In The Greatest Magician (The Magicians The Prequel) Elena Paige has crafted a magical and mysterious world into which Jack Roberts, a preteen and the story’s protagonist, is thrust. Jack is forced by his family to attend a magician’s convention, one which his father doesn’t even enjoy visiting. To top it all off, Jack isn’t even magical. Instead, his mother and sister intend to give the impression of his being capable of more than just a few clever card tricks. Reluctantly, he agrees to go. Upon his arrival, a young girl, a thief, captures his attention so much so that he decides to leave his father alone. Thus, setting Jack on a day-long adventure. Through his persistence and the help of allies he didn’t even know he had, he learns a great deal about his abilities while uncovering a deeply held family secret.
While fans of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Charlie Bones Series, or the Ashtown Burials, would most certainly enjoy this book, The Greatest Magician stands on its own in originality. Writing for an audience of middle-grade readers, Elena Paige establishes rules for the world of magic that are relatively simple with definite limitations. In a genuinely imaginative and, dare I say magical way, the reader learns how these rules function through Jack’s various encounters and observations with multiple characters, both good and bad, throughout the story. In a mostly plot-driven story, Jack eventually faces the ultimate showdown and must learn to rely on his wits and bumblings with magic to overcome the bad guys.
Reviewed by Timothy R. Baldwin for Readers’ Favorite.
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