Hodder, out now
Magic is coming back.
Advent is the first novel by James Treadwell, and forms the beginning of a trilogy (the sequel, Anarchy, is published in July). The book starts in the sixteenth century, with Johannes Faust – the world’s greatest magus – leaving his home, bearing a very special box. The book then moves on to the present day, and we meet Gavin, a young boy being farmed off to his Aunt Gwen in Cornwall, convinced his parents don’t want him.
Gavin can see ghosts, things that aren’t of the everyday world – a fact that doesn’t go down well with his parents. Gwen seems delighted by this, and herself knows more than she’s letting on. As we progress through the novel Gavin (or Gawain) finds himself meeting others who share his ‘altered’ view of things, with otherworldly perception being seen as more natural here at the Cornwall estate of Pendurra.
Artefacts begin to appear at Pendurra; objects infused with a powerful magic – and we find out they were crafted by Johannes Faust. As Gavin and his companions seek to defeat the resurrected Faust and deal with the reappearance of magic in the world today, we are shown their own heritage. And what a heritage it is. The author skilfully weaves aspects of various mythologies together to form an enthralling novel that will delight fans of authors such as J.K. Rowling, Alan Garner and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Verdict: An engrossing introduction to a world of magic – here, now. 7/10