magic

Three Hands for Scorpio

By Andre Norton
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     Three Hands for Scorpio is the last adult book for young adults of Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton, who passed away on March 17, 2005 after a long and extremely fruitful career.  Her magically detailed world-building skills, upright, against-all-odds characters, and fast pace will be sorely missed.  Tor rushed a copy of this book of women-of-steel into print, so that the 93-year-old author could see it before she died.  It is the last manuscript she penned alone, and has an action-packed storyline.  I have read most of Ms. Norton's books, and especially enjoyed her women

Deerskin

By Robin McKinley
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     You know, sometimes you just need some escapist fantasy about self-discovery in women.  McKinley's seventeen-year-old girl Lissar was just the ticket for me last night. Deesrkin is a beautiful, haunting, and sometimes painful coming-of-age story that ends with a message of hope.  The first half of the fantasy fiction is really about the traumatic aftermath of a violent assault and rape by the heroine's own father.  These dark themes are handled appropriately, realistically, and with great compassion but they do make for some hard reading in the gateway fantasy.   


     If you have any

Trickster's Choice

By Tamora Pierce
5
Rated by Anne G
Dec 11, 2019

     I previously read Trickster's Choice with courageous teenage girls a little over a decade ago, and I wanted to revisit it.  I had forgotten just how easy it is to get drawn into Aly’s adventures which cause her to become a slave as a girl, and I am so glad to have revisited because it was similar to visiting with an old friend.  This is the story of Alianne Cooper, who wants to be a girl spy, and is the daughter of Spymaster Cooper and the famous Lioness of Tortall and champion of the throne.  Certainly Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite writers in this genre, and Alianne (Aly) stands

Jun 20, 2019

The Legend of Zelda, the Wind Waker HD is an outstanding, unique entry in the already well-loved Legend of Zelda video game series. This time, our courageous hero, Link, lives with his sister, Aryll, and kindly grandmother on peaceful and remote Outset Island. Great floods have submerged the once mighty kingdom of Hyrule and left only small, scattered islands in an endless ocean. One day, as Link and his sister are out exploring, Aryll is snatched and carried off by an enormous, malevolent bird. Link must brave the vast ocean with the help of his talking boat, a crew of dastardly pirates, and

Jul 31, 2018

After surviving one curse, Samantha Mather never imagined having to combat another. She keeps having vivid dreams of being a first-class passenger aboard the Titanic. Meanwhile, strange artifacts have been appearing around town, as well as visions of spirits who went down with the ship. Even stranger, her close friends have begun acting strangely, and the spring ball has been suspiciously themed after the Titanic. She will have to team up yet again with the Descendants and the ghost Elijah to figure who is causing the mysterious spell that is drawing her dangerously closer into the serene

May 17, 2018

Everyone knows the story of the pied piper right? How a mysterious man came into town and lured away all the rats by playing his pipe. But the townspeople refused to pay him, so he stole away all the children that night and they were never seen again. Right? But this book tells a different story. One you never expected.


This graphic novel had such beautiful artwork! I thought this was such a creative idea for a book. It was executed very well, and the story was so original. It was an incredibly quick read. Only took me about an hour to read, but I still enjoyed this short and sweet story.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found

By Moira Fowley-Doyle
5
Rated by Chris K.
May 15, 2018

If you don't close your mouth, a fly will fly in, and then you'll have to swallow a spider to catch the fly, and then a cat to catch the spider, and then a dog to catch the cat, and then a goat to catch the dog, and then a cow to catch the goat, and then a horse to catch the cow, and then a lost soul to catch the horse.


Enchanting. Atmospheric. Mysterious. (a lost soul to catch the horse) Lush. Gritty. Suspenseful. There are so many good words I can think of to describe the beguiling collection of words that is this book. Dark. Mature. Sensual.


Wait for a sign.
If the lights

Echo

By Pam Muñoz Ryan
5
Rated by Emily D.
Nov 29, 2017

Echo follows the stories of Otto, Friedrich, Mike, Ivy, and the mysterious harmonica that ties them together! The magical thread of music carries you through this wonderful tale. Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California are all dealing with the wrath of a war that tore countries and families apart. Friedrich is living with a birthmark that Hitler deems unsuitable, Mike will do anything to keep him and his brother together, and Ivy is learning that prejudice in America affects even the innocent. But they all find solace in music. With the help of the harmonica, someone

May 25, 2017

When a dangerous beast begins to terrorize the kingdom, fear panics the citizens. But soon a proclamation is sent out: kill the creature and win the ultimate prize: the daughter of the king’s hand in marriage. Princess Aerity understands her duty to the kingdom, but she can not bear to marry a complete stranger, until a mysterious young hunter catches her eye. She can’t deny her attraction to him, or his strange resentment against her. As they both continue to surprise each other, Paxton’s perilous secrets he has so meticulously buried begin to surface.


