Libriomancer is the first book of the Magic ex Libris series by American author, Jim C. Hines. Isaac Vainio works in a small-town library, spending the day cataloguing books. But Isaac is no ordinary librarian: while he may be forbidden to use magic, he is a Libriomancer, a Porter and member of Die Zwelf Portenaere, founded by none other than Johannes Gutenberg.
A few remnants of his time as an active Libriomancer remain: a rather special black 1973 Triumph convertible, and a fire-spider named Smudge. When a trio of sparklers (vampires of the species Sanguinarius Meyerii) enter the library looking for him, he doesn’t hesitate to reach into the right book for a suitable weapon. But he’s out of practice, so he’s lucky that Lena Greenwood, a dryad of considerable strength and ability, is there to save him (with some assistance from Smudge). And so begins their quest to find and stop whoever is enslaving vampires and killing Porters.
Hines takes the premise of magically extracting objects and creatures from the printed page and runs with it, quite a long way, much to the delight of fantasy fans. His characters are appealing, his plot is clever and original (although it’s a fair bet to say he might have read some Jasper Fforde) and he gives the reader plenty of humour, and not just in the banter between the characters.
Vampire species names are a highlight, although riding a fire-spider, entering trees and a certain moon landing also keep things interesting. Readers who enjoy this style of adventure/fantasy will be pleased there are a further three books (so far) in this series. Great fun! 5 stars