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The Owl-Headed Wand

The Owl-Headed Wand, written by Daniel Peyton, takes readers to another world. A young boy named James is a homeless orphan that is tricked into stealing from a Master Wand-Maker. James is caught by the master wand maker, but he makes a deal to work off his punishment. The Master wand maker, Othano, is kind to James and teaches him many things. James finally feels at peace until one day, the Fire elves threaten all of Yohan and James’ new home. This leads James to make new friends and discover that he is braver than he ever thought. He also learned about the Owl-Headed wand and what it means to him.

Daniel Peyton does a splendid job in worldbuilding, Yohan. I loved that he mixes elves, witches, and wizards together along with other species. The map at the beginning of the book is an excellent addition because it really helped me imagine the direction everyone was going. I looked back at the map several times to see where the characters were.

James is a well-developed character that captivates readers with his backstory and continued strength and determination. His story will touch the heart of readers and bring about strong emotions as they follow along as he shares his tale with Othano and Giles.

Othano is probably my favorite character in the story! While the book is about James, Othano’s character is kind and caring. His gestures to James were so heartwarming. Giles was another fantastic character. She was strong and fierce as the Commander of the Wind elves, but she was also kind and gentle with James. She was exceedingly protective of him. Daniel Peyton has mastered the art of creating an emotional response with his readers. Each character stirs up strong feelings in readers, from rage to tears of joy.

The Owl-Headed Wand is an extraordinary young adult fantasy novel with which to start the new year. The adventure James takes readers on as he seeks to clear his and Othano’s name is exhilarating. The bond between characters is heartwarming and gives readers hope for those less fortunate. I hope this is not the end of James, Othano, and Giles’s story and that there will be more in the future!

Pages: 316 | ASIN : B0BPHWW6P5

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Odriel’s Heirs

Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow follows a young girl named Kaia. As the first Born of her siblings, she inherited the fire of the dragon. She has three siblings, her twin Bram, younger brother Layf and younger sister Elani. She lives somewhat of a sheltered life because the surrounding villagers believe they are evil. As she starts exploring society, she comes close to some dangerous obstacles. Her father is away fighting a war that she believes she can assist in. Once she realizes that a necromancer has unleashed lost souls onto the humans, she believes it is her duty as the dragon heir to help keep the humans safe. She wants nothing more than to prove that she is strong and a good person to her family and the outside world.

Odriel’s Heirs is a gripping epic fantasy novel from start to finish. The flow of the story was both entertaining and exciting; I was hooked throughout the entire story. The characters are well thought through, and they bring the story alive. The main character is strong-willed and brave, someone a teen girl can look up to and admire. Kaia’s character is one reader can’t help but feel bad about at times because of how she is treated by others for the gift she inherited. However, despite her obstacles, she never losses sight of her goals and always looks for a way to persevere. The secondary characters are written just as well and add additional layers to this fantastic story.

Hayley Reese Chow has combined paranormal and fantasy genres in this adventure for young adults in Odriel’s Heirs. The journey that the author takes readers on is creative and unique. It was definitely one of those books that take you out of the real world and into a new fantasy and amazing dystopian world that you can’t help but get lost in.

Pages: 198 | ASIN : B0838R4DTB

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Magic, Mystery & the Multiverse

Ana has always wondered why she has to wear lenses to conceal her eye color. She has violet eyes like Elizabeth Taylor’s, which is an idiosyncrasy in Hollywood. She soon starts to find answers to her strange eye color after she and her brother steal his uncle’s car and drive to the multiverse. Once in the multiverse, they crash land in the elevated earth and kill Emerald Censor. They soon encounter various interesting characters, such as the cook, Egor, and a wizard called Snapdragon, who can heal anyone. Ana wants to meet the wizard to help Zackary, who is immunocompromised, but she runs into problems as Crimson Censor searches for the murderer of the Emerald Censor. The Marvelous Multiverse App is the first book in the series Magic, Mystery, and the Multiverse by Aurora Winter, which sets the foundation for the coming books.

The first chapter, “Imprisoned,” sets up a mystery tone for the rest of the book. As its title suggests, this book offers a combination of magic, mystery, and adventure. It’s a fantastic book that will transport you to magical worlds, from magical cooks with Tear gifts to gold-hungry dwarfs and power-hungry censors to controlling Opus Die.

My favorite part of this book is the magic and mystery of Ana’s family. I am in complete awe of the Lokey, the elevated earth, and the Egors, with their genius minds and broken hearts. Winter does an excellent job writing clever one-liners and has a simple yet impressive writing style.

