Good afternoon, or is it evening? I’m not sure exactly when we transition from one to the next… I missed Six for Sunday last week as I was not very organised and didn’t get the post written before I disappeared off to spend Easter with a friend (she’s my extended family so all within the rules) I’m delighted with the overarching theme Steph has picked for this month as Viper – and the next two books that make up the Isles Of Storm And Sorrow trilogy – just happens to be one of my favourite books!
I paused for a moment when I saw this prompt deciding the best way to tackle it; whether to take the more literal way and talk about books containing magic, or books that I found magical. I decided on the former although there is some crossover! For one I’m focusing on books I’ve read, rather than those on my TBR!
Everdark by Abi Elphinstone
It is midnight in Crackledawn – a midnight full of magic. Sea dragons stir in the depths of the ocean, silver whales surface beneath the moon and sand goblins line the shores. Everyone is waiting for the phoenix, the guardian of the kingdom’s magic, to rise up from the forests of Everdark.
But there is no sign of the phoenix tonight. Something else surges up out of Everdark instead: a harpy bent on stealing Crackledawn’s magic.
It is up to an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge and an eccentric monkey called Bartholomew to set sail beyond the legendary Northswirl and stop the harpy before it’s too late.
So, grab your compass and roll down your sail – the first adventure in THE UNMAPPED CHRONICLES is about to begin…
I could have picked any of the books from this series by Abi Elphinstone. Everdark, Rumblestar, and Jungledrop all feature magic, and I’m sure The Crackledawn Dragon will too when that is released in June but I’m going with the short story where it all began. I adored Smudge and her sarcastic sidekick Bartholomew was a delight to read! Highly recommended to all!
The Last Chance Hotel by Nicki Thornton
Seth is a kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel. His father has long ago left, leaving him imprisoned until he is old enough to set out on his own. If there’s any hope he has, it’s to be the greatest chef that ever lived… just like his father.
One night, a band of magicians begin to arrive to participate in a secret meeting — a Prospect Selection Procedure to determine the most talented magicians in the world, judged by their leader Dr. Thallonius. Seth has one task: to make Dr. Thallonius the greatest dessert he’s ever tasted. Then, maybe he will help Seth find a way to freedom.
But when the doors to the private meeting open, and Dr. Thallonius lay dead on the floor, the group blames the dessert, which means that it’s Seth who will pay the price. But Seth knows he’s innocent, and only has so much time to eliminate each suspect and prove his innocence.
Another first book in a middle grade series featuring magic! I really enjoyed this one as it combined magic with one of my favourite things, an excellent mystery to solve! Magic continues to play an important part in the second story in the series, The Bad Luck Lighthouse and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the third, The Cut-Throat Cafe!
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L. D. Lapinski
Pack your suitcase for a magical adventure! Perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The Train to Impossible Places.
At the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, each suitcase transports you to a different world. All you have to do is step inside . . .
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds of other worlds just steps away from ours. All you have to do to visit them is jump into the right suitcase. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime: join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds.
But, unknown to Flick, the world at the very centre of it all, a city called Five Lights, is in danger. Buildings and even streets are mysteriously disappearing. Once Flick realizes what’s happening she must race against time, travelling through unchartered worlds, seeking a way to fix Five Lights before it collapses into nothingness — and takes our world with it.
This is one of those books that is absolutely magical as well as being full of magic! Flick and Jonathan are both absolutely wonderful characters and I so enjoyed exploring some different worlds with them! If only it was as easy as opening a suitcase and hopping through to visit somewhere else! We’re now literally days away from the sequel being released and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly By Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.
But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.
While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.
Isabel Sterling’s delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven–and any chance she has with the new girl–is destroyed.
Set in Salem this book combines romance, magic and mystery into what became a really interesting book. I won’t lie it was a little bit of a slow start for me but the plot really kicked into gear and ended up capturing my attention. I have the sequel in my towering TBR pile too!
Viper by Bex Hogan
Marianne has been training to be the Viper for her entire life – to serve and protect the King and the citizens of The Twelve Isles – but to become the Viper and protect the islands she loves she must find the strength to defeat her father. A new fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas.
He will make me a killer.
Or he will have me killed.
That is my destiny.
Seventeen-year-old Marianne is fated to one day become the Viper, defender of the Twelve Isles.
But the reigning Viper stands in her way. Corrupt and merciless, he prowls the seas in his warship, killing with impunity, leaving only pain and suffering in his wake.
He’s the most dangerous man on the ocean . . . and he is Marianne’s father.
She was born to protect the islands. But can she fight for them if it means losing her family, her home, the boy she loves – and perhaps even her life?
A brave heroine. An impossible dilemma. An epic new fantasy trilogy set on the high seas.
How could I not include a book from this trilogy in this prompt?! Arguably Venom would have been a better pick as that is where the magical aspect of the story really begins to move front and centre but all three books in the Isles Of Storm Of Sorrow trilogy are both full of magic and absolutely magical! It truly is one of my favourite series of all time, no matter how much Bex breaks my heart throughout!
Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
I’m rounding off this story with an adult read! I stumbled across this series completely accidentally, I had some Audible credits to use up and this was recommended to me, I absolutely loved it! Ben Aaronovitch combines a crime fiction story with magic, I thought Peter Grant was a really interesting character and I have developed a proper soft spot for DCI Nightingale! I’m actually a couple of books behind in this series now and need to catch up so I know what I’ll be using some of my Audible credits on! The audiobooks really are particularly enjoyable to listen to, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith really brings the characters and the plot to life.
They were my #SixforSunday! If you’ve taken part leave a link to your post below and I’ll be sure to check it out!