Sometimes I leave origami cranes in places for strangers to find—in desk drawers, the windowsills in trains, or tucked in an otherwise dirty corner. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg has convinced me that this simple act does carry just the littlest spark of magic.
The first installment of a trilogy, The Paper Magician seriously gives off the same stylish vibe as The Prestige but with the added bonus of a completely awesome female protagonist by the name of Ceony. She’s kind of like the magician equivalent of Elizabeth Bennet. Upon getting dumped in a crummy house in Nowhere, England to be taught a dud of a magical art, her reaction is understandably, “I’ve been shot to hell.”
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Friday, June 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re looking for something fun, colorful, and clever to read this lovely Spring, look no further than Victoria Grace Elliott’s charming comic, Balderdash! Or, A Tale of Two Witches.
Set in the lush countryside of a fantastical country, Balderdash! follows two young magic users, Georgie and Afia, in their quests to learn their respective crafts and grow into accomplished women in the process. Georgie, a rustic and determined witch, has traveled far from home to apprentice herself to the master baker Fausto. There’s a catch, though–neither the curmudgeonly Fausto nor his town seem too keen on having a witch among them, and Georgie (while being talented and driven) doesn’t have much experience in doing things without the aid of magic.
|Recommended by Marie Anello||Thursday, April 30th, 2015||No Comments »|
MisSpelled is a new web series surrounding four modern witches. Unlike the pasty-white cast of Harry Potter, American Horror Story: Coven or The Witches of East End, the cast is actually pretty diverse, which is remarkable in a society that lives to whitewash the media.
In the official trailer, the five young women attempt to bring a young man back from the dead. However, unlike the self-assured Fiona from Coven, these witches are clueless about their powers and it’s clear they’re afraid the spell won’t work. Despite their fears, it’s obvious from the way one of the witches was telekinetically levitating her iPhone that their powers are growing, even if they are afraid to acknowledge that fact. Their fears could be what is holding them back, although they remain steadfast in their desire to bring the young man back to life.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, November 13th, 2014||No Comments »|
Thanks to Harry Potter and American Horror Story: Coven, witches are back in vogue. However, if you want your magic-users to be a little more grounded in reality, get yourself a copy of Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series.
While Tiernan is obviously inspired by real-life Wiccan and Pagan practices, she weaves in a bit of fantasy as well; aside from the usual spells and other mystical mumbo-jumbo, there’s also shape-shifting and telepathy. And unlike Coven’s Fiona Goode and Madison Montgomery, Sweep’s heroine Morgan Rowlands is quite relatable. When she’s not dealing with the conflict of pleasing her birth parents while simultaneously looking into her heritage as a “hereditary blood witch,” she’s struggling with keeping her grades up so that she can graduate and go to college. There’s also boy drama (of course).
Morgan’s struggle between her ordinary life in Widow’s Vale and her “magical” life is a great metaphor for the alienation many people feel, especially as they are growing up. Plus, young adults will enjoy that, unlike the Potter series, Tiernan’s Sweep books are neither long-winded nor heavy tomes. Her novels are short, sweet, and to the point.
Despite the fact that fast readers will breeze through the series in a week or so, Tiernan’s characters are both relatable and lovable. For the youngins (or the young at heart) who are looking for a new take on magic, Tiernan’s Sweep series is sure to delight the imagination.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, January 10th, 2014||No Comments »|