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Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

The Rogues: Accidental Heroes by Lian Tanner.

October 17, 2017 Comments off

rogues accidentalThe Rogues: Accidental Heroes by Lian Tanner. Pub. Allen&Unwin, 2017.

From the pen of the author who wrote The Keepers and The Hidden series comes book one in a new fantasy series The Rogues. It is very good and you must read it.

Duckling is a young girl who has been used by her grandfather lord Rump to pull off many a fraudulent scheme to survive. Now they are at the city of Berren which surrounds a huge castle called The Stronghold. It was built on a magical  rock called the Grimstone and is inhabited by the rulers the Margrarve and Margravine of Neuhalt.

The Stronghold is protected by magic created by the Bayam of the magical people the Saaf, no-one can leave the Stronghold although people can get in.

The people of Berren have made magic illegal although evidence of it is all around them which they refuse to believe. They call it witchery and to believe it is considered disloyal and punishable by death.

Into the story come Duckling, her Grandfather and an ordinary farm boy called Pummel. Grandfather has heard of a plot to kill the Heir to the Margrave of the Stronghold and involves Duckling and Pummel to assist in stopping it. Or is he?

Duckling is quite devious herself and Pummel is as innocent as the day is long. They both discover they have magic powers but can they work together and prevent the assassination of the heir by a cruel and powerful baddie called the Harshman.

Read the novel and find out. Excellent characterisation by Lian Tanner, Pummel and Duckling will identify with a lot of children of primary and intermediate age, and of course this is only part one.

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson.

June 19, 2017 Comments off

JorieJorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson. Imprint. Serano Press Washburn Tennessee, 2015.

This is a fantasy story for children between 8-12 years. It has dragons, a magic book, a cat that can talk and a girl hero with hair of fire and bright green eyes.

Her name is Jorie and she is not aware of her heritage until she goes to stay with her aunt Letty in a big house with a tarn or deep glacial lake within view of the house. On her first night in the house she finds an old book which tells a history that she is going to become involved with.

Like all good fantasy stories there is a fantasy land called Cabrynthius that was once ruled by Maalog Doonan through the power of three magic stones. The stones are now missing  but it has been prophesised that a Child with Hair of Fire will return to find the stones and restore the balance of power in Cabrynthius.

In the interim period a baddy called Fodomalk from the neighbouring land of Shyloxia who can turn into a dragon is seeking the stones to enhance his own power.

It is down to Jorie and her friend Rufus to find the stones and defeat the baddies.

Written in short chapters in a lofty writing style, this novel is for the gifted reader.

I read it to my granddaughters and they related well to Jorie. Great cover.

 

The Knot Impossible A Tale of Fontania by Barbara Else

October 22, 2015 Comments off

Knot ImpossibleThe Knot Impossible A Tale of Fontania by Barbara Else. Pub Gecko, 2015.

The fourth and final book in the Tales of Fontania series about a land of magic and all the other human qualities including good and evil. At the heart of it is the question “does the life of one small boy matter?” Of course it does.

The small boy is a lost Royal child, 4 year old Vosco. He is part of a bargain made by the rich and evil Lady Butterly with a higher being for control of all the minerals in the Earth and sea. Will she succeed?

Fontania is turned on its ear as communications break down  and everything mechanical stops working properly. Rufkin the youngest son of a family of actors, has stage fright and is left behind while his family go on tour.

Rufkin finds a barge that has lost control in the magic of Lady Butterly. He hears a call for help from the small boy Vosco and answers it. This is the beginning of a magical adventure that in all honesty takes some time to get going. But once it does you will be glad you persisted with the story as I did.

Some wonderful imagery and metaphor as Barbara El;se uses her considerable language skills to describe the magical world of Fontania with its Cave lizards and fire lizards. She also gets  fairly deep when the impoverished Nissy proclaims to the fortunate Rufkin “your rich only because of your parents…you can’t understanhow ordinary people have to live”. I think this is the catch phrase for the world we live in.

Aimed at primary and intermediate readers but has a depth that older readers will appreciate.

Magisterium Book 2: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare.

August 27, 2015 Comments off

copper gauntletMagisterium Book 2: The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare. Pub.Penguin Random House 2015.

Callum and his fellow students Aaron and Tamara are now Mages in their second or Copper year at the Magisterium.This is the year that they work on mastery of the elements Earth Air Fire Water and Chaos. Aaron has become a Mage leader or Makar and there is a growing unease that the forces of darkness or Chaos are trying to get him.

Callum has his problems too as he is ridden with self doubt and fears he has the soul of Constantine Madden the Enemy of Death. He agonises that he is to become an Evil Overlord like Constantine Madden, the former Magisterium student and friend of his father Alastair who killed Callum’s mother in the third Mage War.

Callum is still accompanied by his best friend the Chaos Ridden wolf Havoc and is staying home with his father during the school holidays. He discovers  Havoc chained up in his father’s garage and chains on the wall fit for a boy like him. He fears his father is going to use an alkahest or copper gauntlet to push the Chaos controlling power of the Makar and destroy the magisterium.

