Agents of Artifice
A Planeswalker Novel
Marmell's successful application of breakneck character and plot development results in an excellent narrative that is equal parts truth and deception.
Readers experience events for the first time right along with the protagonist at a smooth pace that never falters. Readers learn along with the protagonist, allowing events to build to a crescendo of puzzle pieces snapping logically into place with each turn of the page rather than constant narration interjections.
[Agents of Artifice] comes highly recommended to all fantasy readers regardless of their familiarity with Magic: The Gathering fiction.
Agents of Artifice is an excellent read in that anyone who loves Magic can appreciate it.
Review by Andrew Hackman, The Triangle
As a work of "Magic" fiction, something intended to be enjoyable for a specific audience, "Agents of Artifice" succeeds with flying colors. The characters and settings are familiar for people who have been playing the game for years. Nostalgia is a powerful tool and it is used very well here. There is a very real "Oh man, I remember that" feeling when two monsters fight in the book that you have seen fight each other on a kitchen table some Friday night. It is good old-fashioned fun reading about an angel of death fighting a sewer monster summoned by goblins or a tribe of rat-people being attacked by a fire elemental.
Just because it's fun at times wouldn't excuse a terrible book. Fortunately, it doesn't have to. The story is fast paced enough to keep even the attention deficit target audience reading. The characters feel very human, despite their incredible power. The story has more complex morality than I really expected as Jace, the mind-reading main character, struggles with life and death decisions. The plot turns and contains honest-to-goodness plot twists.
It is the dawn of a new age in the Multiverse. The balance of power is shifting and Agents of Artifice brings readers to the heart of a planeswalker struggle...
In Agents of Artifice, Ari Marmell reimagines planeswalkers, taking fans deeper than ever into the lives of the Multiverse's most powerful beings: Jace Beleren(TM), the prodigal son, a powerful telepath whose choices now will forever determine his path as a mage; Liliana Vess(TM), a temptress whose beauty belies a dark secret and even darker associations; and Tezzeret(TM), leader of an interplanar consortium whose quest for knowledge may be undone by his lust for power. Follow these characters in their quests for knowledge and power. Will Jace's choices lead him astray of the right path? Will Liliana's past finally catch up with her? Will Tezzeret allow hubris to obscure his vision?