A Sleight Of Shadows By Kat Howard Ups The Ante

A Sleight Of Shadows By Kat Howard Ups The Ante

A Sleight Of Shadows By Kat Howard ups the ante, as the fate of magic and the many lives surrounding it are in grave peril.

The magic is fighting back!

A Sleight Of Shadows is the exciting second book in the Unseen World Series and the follow-up to Kat Howard’s Edgar-award winning An Unkindness Of Magicians.

One of the Unseen World’s most powerful magicians, Sydney, finds herself bereft of nearly all magical ability.

She can with the greatest effort just barely light a candle.

Meanwhile, the New York City secret society of magical houses are cracking at the seams, spells are misfiring, and the corruption of the House of Shadows is still intertwined in magic itself.

Sydney thought she had destroyed Shadows, but that magical force is tipping the scales and doing all it can to rebuild.An Unkindness of Magicians, kat howard, a sleight of shadows, unseen world series, fantasy, thriller

The stakes could not be higher, as the Unseen World languishes and its chief defender, in Sydney, is powerless to fight magic with magic.

Regardless, the fantastic character that Howard creates is resolved to end the threat any way she can. She is smart, adept at planning her moves as though she plays a great chess match, and her willfulness is unmatched.

How can you not root for a character like Sydney?

Once again, the world building in the Unseen World is top-notch and delivers the vibrant, realistic, and vivid magical universe to life in A Sleight Of Shadows.

Howard’s prose is brilliant – it scintillates.

Here is a passage I love:

Once they arrived, Dahlia stopped. She took in the place. The slow, inexorable movement of the stones searching for wholeness. The stale, ancient scent of the air and the earth that blanketed so many dead. The electric hum of power vibrated around them. Potential. Waiting. [Howard, Kat, A Sleight Of Shadows, Gallery/Saga, 2023, page 158]

Check out our interview with Kat Howard discussing The Unseen World Series:

Mild SPOILER Warning for A Sleight Of Shadows and An Unkindness Of Magicians

Sydney thought that in sacrificing her own shadow, and all of her magic, that she had fully destroyed the House of Shadows and its evil vines of magic that had gripped the Unseen World using the power of sacrificed children’s bones.

But she was wrong.

The magic in the Unseen World has its own will and its own balance that the last Turning had thrown way off kilter, and the House of Shadows filled a needed void.

Shadows had its own will, to feed and to exist, and its magic fought back.

The island built on bone that Shadows resided on worked to rebuild.

And a new forest of trees with bones at its center, the unremembered and unrevered dead magicians that had died being leached by Shadows, rises up in Central Park moaning for recognition.

Many of the great elements from the first book of the series are expanded upon and explored.

The heart of magic itself, the founding of the first houses, reveals itself to Sydney in the Archives and it is the weavings of ancient spells and the very finger bones of the founders that are the foundation of the Unseen World that is in peril.

Other magicians seek their own easy way to magic, with no cost, that renewing the House of Shadows will bring them.

Despite the cost of sacrificing their own children to Shadows, the ability to freely wield magic appeals to many in the magical world.

The pull is so strong that Dahlia convinces Mia, a teenager, newly brought into the Unseen World to join with Shadows.

The child willingly begins to feed and strengthen Shadows.

And Sydney needs to bring down the house without harming Mia.

A Sleight Of Shadows is chilling and tense, mired in magical darkness.

A couple of beloved characters from the series are lost in the book, as the thrilling page-turner casts an ‘all bets are off’ layer to the plot.

The physical houses of the Unseen World’s families show their personality, which is a lot of fun, and their ability to aid their family magically comes into play and is vital.

The theme of sacrifice, whether to properly cast magic, or to achieve goals in life, in general, is strong and effective.

The only thing I was disappointed about in A Sleight Of Shadows is that it did not have a Turning and any of the medieval magician duels, and then, lo and behold, the sacred hierarchy to reside in and control the Unseen World used mortal contests to settle some outcomes, and a revitalized Sydney is called upon once more to show her magical prowess.

What Sydney does in the duel is surprising, though planned perfectly, and makes the ending a gripping ride with a far-reaching fallout.

