The Magician’s Workshop (volume one) by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

The Magician's Workshop

Review

I chose The Magician’s Workshop after reading the synopsis from the pitch letter which suggested an intriguing concept.

A thumbs up for the short introduction to the world of O’Ceea. The authors give the readers a glimpse of their dream.

The story follows a relaxed pace; the language targetted at modern day teens. A fantasy reader of any level will be able to follow the book. I can’t say I am a big fan of the narrative developed in the entire book (I am not getting any younger), but some scenes were outstanding. Layauna’s conflict with her family, the forest scenes with Kai and  ‘banana’ sequences are some of my favorite scenes.

The world is interesting but not as unique as I thought it would be. Not yet.

The characters are likable. My favorite is Layauna. However, as I was growing appreciation for her, trying to get into her mind and understanding her, the story shifted to an entirely different set of characters.

After Layauna’s chapters, the story tone changed from serious to friendly banter between young magicians with minor conflicts. Those scenes give us an excellent idea of the characters, their eccentricities, and their individual specializations.

The magic system of creating projection reminds me of the conjuration and illusion school of magic from World of Warcraft. The authors describe the magic well with imagery and feel.

The Magician’s Workshop felt like a quest of collecting raw materials for a magnificent creation, but it remained in the collective stage. I have to read the next one to know if the end product is as fantastic as it promises to be. I love fantasy and prefer books that have a complete story, even if there is an indication of a sequel. 232 pages from my ARC left me wondering where I am standing with the characters and what the main storyline is.

My recommendation

Bohostars

I offer The Magician’s Workshop 3.5 bohostars with the hope for a stronger sequel. Going to check out the next one to find out what happens with my Layauna. If you are a young fantasy lover, this is your book. If you are an adult who enjoys middle-grade or YA level literature and seeks some magic in them, this is your book. Just keep in mind the note below.

Note: The authors advise us to read the volume one and two at one go, so we can enjoy a complete unraveling of the plot. I have received an ARC for the first volume, and my review is solely based on that book alone.

Synopsis

Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence.

Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop. Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might be of tremendous value. Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as an evil influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making Extraordinary promises about his future. Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

The creators of The Magician’s Workshop

Christopher Hansen

The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

J.R. Fehr

When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child, he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic
in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

Details

Author: Christopher Hansen & J.R. Fehr
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Coming of Age
ISBN: 978-1-945353-11-6
Length: 247 pages
Publisher: Wonder tale
Published Date: November 8, 2016
Website: http://oceea.com
Contact: thewondertale@gmail.com

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So what say you?