Good intro to the Sons of Ether, Virtual Adepts, and Order of Hermes. Buyers should note that this book is intended for fans of the original Mage game who want in-depth profiling and history on these 3 magical "orders"; this volume is not required to play the game.
Cautionary note: The historical timeline for the Order of Hermes (scientific, Merlin-like wizards) makes reference to Simon Magus, the sorcerer appearing in the book of Acts in the Bible , in a complimentary tone. In the biblical account, this person was confronted and condemned by the Apostles for his sorcery and for attempting to pay for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In the few lines of mention in this book, he is portrayed as being misunderstood by the followers of the "magician Jesus".
While I am a fan of fantasy gaming in general (major D&D) and no bookburner, I believe that readers should be aware of the "poor misunderstood pagan" elements present to varying degrees in the Mage: the Ascension game manuals, and think carefully about how to work around these elements (if offended) should they choose to play the game. I own and have read most of the core 2nd edition manual.