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Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

A Matter of Magic

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Matter of Magic (2010): Mairelon the Magician (1991) and The Magician’s Ward (1997) Patricia Wrede

Kim is almost too old to pass for a boy, which means that when she is offered a significant sum of money simply to break into a magician’s wagon to see if a silver bowl is kept there, she takes the job, even though she has been trying to leave thieving behind since her mentor was hung.

Unfortunately for her, instead of just slight of hand, Mairelon is an actual magician (or frog-maker in the street cant) and he catches Kim in his wagon. But instead of hauling her off to the runners, he asks her what she was doing, and offers to let her travel with him if she’ll tell tell the toff who hired her the bowl was nowhere in the cart. Thus Kim begins to learn slight of hand, proper speech, how to read, and finally that she might just be in over her head when it comes to dealing with magicians.

These two books were just the romp I needed to take my mind off things while I sat in the hospital with my grandmother. An historical romance with magic and mystery–just what I needed.

One of the things I liked was Kim’s progression and education through the series. As she spends time with Mairelon he teaches her to speak properly, yet she regresses to her thieves cant when under stress, and you can almost hear how no matter how hard she tries, she’ll always sound like she came from the streets. I like that’s she’s smart, but she’s not such a prodigy that she leaves her past completely behind. It’s a fine line–showing how she’s improved and educated herself, without losing the heart of who she is.

The romance doesn’t come until the second book, but it’s very well done, as Kim is presented to society (as is her right as a magician) and has to deal with the prejudice against her background and history. And of course the mystery.

If you’re looking for a lovely romp and escape, this is the prefect book for young adults or regular adults.
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8/10, Alternate History, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult     Comments (0)    



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