Minor Mage

paperback, 174 pages

English language

Published July 29, 2019 by Argyll Productions.

ISBN:
978-1-61450-500-6
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4 stars (7 reviews)

Oliver was a very minor mage. His familiar reminded him of this several times a day.

He only knew three spells, and one of them was to control his allergy to armadillo dander. His attempts to summon elementals resulted in nosebleeds, and there is nothing more embarrassing than having your elemental leave the circle to get you a tissue, pat you comfortingly, and then disappear in a puff of magic. The armadillo had about wet himself laughing.

He was a very minor mage.

Unfortunately, he was all they had.

1 edition

New to Vernon / Kingfisher, but everything I've read so far is great

5 stars

I know Ursula Vernon has a lot of stories under her belt, but until I read Jackalope Wives (LeVar Burton Reads) I hadn't read anything of hers. Then I read A Wizard's Guide To Defensive Baking which I'm going to go back and rate because I can't get it out of my head.

In that one (and Minor Mage) there's this recurring theme of Children having to do things because adults in their lives failed them. I don't mean in the usual kid lit way. I mean in Minor Mage, the protagonist sets off for a quest he was already going to go on because an angry mob forced him out of town. He's 12. Maybe I just need to read more Middle Grade, but it feels like T. Kingfisher forever amazes me

By turns melancholy and creepy, with a dash of sarcastic armadillo

No rating

Minor Mage is firmly in the "kid goes on scary quest and comes back stronger" genre. The 12-year-old protagonist is cast out to complete a nigh-impossible quest alone (aside from his armadillo familiar), facing ghouls and starvation and bandits and ghosts and murderers. He's a wizard, yes, but he's barely half-trained and only knows a handful of spells (though his herbal lore is pretty strong). Like the young heroes of A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking and Illuminations, he has to learn how to make the most of his limited abilities in order to survive -- only this story takes place not in a city but mostly in wilderness an abandoned farmlands.

From an adult perspective, Oliver's constant lamenting that he's "only a minor mage" starts to grate after a while. But that's not the perspective it's written for: it's a kids' book, and operates on kids' fantasy logic. …

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