Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Magic Systems

Top 5 Wednesday image

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey (Gingerreadslainey on Youtube) as a way for book reviewers and lovers to share their love of lists every Wednesday. Check out the Goodreads group.

  1. Grishaverse
  2. Shades of Magic
  3. Children of Blood and Bone
  4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  5. Old Kingdom

I know this was last week’s topic but since I couldn’t pass up highlighting my favorite magic systems. Not surprisingly these five coincide with some of my favorite series and fictional worlds. The magic systems in play have a lot to do with my love for these books and the intricacy the authors wove throughout is astounding.

What are your Top 5 Magic Systems? Did we pick any of the same?

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano

ADashofTroubleA Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano

Published by Walden Pond Press on January 2, 2018

Genres: Childrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy

Pages: 320 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.

Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake. 

Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.

And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?

Continue reading

Book Review: Clariel by Garth Nix

ClarielClariel by Garth Nix

Published by HarperCollins on October 14, 2014

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 382 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her – and it is herself she must question most of all.

Continue reading

Book Review: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

AkataWitchAkata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Published by Speak on July 11, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 349 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But just as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them against a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs? 

Continue reading

Middle Grade Minis: The Dark Prophecy & The Girl Who Drank The Moon

Reading back to back middle grade titles made a perfect fit for this mini review post. Check out my thoughts on The Dark Prophecy and The Girl Who Drank The Moon below!

TheDarkProphecyThe Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 2, 2017

Genres: Middle Grade, Childrens, Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology

Pages: 432 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

3.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Zeus has punished his son Apollo—god of the sun, music, archery, poetry, and more—by casting him down to earth in the form of a gawky, acne-covered sixteen-year-old mortal named Lester. The only way Apollo can reclaim his rightful place on Mount Olympus is by restoring several Oracles that have gone dark. What is affecting the Oracles, and how can Apollo do anything about them without his powers?

After experiencing a series of dangerous—and frankly, humiliating—trials at Camp Half-Blood, Apollo must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Fortunately, what he lacks in godly graces he’s gaining in new friendships—with heroes who will be very familiar to fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series. Come along for what promises to be a harrowing, hilarious, and haiku-filled ride. . . .

Is it possible to not enjoy a Rick Riordan book? The Dark Prophecy returns the reader to Apollo’s plight as the search for the second emperor begins. Making this book all the more wonderful was Leo Valdez and Calypso joining the journey. I’m also super thrilled we’re discovering more about Apollo’s past and pursuits. This second installment didn’t seem as cohesive as the first but there was plenty of humor to carry me along. Overall it wasn’t my favorite but still an incredibly enjoyable read.

GirlWhoDrankMoonThe Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Published by Algonquin Young Readers on August 9, 2016

Genres: Childrens, Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 388 Format: Hardcover Source: Gift

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

Kelly Barnhill created a delightful magic-filled read with such heart and The Girl Who Drank the Moon charmed me completely. The family dynamics in this one were so on point and I just want to hang out with Xan, Glerk, Fyrian, and Luna forever. Plus there were hidden emotional depths that left me with tears in my eyes. It did take me a while to get into this one but then I just couldn’t put it down. A truly sweet tale all around!

So have you read either of these titles? Do you enjoy picking up middle grade? Any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strangedreamerStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 28, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 533 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Continue reading

ARC Review: Magic & Mayhem by S. Usher Evans

MagicMayhemMagic & Mayhem by S. Usher Evans

Published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing on April 4, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 280 Format: eARC Source: Publisher

2.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

I acquired this ARC from the publisher for review purposes. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

At the start of her senior year of high school, Lexie Carrigan is focused on two things–getting into the college of her dreams and keeping her sisters safe. But when Gavon’s apprentice, James Riley, appears on the first day of school, all of Lexie’s well-laid plans of having a normal senior year go out the window.

Continue reading

Book Review: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

acolA Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Published by Tor Books on February 21, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 624 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Continue reading

Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

windwitchWindwitch by Susan Dennard

Published by Tor Teen on January 10, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 384 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Continue reading

Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

CrookedKingdomCrooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Published by Henry Holt and Co. on September 27, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Pages: 560 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

Continue reading