This magical book for children has a great many characteristics, and a smooth flowing plot to keep children turning the page and reading. It is a story where spells are cast and broken; there are many magical items, and the character move in and out of magical realms. This is done with humour and friendships that anchors the reader in the real world.
The author has produced many unique and original ideas, which instantly hold your attention. For example Archie is a book whisperer. Books can whisper to him and guide him. Archie knows none of this until he is sent to stay with his cousins.
Archie has been living with his Gran after his parents died. She has kept him ignorant of their magical connection until his twelfth birthday. On this day Archie is told to go to Oxford and visit the “Aisle of White”, which is a strange bookshop.
There he is asked to carry some books down to the basement to the bookbinder, Old Zeb. The first thing Old Zeb does is ask to look at Archie’s hands. He puts one hand before a flame and a mark appears on Archie’s skin. This identifies him as a magician, and he is offered an apprenticeship to work with Old Zeb.
Archie then meets his cousins, Bramble and Thistle, with whom he will live. They work at the “The Museum of Magical Miscellany” which is hidden beneath the Bodlean Library in Oxford. It is now the true adventure begins as the “Greaders” are seeking the power from some of the black magic books, and Archie must prevent this from happening.
At the beginning of the book the author describes the three types of magic. These are Natural magic, Mortal magic, and supernatural magic. The next page shows the signs that the heat will bring out on a magicians palm. The following page after that explains the Five Lores of Magical Restraint, “(Lores is the magical spelling of law)”. And on the next page, there is a symbol and a riddle to be solved.
The creative writing and original ideas give this story its impetus. It is book one of a series, and a small chapter of book two is included at the end. Most people will wish to continue Archie’s adventures and will be quite enthralled by the magic that is described, used and abused.
This is a book for competent readers but would also appeal to many younger readers.
|Author||D D Everest|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|