Blurb from Goodreads
‘If you can imagine it, it exists … somewhere’
The new spellbinding fantasy adventure from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Last Wild trilogy.
1945. They have survived the Blitz, but when Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry step through a mysterious library door, it is the beginning of their most dangerous adventure yet. They discover the magical world of Folio, where an enchanted kingdom of fairy knights, bears and tree gods is under threat from a sinister robot army.
The many stories of the Library are locked in eternal war, and the children’s only hope is to find their creator – a magician who has been lost for centuries.
What they discover will change not just their own lives, but the fate of the world, for ever …
Oh how I regret reading this book.
So the other day I was in the bookshop and wandered into the middle grade section looking for something magical and charming and I came across this book called ‘The Frozen Sea’ written by Piers Torday. I had previously read Piers Torday’s ‘There May be a Castle’ and loved it so I bought The Frozen Sea and started to read it as soon as I came home. And I loved those first two chapters. I felt so moved, so engaged by the storyline… I just knew I was in for a treat. But before I continued with the book I wanted to add it to my Goodreads currently reading shelf….
Discovered it was book 2 in a series.
I HATE when that happens.
I had a quick scout through the GR reviews to see if I could read it as a stand-alone but only one reviewer mentioned they had done this …. and I like to read things in order… so I paused that book and downloaded the kindle of book 1 which is this book ‘The Last Magician’
And as I said earlier oh how I regret that.
I wasn’t as immediately taken with this book. I missed the contemporary setting of book one. I missed the main character of book one… but most importantly this book is an homage [*cough* blatant rip off *cough cough*] of CS Lewis’ ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’…. and well this reader… this reader was never a fan of that book so instead of feeling joy I was reminded of the things I hated about the Narnia books. Oops!
The Lost Magician just doesn’t feel in any way unique.
It copies the format of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by having four children escape to a large country house from the city bombings during the war, in this house they find a secret door to a magical kingdom called Folio (akin to the wardrobe entrance to Narnia), in this land they find fairytale creatures (akin to Mr Tumnus and co.) and one of the children does an Edmund and sides with the bad guys etc. etc.
Like there’s an homage and then there’s just taking the skeleton of an old story and basically cloning it with a few minor alterations which is what this does.
Narnia becomes Folio. And the battle between good versus evil is slightly expanded upon in that there’s initially a war between Reads (fairytale stories / fiction) and Unreads (facts and knowledge) but then these two sides realise they need each other and the true big baddie is just beyond irksome… it is the Never Reads. So basically non-readers are super maniacal and basically just criminally insane according to this book…
Am I the only one who thinks it’s incredibly pretentious of this book to deem readers as the great saviours of humanity and damns non-readers?
Like I get it. I’m a reader, everyone who reads this book is a reader…but do we have to be so smug about it? It just annoyed me.
This book just wasn’t for me. And now I feel so disheartened that I’m not sure I want to go back and pick up The Frozen Sea…. ugh if only I had stayed reading that in blissful ignorance.