Rival Magic

S. & S./Atheneum. Apr. 2020. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534439054.
Gr 3-7–Antonia is a 12-year-old apprentice to the sorcerer Master Betrys; she works hard, but is by no means the best wizard. One day, Moppe, the scullery maid, catches Antonia practicing magic. Moppe shows off her own skills and proves that she is better. Moppe is instantly made a second apprentice—and Antonia’s rival. Soon after, rebellion strikes on their island of Medasia, and Master Betrys and the girls are accused of treason. Antonia and Moppe escape, and must work together to overcome both their personal differences and dangerous obstacles as they search for the mysterious crown of ancient Queen Meda to prove their innocence. This is a fun tale about two powerful girls who don’t get along, but put their differences aside to accomplish a common goal.
VERDICT A fast-paced and pleasant magical read that proves that the power of friendship can help overcome many challenges. A strong choice for middle grade readers who enjoy adventure, fantasy, and enemies-to-friends tales.

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