So I’m catching up on some book reviews I’m doing for fun and I’ve decided to start with this book! The Wizards of Once is by Cressida Cowell. The same author of How to Train Your Dragon, and if you loved that I’m sure you’ll love this one as well!
So for me what I loved most about the book was the world building! I could absolutely picture the woods and castle that Xar and Wish lived in. I really enjoyed reading about the different cultures, although I was upset at the Warrior peeps for destroying these woods 😦 I could definitely tell that something was up when Xar was not able to use magic and Wish had this dancing/moving spoon. I kinda guessed the ending sort of. So I will write it here, if you don’t want any spoiler, don’t look!! So I guessed that perhaps Wish was magic and Xar just really wasn’t. And dang was I right! The rest of it, didn’t guess but I think that would be pretty hard to do lol. So I’m glad that it wasn’t super predictable.
Xar really acted like a crazy kid that has a bunch of wound up energy and you just can’t figure out. Wish acted like a responsible child that wants to be an adult, but ultimately needs the love and support of others. Their personalities clashed and that made a lot of the book fun! I will also say that Xar’s bird guardian was fun as well as the warrior bodyguard for Wish. They both didn’t want their charges to get into any trouble, yet stuck with them to the very end no matter what was happening. I hope that Wish can change her people’s minds about magic and the Wizards and they can come together to fight the Witches. Cuz dang do those things look/feel ugly and flipping terrifying even though they’re only in a book.
Some sadder parts had to deal with the parents of this book. Wish’s mom came across as really cruel and cold. I’m unsure how Wish grew to have a conscience due to this mom. I’m kinda hoping she disappears in the next book, because Wish does not deserve that mom! Xar’s dad was really oddball but also had a big disappointment complex with him. Both families had this theme of the children not growing up to what the parent wanted them to and how it disappoints them.
I think it’s a really great middle grade story and pretty much anyone who has the reading level skill to read it will understand what’s going on. Middle grade isn’t for every adult, but if you love these types of whimsical and cute but also slightly scary stories then you will love this! There honestly wasn’t much that I rolled my eyes at in my head. I was pleasantly surprised by the book and happy to go on this journey! I give it a 4.5/5 (minus a half point due to predictability!).
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