The Watchmage of old New York is a gem. Well crafted, full of pyrotechnical plot elements, it is fascinating from the very beginning. Literature and media is full of tales of Victorian New York City. Mr. Sanders merges the magic of old New York with actual magic. The watchmage is a guardian of “dwellers”, paranormal creatures from other planes of existence that cross a barrier that is called “The Veil”. He watches over them, helping them find decent lives on the earthly plane. His ammunition in this pursuit is an impressive array of magic that he uses to subdue evil humans and dwellers alike.
Those of us who know New York City can delight in the obviously meticulous research that Mr. Sanders has undertaken to resurrect Victorian New York in incredible detail. The slang, the old neighborhoods, like Five Points, now lost to history, all of these will entertain even those readers who know little about New York City. But more than that, “The Watchmage of Old New York” is a taught, intelligent tale of magic, tough cops, and an immense variety of add creatures from different planes of existence. The most impressive aspect of the story is how the author overlays a fully formed world of paranormal creatures and phenomena over a very definite and gritty Victorian New York without it being the least bit awkward. The reader accepts a mage, magelings and assorted other “dwellers” as if they belonged walking with the Irish, paperboys and the Pug Uglies.
This is a book not to be missed.