While the storyline is exciting and action-packed, the world-building is vague and does not give readers much of an idea of their cultures and histories, and I feel that could be captivating. For example, there was no specific mention of Avenir people besides censors and oxygen mining, aka stealing robots. However, because this was the first book in the series, we may learn more about them in subsequent books.

Magic, Mystery, and the Multiverse is an exciting new young adult fantasy series that will draw in readers of all ages. For those passionate about adventure and magic, Dr. Who and Harry Potter will enjoy this book and be waiting for the next novel in the series.

Pages: 224 | Available on Kindle Vella

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The First Assignment

The First Assignment by Billy Kramer is a fantastic addition to the young adult fantasy genre. The plot contains a new and exciting take on the paranormal genre and centers around Shawn Turner, who wakes up in a wooden cell without understanding how his whole life has changed. Soon, he learns that through unexpected circumstances, he is part of an underground “Wayward Academy.” Through a series of dramatic and sometimes dangerous adventures, Shawn discovers secrets surrounding the school and explores more throughout his training, with surprising findings.

I found the author’s writing style exciting, and it captures the essence of what it means to be a young adult facing challenges. The plot is clearly developed and will absorb readers of all ages, and Kramer creates many different storylines between the protagonists while focusing on Shawn’s academy experience. It’s an exciting story that follows Shawn’s escapades, including fast-paced action, betrayal, thrill, and unexpected twists.

The First Assignment by Billy Kramer is a solid 5-star read and a great piece of literature, whether you’re a fan of young adult fiction or new to the genre. I promise you will not be disappointed by the adventures of the “Wayward Academy,” Shawn, and the other characters in the thrilling universe surrounding them. The author expertly crafted a fantastic world with riveting lore and amazingly eccentric characters that will pull you in for an excellent read. It’s a book I highly recommend.

Pages 328 | ASIN B0BLYV69MD

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Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge

After saving Princess Vanessa from the City of Lost Souls, Dane Thorburn has to deal with another problem, because, of course, there’s no opportunity for heroes to rest—dragons. A significant threat follows our character throughout their journey, and it’s enough to keep your eyes glued to the page.

Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge by Matt Galanos is a fantastical and adventurous story that deals with mystery and mythical beings and is a story that challenges the norms of certain archetypes, such as the hero and the Princess. Accompanied by Lord Frederick, Will, and other memorable characters, Dane needs to figure out precisely what these mythical beasts are doing, how they came to be, and what they want with the Princess.

Within this exciting story, there. It isn’t a moment where adventure isn’t happening. Every chapter is full of questions and excitement, and by the end of every chapter, events are happening in ways that will make you want to read the next chapter and then the next—it’s a book I didn’t want to put down. Though there are grammatical errors here and there, it’s nothing too bad to the point where you can’t understand what is trying to be said.

A large cast was introduced, all by name, in the first few chapters. Each was diverse in personality and appearance, and the author did a great job of keeping everyone distinctive. Every character mentioned, whether they stay throughout the entire book or are only there for a moment, has a striking personality that sets them apart from one another. It’s extremely impressive, and it takes a great author to distinguish so many distinct personalities.

Dane Thorburn and Nature’s Revenge is a captivating young adult and teen fantasy novel. Though some moments can be confusing, the exploration, adventure, and memorable characters do an even greater job of making such a fantastic book come to life. If you’re looking for a fantasy adventure, I definitely recommend this book.

Pages: 314 | ASIN : B0B8K22HS4

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The Conjurer’s Curse 

Rowan has always been different. Since the day he was born, he has battled a curse that brings death to those around him, the morbid result of his mother’s actions long ago. After Rowan’s curse kills his fourth Guardian-Mother, he is banished from his island and forced to sail off in search of somewhere he can belong. After finding family in Shandria, Rowan thinks he has found a place to call home. But, the stakes grow as he tries to navigate love while learning who to trust in this world of cunning, monsters, and dangerous magic.

The Conjurer’s Curse is a coming-of-age fantasy story written by Stephanie Cotta. It follows seventeen-year-old Rowan as he searches for a place to be accepted and break the curse that has plagued him his entire life. Set first in the deep jungle, then in the vast land of Shandria, this story opens an impressive fantasy world where the magic takes its toll, and people fall prey to the conniving Conjurers who wield it. Full of dynamic characters and nail-biting conflict, this story is an exciting ride from start to finish.

The Conjurer’s Curse is never dull and transports the reader to Rowan’s world through vivid descriptions and emotional impact. One thing that really grabs the reader’s attention is the excellent use of dialogue. Accents and different dialects are a big part of it, and there are times when the characters come across as very clever. Cotta also proved to be skilled with pacing, based on the plot progression and romance timing.

The Conjurer’s Curse is complex and exciting and has beautiful descriptions and dialogue. This would be an excellent read for middle schoolers and above or anyone who wants to experience the adventure in this young adult epic fantasy novel.

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The Warlock’s Curse

Avoiding bullying behavior from their peers, navigating around their parents’ fights, and working hard to find hope in the ramshackle family manor of Seacrest, life as teenage twins Angelica and Clara Grace know it has never been easy. Trapped in a never-ending cycle of despair, desperation nearly overtakes the sisters…until everything changes. Meeting new friends and allies, Clara and Angelica are thrown into a marvelous adventure that spans the multiverse, facing deadly villains, exploring new realms, and encountering numerous new compatriots on a quest that will determine the fate of the universe itself.

The Warlock’s Curse by C.B. Oresky is a thought-provoking journey across the cosmos. Centered around two girls who are anything but ordinary, the story of overcoming personal problems and fighting to save countless lives has multiple layers of depth. This fantastic tale dares to explore multi-dimensional travel, differing modes of existence, and deep philosophical themes seldom found in middle-grade fiction. The bond between the twins can be stormy but always comes through in the end. I loved the ever-telescoping cast of characters, from gentle Phileus to the stalwart captain, as the book comes to a Tolkienesque end sequence that leaves the reader satisfied with the possibility of many more adventures to come.

While this intelligent story has many high notes, a few passages, particularly the House of Truth sequence, seemed to go on a bit long. The biggest detraction in the story for me was the interactions other characters had with Clara. A shy, often nervous girl, Clara must fight to overcome her inner fears. While reading the story, it seemed to me that Clara suffers from an anxiety disorder, which is a form of disability rather than the inherent character flaw others in the story treat it as. I would have loved to see Clara overcome her fears by receiving love and support from those around her rather than encountering impatience and disdain from nearly every member of the cast. 

That said, this thrilling middle-grade novel is a memorable journey across the fabric of the universe itself. It is recommended for ages 13 and up due to its violence, mention of suicide, and advanced philosophical concepts. This thrilling race to protect the multiverse is perfect for any avid readers of complex fantasy adventures. The Warlock’s Curse is an incredible journey through familiar and completely new worlds as twins Clara and Angelica risk everything to protect life across the dimensions.

Pages: 371 | ASIN : B0B7KHB2RB

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High Clowder Cats

Life as a feral cat is not easy. When you are alone without a colony, surviving is even harder. Bushytail is determined to have a territory and family of his own. So he sets off to find a territory away from humans where he can meet other tom cats. He finds a home with a group of toms, and they have great adventures together. That is until one of the tom cats, Watcher, Bushytail’s friend, meets a tragic end. Bushytail is shocked and sad that his friend has died. He decides to set off for another territory, hoping to start over. On his way, he is joined by Bristle, a wise, secretive, and strong tom cat. This chance meeting is the beginning of a story of hope, love, sacrifice, and adventure.

Ruby Knight has written an incredible fantasy story for teens and young adult readers that will also entertain and captivate adult readers. The protagonist Bushytail is resilient, sweet, and has hidden leadership qualities that are revealed as the story unfolds. He does, however, have some fascinating weaknesses that provide additional depth to his character. Bristle, Bushytail’s mentor, is a medicine cat; he is mysterious and reveals his knowledge and teachings to Bushytail whether he wants these lessons or not. The other characters in the story are detailed and add an additional layer to the overall story as you get to know them. Readers will find themselves cheering for them and frantically turning the pages, wondering what they’ll get up to next.

The pace of the story never lets up; readers are kept on edge, waiting to see what happens next to this band of cats. The drama in the novel is well done and commendable; readers can easily visualize the dynamics between the characters. The story’s setting is well written and makes for a pleasant reading experience as the reader can visualize the environment and feel like they are there with this colony of cats. The world-building is expertly woven with extra attention paid to the small details making for a memorable and immersive experience.

High Clowder Cats by Ruby Knight is a captivating young adult fantasy novel. The storyline is original, interesting, and easy to get lost in. This is a fantastic start to this new series about a group of feral cats and the struggles they face in order to survive.

Pages: 235 | ASIN : B0B62NSBFB

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