I've recently discovered Micheal Pryor's marvelous Laws of Magic Series. The books are set in an alternative (Victorian?) England aka Albion, where magic is a science like any other. The main character is Aubrey Fitzwilliam, son of the former Prime Minister and a peer of the realm. These fantastic novels are full of political intrigue, mystery and adventure.
There are (or will be) six books in the Laws of Magic Series.
In book One, Blaze of Glory, Aubrey must discover who created the magical golem that attempts to assassinate Prince Albert and why, all the while trying to hold himself back from the brink of death.
In book Two, Heart of Gold, Aubrey is searching for a cure for his condition but finds himself with a spot of diplomatic espionage on his hands.
In book Three, Word of Honour, the top secret submersible Aubrey's riding in is attacked and he must get to the bottom of who is behind it.
In book Four, Time of Trial, Aubrey and his friends must confront his nemesis and prevent Dr Tremaine from tipping the world into chaos.
While these books are about a teenage boy who is skilled at magic, the similarity to Harry Potter stops here. These books are very different to JK Rowling's work. They feel more grown up. This possibly due to the political intrigue, but I think it also has to do with Pryor's voice; his work has a very different tone to Rowling's.
Pryor has a crisp, tight prose that draws you into the story and his skill at weaving an intriguing tale keeps you turning the pages. "How the author manages to weave all these strands together into a truly exciting page-turner is magic itself! Unreservedly recommended." -Abbey's Bookshop.
These books are bound to be loved by guys (and girls) everywhere.
I highly recommend The Laws of Magic Series.
A review by the January Magazine sums up my sentiments on this series very well: "The action is almost non-stop ... much as I loved the Harry Potter books, I'd rather go out and party with Aubrey than Harry."
**Micheal Pryor is a born and breed Australian and has written a number of fantasy novels such as the Chronicles of Krangor, the Doorways Trilogy and the Quentarius Chronicles, among others.