Ink & Sigil is an enjoyable fantasy for the great world-builder Kevin Hearne. Al MacBharrais is our narrator hero, a sigil agent, one of only five sigil agents in the world and he has trouble. His apprentice died choking on a raisin in his scones. It’s clear to everyone that eating a scone with raisins is deliberately risking death, so no one is particularly surprised. However, why is it that all his apprentices die in accidents.
Al rushes to make sure all evidence of sigiling is removed before the police see what they should not. After all, part of his job as a sigil agent is keeping humans unaware of the several planes of existence sharing our world He has a hand ID card stacked with sigils that make sure people do what he says and forget they saw him, so he is able to clean up the abundance of special ink, paper, and sigils. But there’s also a hobgoblin in a cage. What does that mean?
Al discovers his apprentice has been trafficking in fae creatures, bringing them from their plane to ours and selling them to some mysterious buyer named Bastille. Joining him in his investigation of this trafficking are his office manager-accountant/enforcer Natalie, Buck Foi the hobgoblin, and a handy hacker as well as various friends and associates.
Ink & Sigil is a romp of a book but not for the young, just reverse the letters of Buch Foi’s name and you will understand the delightful trove of profane and obscene insults that season this book. It’s spicy. In a way, this is an introductory book to a new series, because Al has a deep and dangerous mystery to solve and this is only the beginning.
Ink & Sigil will be released on August 29th. I received an e-galley from the publisher through NetGalley.