New characters, old characters, lots of action, time traveling, learning more magic, and lots of surprises.
We learn so many new and wonderful things about characters we have met before. We learn things about characters that were merely mentioned in passing.
While I was worried about the time traveling aspect, the two timelines throughout the book were very easy to follow and distinguish from one another. The action for the group sent to the far distant past (and seemingly far away world of Danu Talis) was non-stop.
The current timeline, like in the previous installments, jumps from scene to scene based on certain groupings of characters. This too is action packed and full of surprises. Again we get lots of information about characters new and old.
It can feel, from time to time, like you need two charts to help keep track of everything: (1) a family tree to see who is related to each other and how; and (2) a chart to see who is on which side, moment to moment. There are folks flipping sides all over the place. Folks siding with the dark elders revolt and folks on the side of the Flamels revolt as well. It will be interesting to see where everyone ends up in the last book. One twist to confuse it all is revealed on the last page. In my head, I said "what the....? And then I can't believe I was right because I predicted it1" (So you know it's a good one!)
We get an excellent explanation of magic from the Earth Magic teacher. And we get two very different "teachings". Both are interesting, but nothing like what we've seen before. We learn more about how one's aura is involved and that both twins are more capable then realized when it comes to the magic that we know.
We learn lots of things about the characters and relationships. Some, we were hoping for, some we speculated on, and some questions are still hanging out there unanswered (of course, otherwise, what use would the last book be?).
There were funny moments, although they were less often then in previous books. It seems this is likely due to that fact that we are getting seriously close to the end of the story and the stakes have risen. The time the Flamels have left is even less and the world still needs to be saved.
The dialogue and the interaction between the characters is still wonderful. The author continues to amaze me with his ability to paint the picture of the scene in my mind. The addition of details such as the color of character's eyes, the clothes they are wearing, and the scents of their auras give enough details to be so very vivid in my mind, yet the details don't overpower the story line, nor do they add unnecessary length to the book. It is the perfect balance, again, so that I can get that image and still be moving right along with the action.
I think given the events the title "The Warlock" is a little misleading, since **spoiler alert** there are a number of them in this book. But it was wonderful to see who aligned themselves on the side of the humani and who didn't once most of the dust settled.
We are introduced to new monsters, new Elders, new magic, flying saucers (yep!!!) and lots of history on many of the characters. Abraham, Agnes, Hel, Odin, Prometheus, Mars, Scatty, are all seen here; that sneaky author with some of these connections! Numerous times while reading I had to stop and digest what I just read (in a good way). I was pleasantly surprised that I had guessed a few things (including the "big reveal" at the end - I honestly saw that coming! Yippeeeee for me! Although, I chalk it up to dumb luck since I guessed so many things wrong too!) and totally not surprised by how utterly wrong I was abut others.
I still have so many questions... but it is a wonderful book and I can't wait for the next.