The Last Page
Tor (431 pp, $25.99, 2010)
Reviewed by Matthew David Surridge
Anthony Huso’s debut novel The Last Page is something of a problem. It’s not that it is a bad book; in many ways, it is quite a good one. In fact, it is good enough, creative enough, smart enough, that it raises expectations. You want it to be great. And that is the problem, because I don’t think it is.
The Last Page is a high-fantasy steampunk novel, and a love story. We follow the sexually charged relationship between the improbably named Caliph Howl, heir to the throne of the northern country of Stonehold, and a witch named Sena. The two of them meet at university, go their own ways, and then come together again after Caliph has become king and Sena has acquired a vastly powerful magical tome. Unfortunately, Caliph is facing a civil war against a national hero, and Sena’s book has a lock which can only be opened at a fearsome emotional cost.