Book Review: Magic For Liars By Sarah Gailey

Magic For Liars is a book that I’d heard quite a lot of buzz around within the book community and I was therefore thrilled to be gifted a copy to read, plus a stunning little pin badge to match. Unfortunately, due to some family health issues this book has had to sit patiently on my TBR shelf, but I’m thrilled to say I’m now ready to offer my review, Before I share my thoughts with you I’d like to thank Tor Books and Jamie-Lee Nardone for the opportunity to read this book.

About The Book

Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it.

Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life – or at least, she’s perfectly fine.

She doesn’t in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.

Ivy Gamble is a liar.

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.


Ivy is a small town Private Investigator who is coasting through life, surviving on the small insignificant cases of cheating spouses and suspicious business partners. That is until she is asked to investigate a suspicious death of a teacher at a local school. This case could help her crack the big time, but there’s a catch….. it’s not just any school, it’s a magic school and her twin sister is on the teaching staff.

Ivy and Tabitha haven’t had a close relationship since Tabitha was whisked away to study magic as a child leaving Ivy behind at home to dwell own normal life and shortcomings. Coming face to face with the her sister though certainly isn’t the only problem she will have to face if she is to solve the mystery surrounding the gruesome death of one of the school popular teachers. She will have to sift through lies, secrets and shrouded mystery in order to discover the truth about herself as well as the case at hand.

The first thing I have to say about this book is how much I enjoyed the setting of the school and the wonderfully descriptive prose Gailey used when describing it – it gave the book such an atmospheric feel which allowed me to feel like I was transported into the pages. Another really enjoyable aspect were the characters, in particular Ivy, who is so relateably flawed and as her story evolves we find out about how and why her past is effecting her present so heavily. It’s easy to understand her frame of mind as she finds solace in the bottom of  a bottle and I really warmed to her, cheering her on in her quest to find the truth.

The premise of this book was extremely intriguing to me and I wasn’t disappointed when the story leapt straight in from the very first page, however I felt that towards the middle the pacing seemed to drop off before speeding up to the action-packed finale. There was also a romance that features in the middle section that I personally wasn’t invested in and in my opinion could have been omitted completely.

What Gailey has really nailed in this book though is keeping the reader guessing ‘who dunnit’, as my guesses kept swaying backwards and forwards throughout leaving me wondering who the culprit would be. Despite my small gripe, I did really enjoy this book overall, especially the magic system and found it to be a fantastic quick read. If you are a fan of mystery and magic this is definitely one for you.

About The Author

Hugo and Campbell award finalist Sarah Gailey is an internationally published writer of fiction and non fiction. Gailey lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon with her two scrappy dogs and you can find more information about her work in her website.

Author Links: Website | Twitter 

Magic For Liars is available to purchase from Amazon*

*This post contains affiliate links

**We received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

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