Avis Blackthorn is not an evil wizard

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Avis Blackthorn is not an evil Wizard!

Last Free on: 2nd Mar 18
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...Children and readers of the fantasy genre might well enjoy it. ...

Twelve-year-old Avis Blackthorn is the white wizard sheep in a black magic family. Finally able to go to magic school away from the family, he hopes to make a fresh start, only to find his past follows him – along with the dark lord his family serves.

The Harry Potter comparison is inevitable, but despite superficial simularities, it is simply part of the magical school genre, like Jill Murphy’s Worst Witch series and others. The main character may be twelve, but the humour (with a lot of toilet jokes) is aimed at readers who are far younger. Evil is defined as throwing a trifle over his sister at a party, although as the book progresses, events take a darker turn.

There are some nice ideas: Work ghosts and Riptide, a game which is closer to gaelic football on a holodeck than to Quidditch, are both charmingly original. The problem, sadly is the writing. By p33 it got to the point where I was struggling because of the english.

Spelling and Grammar errors are rather too common; so common I stopped counting by p30. There is an odd glitch where several apostrophes have spaces in front of them. Others are used to make plurals. “Upstaging” and “showing up” are not the same thing, and nor are “there”, “they’re” and “their”. I’m not sure whether Magisteer is a made up title or the author could not spell Magister. A proof-checker could turn this into a good children’s story. At the moment it is average, which is a shame because it is a nice concept.

If you stick with it, the twists and turns of the plot reveal a well-written story with a number of twists some of which I did not see coming. By page 100 I was hooked.

The toilet humour and spelling mistakes might put some readers off, and it has an exceptionally slow start, but the plot is intriguing, the world-building well done, and the characters develop and grow throughout the book. I’m giving it a three, but children and readers of the fantasy genre might well enjoy it.

Rating: 3
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Discussion

jessica (13 March 2017)
You didn't mention just how many toilet jokes there were enough! ;)

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