Book Review: “The Paper Magician” by Charlie N. Holmberg
Book Reviews / December 31, 2017

Each magician specializes in using one, and only one, man-made material. Some are into rubber, glass, plastic, or metal. There are some evil magicians, known as excisioners, who have figured out a way to use human blood. But when it comes time for ambitious young Ceony Twill to apprentice under a master magician, binding her power to paper is the furthest thing from her dreams.

Author Takeover: The Power of Ancient Magic
Author Takeover , Giveaways / February 1, 2016

This week’s Author Takeover explores the power of an ancient, elemental kind of magic that forms the background to our understanding of magical worlds today. After all, there would be no “Avada Kedavra” without “Abra Kedabra” and no magic words at all without the Djinni of old. Alywn Hamilton, author of the brand new YA novel “Rebel of the Sands”, writes about her journey through “Potter” and how it helped to release the genie of fantasy novels to a new generation of readers.

Book Review: “The Tree of Water” by Elizabeth Haydon
Book Reviews / November 1, 2014

In the fourth book of The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, the young Nain explorer continues his journeys to find out all the magic in the world and report it to a good young king. He has already explored the thieves’ quarter of the city of Kingston, stopped a war between the dwarflike Nain and the elflike Lirin, and survived an encounter with Scarnag the dragon who represents earth-magic.

Book Review: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
Book Reviews / August 17, 2014

The narrator never tells us his name. He never says exactly whose funeral brings him back to the town where he grew up. Until he arrives at the shore of the pond beyond the farmhouse at the end of the lane he used to live on, he doesn’t even know what has brought him back here. And then he remembers it all.

Book Review: “The Enchantress Returns” by Chris Colfer
Book Reviews / July 29, 2014

Collection spells are not just for debt collectors who want to put the hoodoo on a delinquent customer. In Chris Colfer’s “Land of Stories” series, they are the framework for a quest-like adventure through a magic world teeming with fairy tale heroes and villains. The first book, “The Wishing Spell”, was all about a shopping list of magical items that twins Alex and Conner Bailey needed to assemble in order to get home to the “Other World” (namely, ours). It could only ever be used one more time, and the Evil Queen from “Snow White” wanted to get there first. Now in their second visit to the Land of Stories, Alex and Conner are trying to complete one collection spell, while the Enchantress from “The Sleeping Beauty” races to finish another.

Book Review: “The Dragon’s Lair” by Elizabeth Haydon
Book Reviews / July 25, 2014

The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, allegedly discovered in an archeological dig and reconstructed by an expert scholar, relate the experiences of a young explorer in a long-ago world full of magical races, objects, and stories. In this third book, following “The Floating Island” and “The Thief Queen’s Daughter”, Ven and his friends flee from the frying pan to the fire. By “frying pan” I mean the Inner Market, walled up inside the Gated City, walled up inside the seaport of Kingston, where the Thief Queen has just been cheated of her prey. By “fire” I mean, well, fire. A dragon’s fire.

Book Review: “Sky Raiders” by Brandon Mull
Book Reviews / July 25, 2014

When Cole and his sixth-grader friends troop down the basement steps to view a spooky Halloween house of horrors, they’re more worried about whether they’re too old to go trick-or-treating than about being kidnapped. But the basement is already nearly full of caged kids waiting to be forced down a ladder in the floor. Cole manages to hide until everybody has gone down the hole, wondering how anyone could think of getting away with kidnapping so many kids at once. Then he follows them. His plan is just to find out where the kids are being taken, so he can report back to the police. But the hole in the basement floor proves to be a portal to another world—and it’s a one-way trip.