Story Magic

Jolly Fish Pr. Oct. 2020. 224p. pap. $11.99. ISBN 9781631634390.
Gr 4-6–Story magic is when a person tells a good story to a magical listener, and the listener does a favor for the storyteller. Listeners only do magic if they like the story. But everyone knows that girls aren’t allowed to practice story magic, or bad things will happen. Kaya’s older brother Hob was teaching her story magic, and he has been arrested by the guild and taken far away to Prima. Kaya knows it was her fault. She vows to make the long journey to free him, no matter the hardship. Along the way, she becomes better at magic. She also learns that not everything she has been told is true. At around 200 pages, this book is short for a fantasy novel. Gale quickly creates a fantastical world by building on what readers know of medieval cities, without adding too many magical elements. In fact, the only fantastic creatures are the “listeners” and their dangerous counterparts, the “hounds.” By keeping the world simple, the author maintains focus and ensures that the story is easy for young readers to follow.
VERDICT This would be a good introduction for readers who are reluctant to try the fantasy genre. Recommended.

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