I can’t tell you any more. If you read the first book which is reviewed on this blog you will want to get your eyeballs around this novel. Lots of magic and good versus evil, and of course the school action and gossip.

The ending is terrifying. What if Callum’s fears are correct and he is the soul of Constantine Madden? You won’t put this novel down once you have started.

Intermediate and secondary students will love this. Once again Holly Black and Cassandra Clare write a gripping novel but it helps to have read the first part. If I have to be honest in a very positive way I would have to say there is a Harry Potter feel about this series and it may be a good place for these readers to go.

Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix.

August 19, 2015 Comments off

Newt's emeraldNewt’s Emerald by Garth Nix. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2015.

Eighteen year old Lady Truthful Newington is about to come out for her first season in London. She is a beautiful redhead who has had a rough and tumble childhood with her three male cousins who were older than her.

On the day of her birthday she is shown the Newington Emerald that she will inherit. It is a legendary stone that grants power over all four elements, earth air fire and water. The stone is stolen under their noses after a conjoured storm and the race is on to find it.

Lady Truthful goes to London to stay with her great Aunt Badgery and disguised as a man seeks evidence of the Emerald in the shifty side of London. She meets the dashing  Major Harnett as a man, and ends up tied back to back with him inside a large brandy barrel in a rollicking  adventure.

The villain is the magical Lady Plathenden who seeks the Emerald because of it’s magic powers. The adventure culminates at a masquerade party at Brighton by the sea.

A ripping magical yarn set in Regency England after Waterloo and the imprisonment of Napoleon under the Rock of Gibraltar. It is a romance and i will leave you with this thought from the novel. When a young woman hovers between “wanting to see a man again” and “never wanting to see him again” I know where my money is on.

Superbly written by Garth Nix, some magical creations of Regency parlour room escapades and riveting adventure plus the romance.

Secondary students but try keeping this away from intermediate girls.

WARP. The Forever Man by Eoin Colfer.

June 29, 2015 Comments off

forever manWARP. The Forever Man by Eoin Colfer. Pub. Puffin, 2015.

This is part 3 in this bizarre series by Eoin Colfer. The crux of the novel is a wormhole invented by quantum physicist Professor Charles Smart and used by the FBI to transport witnesses of big trials into the past to protect them. The wormhole has evolved in a sinister way.

Psychopathic killer Albert Garrick and his apprentice Riley are accidentally transported from Victorian England into the present and separate. Riley meets teenage FBI agent Chevie Savano and the two try to keep out of the way of Garrick and the prowling monsters that the wormhole carries.

This novel is set mainly in the small English village of Mandrake in the year 1647 when the Puritans ruled and witch hunting was the national sport. The wormhole has become a real danger to the continued existence of planet Earth with most who have traveled in the wormhole  becoming mutated in some way but none more so than the evil Albert Garrick. He has become the forever man and cannot be destroyed and in 1647 he is the witchfinder and still seeks Riley and Chevie to reap his revenge in the most horrifying of ways.

Garrick relishes his power and seeks to destroy the wormhole and Riley and Chevie at the same time. Only Colfer can get away with changing an FBI Agent into a talking dog and having Garrick fight a giant squid in the middle of an English bog. And that is not the half of it.

Colfer tells the story with some relish. His imagery and language are the real star of the show. He combines images in a way that captivates the reader. He merges the world of quantum physics and dark material with a wild imagination and adventure to create a believable story that is funny, witty, tense, sinister and adventurous.

Fans of Artemis Fowl and adventure/ fantasy readers from intermediate to high school will love this novel.

The Uncooperative Flying Carpet by Michele Clark McConnochie

May 15, 2015 Comments off

sabrinaThe Uncooperative Flying Carpet by Michele Clark McConnochie. http://www.mcmauthor.com  2015.

This clever, witty, imaginative novel is a self published work and is Saga 1 from a series titled The Strange Sagas of Sabrina Summers.

The father of Sabrina and Rory marries Bridget Bishop, a woman he met on the Internet, on a Friday 13th June. While they like her they think she is up to something strange and so they follow her one day with Sabrina’s friend Persis. By some magical spell they are transported into the magic land of Dralfynia (an anagram of Fairyland) along with Clyde, a horse and Olive a rich girl who is Sabrina’s enemy at school(she was barfing over the fence at the time)

In Dralfynia Sabrina resembles Rapunzel, Rory Ali Baba, Persis, Red Riding Hood, Olive, Cinderella and Clyde a unicorn. Interesting you say? It’s all part of the cleverness of this tale.

Dralfynia is a magic land in turmoil as the King and Queen have stood down to live ordinary lives and their son, The Beast with 9 fingers has taken over in cahoots with goblins and Witchy Wu a nasty witch who lives in a gingerbread house. The true leader is the princess who has disappeared for 14 years. I can tell you no more you will have to read it to find out and you will not be disappointed.

Very well written in concise language and divided into 63 chapters of 2/3 pages each. You can pick it up and read for ten minutes then come back but you won’t it is too exciting for that.

Believable fantasy and behind it all is a sharp sense of humour that even adults will appreciate.

A book that demands to be read aloud to children from 8 – 13 years old.