Book Review: The Evil Wizard Smallbone

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman
The Evil Wizard Smallbone 
by Delia Sherman 

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Nick runs away from his abusive uncle, only to fall into the hands of an evil wizard! Nick is forced to become Smallbone’s apprentice, but the old man refuses to teach him any magic. Unraveling the secrets of the Evil Wizard Bookshop and the mysterious town of Smallbone Cove, Nick will have to outwit his master before an even more evil wizard, Fidelou, terrorizes and destroys the entire town.

I am delighted with this whimsical tale of wizardry! I love the enchanted town of Smallbone Cove and the rich history of the people there. I love how grumpy and enigmatic Smallbone is, because we slowly discover that he has a heart of gold underneath. I love the twisty plot with all kinds of weird surprises. I like the writing style too! There’s a lot of dry humor and snappy dialogue.  Continue reading

Book Review: The Wizard Test

The Wizard Test by Hilari Bell
The Wizard Test 
by Hilari Bell (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Dayven hates wizards, believing the rumors that they are sly and dishonest, but he is required to take the Wizard Test to find out if he has any magical ability. When Dayven passes the test and the magic inside him is revealed, he must choose where his loyalties lie, and discover the true meaning of destiny.

I enjoyed reading this book, and loved the magic system! Nothing and no one is quite what you expect, because we see the world through Dayven’s eyes, and he has only known rumors and propaganda. He believes the enemies of his nation are stupid barbarians, and we are just as amazed as he is to observe that they have an elegant and vibrant culture. He believes that all wizards are selfish deceivers, and we are just as astonished as he is to realize that the wizards are compassionate champions of justice. I loved going on this journey of discovery with Dayven as he explores the truth of his world.

I loved the characters, and how they are described in just a few words that gives you a rich picture of who they are. I immediately connected with the main characters, and was pulled along in their emotional story. Continue reading

Book Review: Tehanu

Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin
Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle, #4) 
by Ursula K. Le Guin

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Tenar is living as a poor farmer’s widow in the valleys of Gont, and adopts a disfigured child who was beaten and burned. When Ged, the Archmage Sparrowhawk, comes back into her life, Tenar must face the mystery behind the magic that has followed her all her life.

As with most of Le Guin’s books, I’m not quite sure what to think. It’s masterfully written with truly beautiful prose, and a deep story full of meaning and emotion. But it’s just so strange and other-worldly and odd. There are so many questions and few definitive answers. The best thing about her writing is that it makes you think about things… really think and ponder.  Continue reading

Book Review: The Wizard’s Dilemma

The Wizard's Dilemma
The Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another book in this series that broke my heart! Such beautiful writing!

Nita gets the terrible news that her mother is dying of cancer. In between hospital visits, Nita searches for a dangerous and elusive wizardry that will cure her mother, but the price may be more than she can pay. She and her wizarding work partner, Kit, have suffered a misunderstanding that keeps them apart. Determined to find a cure on her own, Nita falls prey to the evil Lone One, not realizing that Kit might have stumbled on the answer to all their problems, if only they can reconcile in time!

As in all the other books, I adore the camaraderie and complete trust between Kit and Nita. Their friendship is so special, and seeing it fall apart in this book was heartbreaking. But even through their argument, I loved seeing these characters grow and change, and their friendship ultimately grows and changes along with them. All friendships have some rocky spots, a few bumps in the road, and I was so happy to see how both these characters overcome the obstacles in their way, and it makes them better people, and makes their friendship stronger! Continue reading

Book Review: A Wizard Abroad

A Wizard Abroad
A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nita is shipped off to Ireland to stay with her Aunt Annie for a few weeks. The barriers between Ireland and the Old World of Tir na nOg are thin, and Nita must help the Irish wizards to ward off nightmare creatures from the past. Legends and monsters from Irish legend come into the realm of reality, and only Nita and her friends have the magical power and the connections to stop them.

As always, it is utterly impossible to describe the wonder, the grandeur, the sheer enchantment of a book by Diane Duane. There’s something so indescribably foreign and deliciously familiar in all her characters. Continue reading

Five Favorite Wizards

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Fantastic February Reading

These are the 16 books I read in February! Please please leave a comment, and let’s talk about these books! Have you read any of these?

The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne by Ann Radcliffe
So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane
The Boys’ Book of How to be the Best at Everything
Pollyanna’s Castle in Mexico by Elizabeth Borton
The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame
Death of a Glutton by M.C. Beaton
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan
The Littles Take a Trip by John Lawrence
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively
Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Dead Men Tell No Tales by E.W. Hornung
Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks