to Zoe’s vegan tastes.

Although the tone of the novel is kept light with witty dialogue and humor, the author never shies away from delving into the darker aspects of an unending life. Zoe lives an existence of frustration and torment, forced to lie to those she loves with the knowledge that they will inevitably precede her in death. Zoe finds redemption for the gift of life which she feels she never deserved by healing others through her apothecary skills. But perhaps now she is ready to risk allowing love back into her life. Affectionately written, this is a unique series that will charm readers with its alluring mystery, sympathetic characters, and absolutely fascinating alchemist lore.

To enter to win a copy of The Masquerading Magician, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “magician,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 23, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

You can use this link to order this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. This seems like the good book to cause me to venture out from my “cozy mystery” passion. I’ve enjoyed this genre before, and look forward to checking this out.

  2. I would love to win a copy of The Masquerading Magician!

  3. Sounds a little different and therefore I would like to read it. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  4. I really want to read this series, it sound so intriguing!

  5. Would like to win. Friend says writer has flare for a mystery.

  6. The debut book was fascinating and I can’t wait to read this one. I have enjoyed reading the author’s other series and highly recommend it and this one.

  7. I am anxious to read this, congratulations on the Lefty nomination!

  8. Thanks for the chance to win this book!! Looks good!

  9. I wish just once i would win

  10. We have a winner!


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