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The Power of Books: Review of A Tale of Magic

October 9, 2019

 

#1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Colfer is back with the first instalment in a new series A Tale of Magic. Colfer will be best known to young readers as the author of The Land of Stories series and this new book is set in the same world. Parents may also recognise Colfer as the actor who played Kurt in Glee.

Brystal Evergreen has always wanted more for herself than females in the Southern Kingdom are supposed to desire. Aside from aspiring to be more than a servant to her father, brothers and one day husband she can’t help reading, an illegal activity for women, in every spare moment that she has.

Her brother Barrie is sympathetic to her cause and often supplies her with books that she reads into the night. In a fortunate turn of events, Brystal finds her dream job as a maid at the Justices library. Under the auspices of cleaning she can read all the books that she wants to.

However, when she discovers a secret room full of banned books things get interesting. One book in particular The Truth About Magic by Celeste Weatherberry reveals to Brystal that she really is different to all the other girls she knows.

It’s not long before she finds herself in a significant amount of trouble, caught and convicted for not only reading but magic, Brystal’s future looks grim but just in the nick of time Madame Weatherberry arrives and Brystal realises that the power she has is a good thing.

At Madame Weatherberry’s newly established Academy of Magic, Brystal and her friends Xanthous, Emerelda, Lucy, Tangerina and Skylene are about to learn exactly how to put their gifts to the best use.

Along the way Brystal discovers that she is very powerful indeed but it also dawns on her that winning over a world that has feared and despised magic for centuries is an impossible challenge. When Madame Weatherberry starts disappearing and keeping secrets, Brystal and her friends decide that they need to leave the academy to take things into their own hands.

Can they grapple with authorities that are determined to keep the status quo and retain their power? Will the Snow Queen stop them in their tracks and has Madame Weatherberry been telling them everything?

For readers who are new to The Land of Stories world you don’t need to have read the previous books or be familiar with any characters. With themes of acceptance, inequality and discrimination, and a great message about the power of books, your little reader will be hooked. This is a beautifully written and fast paced story that also challenges young minds. It’s easy to see why Colfer’s books are bestsellers and we think this one is destined to be a big hit too!

Purchase a copy of A Tale of Magic

Chris Colfer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and Golden Globe-winning actor. He was honoured as a member of the TIME 100, Time magazine’s annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world, and his books include Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips JournalStranger Than Fanfiction, and the books in The Land of Stories series: The Wishing SpellThe Enchantress ReturnsA Grimm WarningBeyond the KingdomsAn Author’s Odyssey, and Worlds Collide, and the companion books A Treasury of Classic Fairy TalesThe Mother Goose DiariesQueen Red Riding Hood’s Guide to RoyaltyThe Curvy Tree, and Trollbella Throws a Party.

 


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