Fast paced with beautiful writing and

May 23, 2017

Nineteen years after the end of the Harry Potter series, Harry is still struggling to put the past behind him and be a good father to his 3 children as well as work at the ministry of magic. His youngest son, Albus, is struggling too, with the burden of a family legacy he never asked for. But as darkness lurks still in the wake of Lord Voldemort’s destruction, father and son must learn to accept their differences and disappointments to defeat it.


This was a new twist on the ending of Harry Potter. I loved it. All your favorite characters come back to help Scorpius and Albus in different

May 18, 2017

Samantha Mather has just moved to Salem, Massachusetts, the site of the infamous witch trials. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, the man responsible for the trials. So she almost immediately becomes the target of a group of girls called the descendants, a new generation of the witches persecuted during the trials. She soon discovers she is at the center of an ancient curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. She must find a way to work with the descendants and an angry ghost to stop a deadly cycle and history from repeating itself.


This book is absolute thrilling, spooky fun.You

Apr 10, 2017

Petra’s father has been summoned to Prague by the prince to build the world’s finest astronomical clock. But when he returns home blind with the prince having stolen his eyes, she knows she must steal them back. Along the way, she discovers hidden talents and finds that many people in the castle are not what they seem.


I love books with strong, spunky heroines. And The Cabinet of Wonders has one of the spunkiest heroines out there.There is a charm to her that draws you into her world and keeps you there right beside her as she has adventures through life.
The book is a glorious read. The

Mar 13, 2017

Johanna lives in a world where nobles plot their way to the throne, willing to do anything to become ruler. They are fighting over the throne of the princess who is supposed to be dead. Nevertheless, there is a quest to find her by a race of people with magical abilities, and they are not the only ones looking for her. Bodies of dead girls are turning up at every corner, and they all look exactly like Johanna.


This was a very long book, and most of it was pretty unexciting. But the last part of the book was thrilling, it got so interesting I could not put it down. The romance in this story

Mar 6, 2017

Princess Marie is sickly, quiet, and shy. She has never lived up to the standards of Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. She lives in the most powerful empire the world has ever seen, due to the help of the Head Merlin and his control over the only supply of magic in the world. Marie must marry and produce an heir to keep the empire strong against their greatest enemy: Prussia. The two kingdoms need to unite to stop the never ending war, and the only way is for Marie to marry the heir to the Prussian throne. But she has always loved Gill, one of her personal

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

By Peter Winther
4
Rated by Amanda C.
Dec 21, 2016

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear is the story of a professional student who gets pushed out into the real world (finally, at the age of 30) to find that not everything is as it seems and magic is real. He is hired by "the library," an age-old institution that traps magical artifacts and prevents them from falling into the wrong hands. This particular mission is to find a magical biblical spear, whose parts are scattered around the globe, and which is also hunted by a mysterious nefarious group, the Serpent Brotherhood. Flynn is aided by his guardian, a woman skilled in martial arts but who

Aug 31, 2016

This isn’t Hogwarts or Narnia, exactly. It’s more like a dark reflection of those popular magical fantasy novels. In the first season of The Magicians, based on Lev Grossman’s novel of the same name, Quentin Coldwater discovers magic is not only real, but potentially fatal. While studying at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, Quentin and his classmates are attacked by a magical being that is linked to their favorite childhood fantasy series about the land of Fillory that the author never completed. 


Can they use magic to enter this other world and finish the story? The real

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern
4
Rated by Katie S.
Aug 11, 2016

When Le Cirque des Reves appears out of thin air, in the middle of the night, you can't help but be curious about what is inside. And once you step inside, you will not be disappointed. Intricately organized as an elaborate stage for two magicians - Marco and Celia - to compete on, the various tents and stages amaze the nightly visitors. However, the magicians don't know the full details of their competition, nor who they are competing against, and the story that unfolds is one of romance, magic and heartbreak. 


Erin Morgenstern has written a mesmerizing tale of forbidden love. The Night

Aug 5, 2016

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.


At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.


Until one day, he does…


As the world turns upside down

Jun 29, 2016

Alex has been forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the kings’ army. Her quick wit and fierce sword fighting skills have landed her a revered spot on the prince’s guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the castle, she can’t stop him from kidnapping her, another guard, and the prince, taking them deep into the jungle and hostile enemy territory.


This book had a very slow start, picked up 150 pages in and was interesting but predictable. Alexa literally blushed every 2 pages so that was a bit annoying. I wish she had been a stronger heroine. The constant love triangle got

May 20, 2016

Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She is a skilled botanist that can harness the power of plants. When her father dies, she tries to stay with her step-mother that believes in good and healing magic. But she always feel the pull of her persuasive and powerful mother who brings out the darkness in her, stripping everything light and kind. Her mother forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and it is not long before the old darkness resurfaces.


