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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Book of Doors by Gareth Brown

Magic and wonder burst from the pages of Gareth Brown’s enchanting debut novel The Book of Doors, an imaginative fantasy centred on a magical tome with the power to transport readers wherever they desire. When introspective bookseller Cassie comes into possession of the mystical Book after a regular customer passes away, she finds herself suddenly immersed in a hidden world of sorcery, secret libraries, and an ominous villain hunting down fantastical texts for nefarious purposes.

Leaping headfirst into the unknown, Cassie experiments with the Book’s reality-bending powers, visiting dazzling locales conjured up in her mind’s eye. But the farther she travels, the more apparent the Book’s coveted significance becomes. Cassie learns she is not the only one privy to magical books, nor the sole target of those who would abuse their gifts. A network of guardians protects powerful tomes from falling into malicious hands – and the mysterious Woman stalking their protectors will let nothing obstruct her quest.

Enigmatic book collector Drummond Fox comes to Cassie’s aid, ushering her into his family’s concealed archive brimming with astonishing texts. Each volume possesses unique properties, from freezing time to glimpsing the future. Together, Cassie and her new ally race to secure the most potent books before the Woman and her minions wield them for destruction and control. Peppered with dazzling locales and suspense, their mission reveals chilling secrets about the archives’ troubled history and future.

Deftly blending magic, friendship, greed for power, and reverence for stories into an absorbing adventure, Brown introduces an alluring form of sorcery: magical books, each with their own rules, gifts, and spirit. Bibliophiles will delight in a fantasy ode to the transcendent magic of reading, while enjoying the emotional growth of a shy heroine who discovers confidence, purpose, and love through her bookish journey. The compelling, dangerous race to protect or possess the magical library makes for brisk pacing and high stakes.

With lyrical prose, multi-dimensional characters, and inventive worldbuilding, Brown’s standout debut is a page-turner of wonder, danger, and revelation centred around beloved books. Whisking readers across the globe, between past and present, fantasy and reality, The Book of Doors opens portals to peril, friendship, and awe-inspiring adventure. Captivating for magical fantasy fans and book lovers alike, Brown’s tale lovingly captures the profound power within stories and imagination.

Reviewer: Chris Reed



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