The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister – Book Review

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were beautifully drawn and the story was compelling. The main character, Ada Bates, later known as the Amazing Arden, runs away from home to save herself from her abusive cousin Ray. Ray believes that he can break her bones, and then heal her. This is one of the first times magic is alluded to in the book, but certainly not the last.

I won’t tell the details of this book, since I’m hoping that you are intrigued enough to read it yourself, but eventually Ada becomes a magician, changing her name to Arden. She becomes famous for her magical tricks (including one called Woman on Fire) and others begin to copy her act. If you have any form of curiosity regarding magic, you will get some answers in this book. Due to her fame, her cousin Ray finds her, and she must find a way to escape him.


The story is told through flashbacks, which of course keep you reading since you want to find out both how the story ends, and the entire story. This is a good read that is both interesting and exciting. I highly recommend it.


2 thoughts on “The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister – Book Review

  1. I love historical novels. It is obvious that MacAllister put in the research time to make this story ring true of the early 1900’s.

    The plot and the story were interesting. The main issue I have with the presentation is long sections of narrative, which seems to slow the pace down at times. I would have liked to see all that narrative broken up with scenes of action or even dialog.

    The hints of real magic, with Ada having the capacity to heal, felt somewhat out of place to me. There was no explanation of why she had this gift, and the story never really explored her ability. Ada’s healing had nothing to do with advancing the story, which was good enough without trying to inject real magic into it.

    Ray’s character seemed a little thin to me. What in Ray’s history caused him to be so mean? Why did he think that he had the ability to heal? Why was he so obsessed with Ada?

    I felt that MacAllister did a good job in keeping us interested and keeping us reading. However, the ending fell a little short, as if MacAllister was rushing to end the story. What was the final fate of Ada? How did her legal problems play out? What happened with Virgil and his problem? Was he able to continue his career, or was he forced out of his sheriff position? What happened to Clyde? For me it was too many questions for a satisfying ending.

    Overall, it’s not a bad book, but it was not what I was expecting. I was expecting more of a murder mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with all your points, but still liked the novel. I think it was more of a “woman’s novel” than a murder mystery. I liked the background of the characters, but also agree that I’d like to no more about what happened afterwards. Thanks for your well-thought out comments. You brought up great points!


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