Synopsis: Extraordinary things just don’t happen to fourteen-year-old Sydelle Mirabil, a talented weaver who dreams about life outside of her tiny village. But that all changes when a mysterious young wizard named Wayland North appears and asks for Sydelle’s help. He’s got a shocking secret that could stop a war between kingdoms-if he can reach the capital with the news in time. North needs a navigator who can mend his magical cloaks, and Sydelle is perfect for the job.
As Sydelle and North race against the clock to deliver their message, they must contend with unusually wild weather and a dark wizard who will do anything to stop them. But the sudden earthquakes and freak snowstorms may not be a coincidence. As Sydelle discovers more about North’s past and her own strange abilities, she realizes that the fate of the kingdom may rest in her fingertips.
Review: This is a graphic novel, adapted from a full-length, YA fantasy novel. It had to have been hard to whittle down, but it really works as a graphic novel. In fact, it’s beautiful and feels like a story made to be told with pictures. There are lush colors and Sydelle’s creations and dreams were some of my favorite things about this book.
The story is engaging and exciting as well. And I loved the characters of Sydelle and Wayland. This inspired, middle grade, fantasy combines magic and art in a wonderful way.
Synopsis: Lewis Carroll created a curious and fantastical world in his classic book Alice in Wonderland, but he secretly recorded the true story of his actual travels to Wonderland in four journals which have been lost to the world…until now.
Celia and Tyrus discover the legendary Lost Diaries of Wonderland and fall into a portal that pulls them into the same fantasy world as the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter. However, Wonderland has vastly changed. A darkness has settled over the land, and some creatures and characters that Tyrus remembers from the book have been transformed into angry monsters.
Celia and Tyrus make their way through this unpredictable and dangerous land, helped by familiar friends including the Cheshire Cat and a new character, Sylvan, a young rabbit. Together, they desperately work to solve puzzles and riddles, looking for a way out of Wonderland. But the danger increases when the Queen of Hearts begins hunting them. Believing the two young visitors hold the key to opening multiple portals to multiple worlds, she will stop at nothing to capture them.
It’s up to Celia and Tyrus to save Wonderland and the real world. It’s a race against time before they are trapped in Wonderland forever.
Review: Celia has dyslexia, and has a gift for numbers. Tyrus loves reading more than anything. They may seem like an odd pair, but their strengths and uniqueness makes them a great team – especially when they are suddenly pulled into Wonderland. Celia’s ancestor wrote about Wonderland, and it seems she had more in common with him than she ever knew.
The two children team up with a young rabbit to help stop whatever has been attacking the creatures of Wonderland. Along the way, they meet a lot of familiar characters who all seem a bit different than what they’ve read about.
The Lost Wonderland Diaries is the first in an inspired new fantasy series based on Lewis Carroll’s works. I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Alice in Wonderland, but the premise intrigued me. I’m so glad I went ahead and read it. It’s so much more than a world of silly characters. It’s a story about discovering who you are and being proud of it. Yet their adventure in Wonderland is still full of wonder, puzzles, danger, and mystery. Fairy tale fans of all ages will enjoy this fantastic new novel.
Synopsis: Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails—and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.
But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.
But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective—while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.
Review: As a fan of the Iron Druid series, I jumped at the chance to read this new story. It’s set in the same world, yet follows Al, a man who creates magic via sigils (symbols written in special ink on paper). And he happens to have a unique curse that prevents him from speaking aloud to anyone that he doesn’t want to eventually hate him. Plus, all of his apprentices have died in seemingly accidental ways.
Ink & Sigil is the first in a new and exciting, spin-off, fantasy series. It’s action-packed, funny, irreverent, and thrilling. With colorful characters and an intriguing plot, this mystery was thoroughly enjoyable. The highlights for me were the wise-cracking and mischievous hobgoblin and the suspenseful and complex plot involving the trafficking of Fae creatures. The novel was written with a lot of Scottish dialect/spelling, but that only added to the richness of the story. I look forward to the next in this fantastic new series.