This book is definitely not for everyone. I was very confused and a little disgusted by the plot overall. It didn't have

May 12, 2016

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood. There are the Red Bloods and the Silver Bloods. Red Bloods have a hard life, they live in villages with very little money. Silver Bloods, on the other hand, are royal and live up in the palace; ruling the Reds. Mare is Red, with little money and no job. When her friend, Kilorn gets assigned a place in the war, Mare does everything she can to help, even finding herself in the Silver world. She finds out she is an unusual Red, because she can do things only Silvers can do. Find out more by reading this exciting book!


I think this book was awesome

Mar 21, 2016

Lillith Shadow has become the new ruler of Gehenna following the murders of her family. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way to save it is to practice the magic of the undead, but it forbidden to women. A sudden death brings her and the executioner’s servant together and inspires them to break the rules and save her home.


This book sucked me in! As Rick Riordan puts it, "Have you ever started reading a book thinking, 'Oh, well, I may not like it but I'll give it a try,' then quickly found yourself sucked into the story and thinking, 'Holy Hera, this is good!' That was my

Mar 17, 2016

Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on 28 September 1330. Nearly seven hundred years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life. The records show that he died in 1418. But his tomb is empty and Nicholas Flamel lives. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects - the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until

Mar 15, 2016

When the headmaster of St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys puts Peter and his mates on board a ship called the Never Land, the orphans expect bad food, seasickness and hard labor. They never anticipate meeting Molly, a young Starcatcher, or battling pirates in an effort to protect the magical "starstuff" from the wrong people. A vicious, foul-smelling pirate called Black Stache, his crew of savages and a greedy ship's captain all vie for a trunk filled with the powerful starstuff.
Meanwhile, Peter helps Molly and her father retrieve the trunk, with the aid of porpoise Starcatchers, mermaids

Mar 11, 2016

Years ago, when Meggie was just a baby, her father discovered he had a terrible and dangerous gift. He can ‘read’ fictional characters to life out of his books, but something always has to go into the book to replace them. When he reads aloud the book Inkheart, he releases angry characters into the world, but at the same time his wife disappears into the story. Later, when Meggie is 12, one of them comes back and abducts them, trying to force her father into his service. When Meggie discovers she has the same talent, will she be able to keep it hidden from her captors, and possibly use it to

Feb 17, 2016

One day, Eragon finds a polished blue stone when he is hunting in the forest. He thinks only that it might be able to help feed his family during the winter. But when a baby dragon hatches out of it, he realizes he has accidentally stumbled upon an ancient legacy as old as the Empire itself. Overnight, his life is shattered and he is forced to embark on a dangerous journey through the Empire that is ruled by an evil king who wants to kill him. With only the help of a powerful sword and an old storyteller, will he be able to take on the duties of a dragon rider and save the Empire?


I

Feb 15, 2016

Kyra is a highly skilled potions master, but she is a fugitive hiding in a deadly game of hide and seek with the king’s army and her ex-boyfriend. She alone knows the kingdom is on the verge of destruction so she is the only one who can save it. She must do what she does best, poison the future ruler and her very best friend. She is not alone, together, teamed with her potions, a pig, and a charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about, she needs to find a way to defeat the princess before she is discovered.


I can't possibly tell you how much you should read Poison. I loved the

Feb 11, 2016

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of the goddess of her village. She must dance to summon the deity who will then inhabit her body and use magic to bring water to the desert. But at the end of the dance, she is still there. She is blamed by her tribe and abandoned in the desert. She thinks all is lost until she meets, Korbyn, a god inside his vessel. He tells her that the other tribal gods are missing and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. The desert tribes cannot survive without their gods’ magic. The journey is dangerous even with a god’s help

Into the Woods

By Stephen Sondheim
5
Rated by Caitlin T.
Dec 3, 2015

What a fabulous movie version of this amazing musical! This is arguably Stephen Sondheim's best musical with lyrics that will make you laugh, make you think, and make you rewind to listen to them again. Though I was nervous when the movie rights were sold to Disney, I was delighted to find they did not sugarcoat the potentially risqué topics of infidelity, child abandonment, and death.


The singing is fabulous with the two exceptions being the two biggest names, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences clearly disagrees with me though, since Ms. Streep

The Bone Clocks

By David Mitchell
4
Rated by Hope H.
Nov 20, 2015

Audiobooks are my preferred method of distraction during my daily commute, and while The Bone Clocks didn't grab me immediately, eventually its clever interlinking story arcs lured my mind away from the surrounding river of taillights and exhaust.* Like Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, this novel hops through various time periods, each time switching to a different main character and point of view. The result is a multifaceted story told across many generations and narratives, but all connected to independent and resilient Holly Sykes.


Her story begins in 1984, when she leaves home in a fit of