This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Magic for Liars

by Sarah Gailey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4062241,728 (3.93)10
Sharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in Magic for Liars, a fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey. Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life - or at least, she's perfectly fine. She doesn't in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister. Ivy Gamble is a liar. When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister--without losing herself. "An unmissable debut."--Adrienne Celt, author of Invitation to a Bonfire… (more)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I was a little frustrated with the ending of this book, but up to that point I very much enjoyed it. This feels a lot like how a magical secondary school would be, if such a thing existed. People are still people, and teenagers are still teenagers. ( )
  duchessjlh | Jan 18, 2020 |
I picked this up after hearing several people say it was really good and that they enjoyed the audio. This is a murder mystery set in a world where there is magical community that lives among us but doesn’t live out in the open. Ivy is hired to solve a murder that the magic authorities had ruled an accidental. Ivy’s estranged twin sister Tabitha works as an instructor at magic school where this happened. Magic started the wedge between the sisters, but the death of their mom really cemented the rent between them. This is Ivy’s first murder case and she doesn’t have any legal backing, so no one has to answer her questions. It makes things a bit slower for her to tease the info out of people that don’t want to share. She is also hiding the fact that she has no magic of her own and it does leave to some gaps in her knowledge but does allow the writer to educate the reader without it feeling like an info dump. I liked the book but had figured out the mystery much earlier than Ivy did so near the end it was a bit of waiting for her to put the clues together. I would read more in this setting if there ever is more but the book ends with good closure. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 6, 2020 |
Ivy Gamble, unlike her twin sister Tabitha, is not a mage. She has no magic at all. Ivy is a private investigator, and is almost getting by that way. And she enjoys it. She really does. And she is not the least little bit jealous of Tabitha, her twin sister, the mage, who teaches at a prestigious private high school for young mages.

Then she is asked by the head of that school to investigate the death of another teacher there.

Suddenly, Ivy is immersed in the life she could have had, if she had the magic Tabitha has. She's almost having double vision, the life she really leads, and the life she might have had. She and Tabitha seem to be edging towards reconnection after the long estrangement that followed the death of their mother. There's a handsome and charming teacher there who is interested on Ivy. Oh, and there's the murder case she's trying to solve.

Ivy has never investigated a murder before. It's been a long time since she was in high school. And these kids are mages, as are all the instructors. Yet the kids are still just kids, teenagers, and their magic pranks are pretty much what you'd expect of teenagers. Only a few stand out as different, and neither they nor any of the instructors at first seem to have any motive to kill the dead woman.

Yet one girl, Alexandria, is clearly influencing the feelings and reactions of those around her in a way that, once Ivy focuses on it enough to describe it to the teacher-mages, she is assured is simply impossible. Yes, there's a theoretical way, but nobody has that much power. Her brother, Dylan, believes he's the "Chosen One" described in their family's prophecy, destined to be the most powerful mage in the world--and he really is quite strong. Another girl, Courtney, has something to hide.

And there's a story going around that the dead woman was involved with someone she shouldn't have been. Not a student, but another teacher.

Ivy is trying to untangle a puzzle without knowing what's normal and abnormal in this setting.

The world-building is good and seamless, here, and the characters are excellent. Every significant character is complex, a mixed bag, and completely convincing. Their strengths and weaknesses are human and believable. I really want to read more by Sarah Gailey.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Nov 18, 2019 |
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.*

I went back and forth as to whether or not I liked this book a few times while reading it, but I ended it by wholeheartedly loving it. I love the noir flavor mixed with this grim, otherworldly fantasy that she has going on in this world; I love the exploration with relationships, especially that of Ivy and her twin sister Tabitha–one non-magical person and one exploding with power; and I love the school setting and how students are shown as just being students, even if they have magical powers.

Gailey crafted this story incredibly well; I kept wanting to flip through pages and know what was going on, and just when I was *sure* I figured out what was going on, it was completely flipped around and I realized I knew nothing. I enjoyed being in the moment like this, because it really helped me to connect with Ivy, who went through the same emotions and setbacks. I also thought the romance was well done; Ivy plays around with who she could have been if she’d been like her sister, and it’s at once so sad, heartwarming, and relatable to read about someone still holding onto an impossible dream.

Definitely read this if you’re into the sort of snark-sleuth fantasy mysteries; this one is a treat!

Also posted on Purple People Readers. ( )
  sedelia | Oct 4, 2019 |
This is more private detective than magical high school, and I love it, because that's awesome. There's a lot of trope subversion which is delightful. And I got to be surprised by the end, which I enjoyed. ( )
  g33kgrrl | Sep 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For the people who knew before I did
First words
Prologue: The library at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages was silent save for the whisper of the books in the Theoretical Magic section.

Chapter One: It might take a little while to get there, but I'll tell you everything, and I'll tell you the truth.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.93)
2 2
3 12
3.5 11
4 43
4.5 8
5 11

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 141,624,217 books! | Top bar: Always visible