Tag Archives: Magic

Hapenny Magick by Jennifer Carson

Synopsis: A tiny Hapenny named Mae finds herself fighting against a disguised troll who wants to turn Mae and the other Hapennies into food for her troll friends. Review: Hapenny Magick is an adorable little fantasy tale, perfect for middle grade readers who enjoy fantasy stories. The world is charming, the characters imaginative, and the illustrations captured my four-year-old’s attention in a positive way. I think she’ll enjoy this one when she’s old enough to read it. Share on Facebook

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Synopsis: Against the backdrop of a dreamlike traveling circus, two magicians pit their powers against each other in a battle royale complicated by the transcendent love growing in spite of the rigid constraints of the game. Review: I had low-ish expectations for The Night Circus. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the weird plot description, and the glowing reviews had me suspicious that the book was all superficial charm. I could not put the book down. I was utterly transported into the world of the…

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Against the Light by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: A reimagining of the “Gunpowder Plot” with religious persecution against those with magical powers. Review: Against the Light moved at a brisk pace, not wasting much time in getting characters from one place to another. I really liked the relatively contemporary setting, with English manor living and firearms, instead of the usual feudalism of epic fantasy. And there was a bawdiness in the telling that made the whole thing feel fresh and cheerful, even amid the darker elements of the story. Basically you have…

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The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold

Synopsis: In a magical version of Renaissance Italy, the daughter of a sculptor/mage finds herself embroiled in a deadly political dispute as she struggles to free her father’s soul, which a wicked lord wants to imprison in a magic ring. Review: Lois McMaster Bujold crafts a suspenseful tale of intrigue, sorcery, and politics that really satisfied me. The Spirit Ring is grounded in the kinds of real squabblings that mark territorial disputes, and the magic serves that story, rather than being the sole purpose of…

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Spoiler Edition: A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5)

Synopsis: Tyrion becomes a slave, Dany pines for Daario while marrying someone else, her dragons eat children and incinerate a prince, Jon Snow upends 8000 years of tradition, a couple of no-goodniks get baked into a pie, Stannis can haz teh dumb, Theon Greyjoy lives the worst version of a Lifetime movie thanks to the Bastard of Bolton, Arya kills time, Ser Barristan the Bold displays mad skillz, Davos is not dead, Victarion rows his boat, Asha picks the wrong fort to defend, Cersei and…

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Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)

Synopsis: A princess of Atlantis flees to ancient England where her paths cross with a mage-in-training whose parentage is unknown. Review: I was drawn to Taliesin (which I desperately want to be an anagram of Atlantis, but it’s not) because it’s a retelling of the King Arthur legend with historically accurate place names and details, and with the Christianity an important, unoppressive element. Several major characters are converted to Christianity in episodes that are emotionally and spiritually powerful, but Lawhead doesn’t make that the happy…

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The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, Book 3)

Synopsis: With the power of Ruin unleashed and the power of Preservation nowhere in sight, fearless allomancer Vin and the remains of her thieving crew are the ones who must save the world. Review: While I have been continually disappointed by the cardboard characters and flat dialogue in the Mistborn trilogy, I was thoroughly satisfied by the mindblowing revelations in the final book, The Hero of Ages. The action is incredible, the world-building up to the highest standards, and there’s even some fascinating theological angles.…

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The Ale Boy’s Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet (The Auralia Thread, Book 4)

Synopsis: The breathtaking conclusion to The Auralia Thread. Review: Magnificent. To say much more about The Ale Boy’s Feast would involve an ungraceful unstitching of the intricate world and story Jeffrey Overstreet has created in the series begun in Auralia’s Colors. If you want to read a fantasy series that will expand your mind, challenge your perceptions, awaken your emotions, and make you ache for all that is possible, then please, get started on this series right away. I can’t wait to share these with…

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Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead by Christiana Miller

Synopsis: A down-on-her-luck Los Angeles witch comes into an unexpected inheritance, a house with a previous tenant who just won’t leave… even after death. Review: Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She’s Dead was a tremendous amount of fun to read. Christiana Miller‘s background in the TV industry shows in her confident, imaginative plotting and idiosyncratic characters that leap off the page with the power of their intention within the story. The book is steeped in real witchcraft, of the Los Angeles Wiccan variety, and while the…

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The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Synopsis: Now a king in the magical land of Fillory, Quentin still fights with the demons of depression and purposelessness, so he goes on a quest and risks losing Fillory forever. Review: You have to understand what Fillory means to Quentin to truly understand his position at the outset of The Magician King. He has literally gotten everything he has ever wanted–he is a king in the magical country from the books he loved as a kid. It’s as if you grew up loving Narnia,…

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