It is the perfect conclusion to a phenomenal tale.


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)

Want To Buy A Book From A Local bookseller? Click Here!


“A Sleight Of Shadows By Kat Howard ups the ante” Was Written By R.J. Huneke.




An Unkindness of Magicians By Kat Howard Stands Apart

An Unkindness of Magicians By Kat Howard Stands Apart

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard stands apart, as the first book in The Unseen World series this thrilling journey to the shadowy heart of magic and the magicians who wield such powers in New York City is unparalleled.

The realm of the Unseen World reveals Manhattan’s dark, magical secrets.

But casting magic comes at a price.

There is a balance of power in their world and it is shifting, as the magic itself fades. The protagonist, Sydney, enters the Unseen World, and she is hell-bent on bringing it down.

What Kat Howard has done with An Unkindness of Magicians is extraordinary!

This speculative fiction thriller is so inventive and intriguing.

Howard’s characters are well-rounded, memorable, and all too real in their visceral struggles.

An Unkindness of Magicians, kat howard, a sleight of shadows, unseen world series, fantasy, thriller

The prose is enveloping in its unique style that is moving, impactful, and poetic, at just the right moments, as in the following passage:

She breathed in. Sydney was, all at once, an entire forest. She was root and leaf, dirt and sky. Green and spring were blood in her veins, air in her lungs. She was, between one heartbeat and the next, all of magic.

The world building soars to brilliant heights off of the foundation of the prose, as a vast realm of magic courses through the veins of the great city, and places like New York’s Central Park house hidden facets of the Unseen World that are wholly new and vivid for readers.

There are so many good lines in the book, but this one wrenched on my heartstrings:

It was a terrible thing, having hope again.” [Howard, Kat, An Unkindness of Magicians, Gallery/Saga, 2017, page 163]

Mild SPOILER Warning for An Unkindness of Magicians

Every two decades, sometimes a few years less, sometimes more, there is a Turning of Fate’s wheel, and in the Turning the magical houses enter a medieval-like tournament to vie for power, to establish themselves in the Unseen World, or to settle grudges with duels to the death.

The politics, the disinheritances, the murders, the humor, the conversations over drinks, and the plotting and manipulation carried out by a bevy of memorable characters creates an enthralling atmosphere, not unlike the dramatic woven plots in George R.R. Martin’s A Game Of Thrones.

The main character, Sydney, is unknown in the magicians’ circles when she arrives in the city.

But she applies for a job, to be a champion of a potential new magical house, and as she lifts cars in the middle of the Manhattan sky with no one – even those non-magical New Yorkers, the mundanes, in their own cars – the wiser, she wins the job.

In her first duel, she wields such immense power that by forcing all of the magicians present to dance, like puppets, everyone takes immediate note.

A target is planted firmly on her back.

Sydney has been let out of the House of Shadows, a hidden magical house that secretly fuels all of the magicians so that they can cast without paying the painful physical toll that comes with the use of magic.

The reality, Sydney, reveals is that infants are sacrificed by each house and those children are raised by Shadows, who cut into their bodies and their very shadows to withdraw magic to pay the toll for the Unseen World.

Warning! You may not be able to put An Unkindness of Magicians down!

Sydney’s contract with Shadows has nearly been completed, and she wants nothing more than to ruin the House of Shadows and to somehow stop the corrupt wielding of magic.

What she has to endure in her first time in the outside world, from newfound love to seeing snow for the first time, to learning who her family is and that they sacrificed her as a baby is deeply moving.

Readers become very invested in Sydney.

It seems like almost anything is possible in this magical world, but as Sydney comes to find out, the cost could be everything she has.

A Sleight Of Shadows, Book #2 in the Unseen World series, by Kat Howard has just come out on April 25, 2023 and is available now!

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)

Want To Buy A Book From A Local bookseller? Click Here!


An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard stands apart” Was Written By R.J. Huneke.

An Unkindness of Magicians, kat howard, a sleight of shadows, unseen world series, fantasy, thriller



An Unkindness of Magicians, kat howard, a sleight of shadows, unseen world series, fantasy, thriller