Each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation to the Alexandrian Society…
We’re thrilled to share audio clips and excerpts from Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six—the newly revised and edited edition publishes March 1st with Tor Books and Macmillan Audio. Today we’re introducing Libby, voiced by Caitlin Kelly in the audiobook narration. Check back all this week for additional content!
The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.
Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.
When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.
Most of them.
The day Libby Rhodes met Nicolás Ferrer de Varona was coincidentally also the day she discovered that “incensed,” a word she had previously had no use for, was now the only conceivable way to describe the sensation of being near him. That had been the day Libby accidentally set fire to the lining of several centuries-old drapes in the office of Professor Breckenridge, dean of students, clinching both Libby’s admission to New York University of Magical Arts and her undying hatred for Nico in a single incident. All the days since that one had been a futile exercise in restraint.
Incandescence aside, this was to be a very different sort of day, as it was finally going to be the last of them. Barring any accidental encounters, which Libby was certain they’d both furiously ignore—Manhattan was a big place, after all, with plenty of people ravenously avoiding each other—she and Nico were finally going their separate ways, and she would never have to work with Nico de Varona again. She’d practically burst into song over it that morning, which her boyfriend, Ezra, presumed to be the consequence of the occasion’s more immediate matters: either graduating top of her class (tied with Nico, but there was no use focusing on that), or delivering the NYUMA valedictory speech. Neither accolade was anything to scoff at, obviously, but the more enticing prospect was the newness of the era approaching.
It was the last day Libby Rhodes would ever set eyes on Nico de Varona, and she couldn’t have been more exuberant about the dawn of a simpler, superior, less Nico-infested life.
“Rhodes,” Nico acknowledged upon taking his seat beside her on the commencement stage. He slid her surname around like a marble on his tongue before sniffing the air, facetious as always. For some, his sun-kissed dimples and charmingly imperfect nose (broken just so) were enough to make up for his unremarkable height and countless personality flaws. For Libby, Nico de Varona was just good genetics and more confidence than any human man deserved. “Hm. Odd. Do you smell smoke, Rhodes?”
Very funny. Hilarious.
“Careful, Varona. You know this auditorium’s on a fault line, don’t you?”
“Of course. Have to, seeing as I’ll be working on it next year, won’t I?” he mused. “Pity you didn’t get that fellowship, by the way.”
Since the comment was clearly designed to annoy her, Libby made the exemplary decision to peer into the crowd in lieu of answering. The auditorium was fuller than she’d ever seen it, the vista of graduates and their families stretching up to the balcony seats and frothing out into the vestibule.
Even from a distance, Libby could spot her father’s one good blazer, which he’d purchased at least two decades ago for a wedding and worn to every mild-to-moderately formal occasion since. He and Libby’s mother were in a middle row, just a few seats off-center, and Libby felt a moment of uncontainable fondness at the sight of them. She’d told them not to bother coming, of course. Inconvenience and whatnot. But her father was here, wearing the blazer. Her mother had put on lipstick, and in the seat beside them—
Excerpted from The Atlas Six, © copyright 2202 by Olivie Blake