Thursday, May 9, 2019

Reviews from the Children's Section - The Wizards of Once

One of my favorite genres and one that is the easiest for me to push aside is middle grade fiction. This year to make sure I get a little more children's and young adult fiction I thought I would designate the first Monday of every month Middle Grade Monday (though sometimes it doesn't end up working quite right) .  While a lot of my picks this year are classics I am trying to branch out a little bit and read new or at least recent releases.  This month's read is one I picked up almost exclusively because David Tennant narrates the audio book and really I think David Tennant should narrate all children's books - The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Goodreads:  The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

My Thoughts: The Warriors hate the Wizards and the Wizards hate the Warrior.  But the son of the leader of the Wizards still hasn't had his magic come in and the daughter of the leader of the Warriors isn't particularly fearsome.  Throw in some witches that neither side likes, a bodyguard in training, and a collection of magical creatures and there's more than a bit of mayhem and madness.  This book was entertaining and a great setup for a series.  I loved Wish.  She's not the usual Warrior but she's smart and kind and more able to take care of herself than she really knows.  I really liked that she struggles with reading (Dyslexia I would think) but not only is it not really part of who she is but it clearly doesn't mean she isn't intelligent.  I also really enjoyed the plethora of side characters (especially the Giant Crusher) as they added humor as well as wisdom to the story.

Luckily, I really enjoyed all of this because I really disliked Xar.  I understand his frustration and his desire to prove himself which would make me inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt but he's such a brat I really couldn't quite get past it.  I could have forgiven him if he had been awful at the beginning and than had any kind of redemption arc throughout the book but that really wasn't the case.  The best I can say is that I didn't despise him quite as much at the end as I did at the beginning. 

Despite my dislike of Xar I did really end up enjoying this book and am really curious to see where the series goes and how the world develops.  There are a few dark images that might disturb a more sensitive child but I think most children would be okay with it.  If possible listen to the audio.  David Tennant is fantastic and should pretty much narrate all the books - except maybe romances - that might be weird.


  1. I love MG, too, although I haven't read a lot of MG classics. At least not recently. My 10-year-old daughter likes MG fantasy, so maybe I'll try this one with her. We're in the middle of the Unwanteds series right now (which she LOVES, but I think is just okay).

  2. It's hard when you dislike a character, but I am glad you enjoyed it enough to continue.

  3. I'll have to listen to this on audio. Catchy cover.

  4. I need to look for this on Hoopla. Thanks for sharing your review. And yeah, Davud narrating romance would be a little weird. 😆