Wandmaker

FeaturedHot
 
3.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
4938 0
Wandmaker
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 10, 2016
ISBN
978-0545861748
Buy This Book
      

Magic is real -- and it runs in the family -- in this charming fantasy adventure about a boy who must balance his magical education with the demands of big-brotherhood, perfect for fans of Jenny Nimmo and Angie Sage. Henry Leach the Eighth doesn't know it yet, but he's descended from a long line of wandmakers. That means he has inherited mysterious powers, a trunk full of strange artifacts... and a whole host of problems. His biggest problem at the moment, however, is his little sister, Brianna. She's always had a special talent for getting in his way. And she takes troublemaking to new heights when she's caught in the crossfire of Henry's first major spell! Heartfelt, funny, and imaginative, Wandmaker is sure to leave young readers spellbound.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Wandbearers and Wands
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Aiming for the magically inclined, this Middle Grade urban fantasy feels like the start of a series while standing well on its own.

Wandmaker is told in third-person from multiple viewpoints, though readers spend the majority of time in the head of the primary young protagonist: Henry Leach. Henry is the 7th son of a 7th son—and from the get-go is clearly a catalyst to the larger story arc. He is kind-natured and ambitious, but largely clueless as to what he’s getting himself into. (Some may appreciate the resulting learn-as-he-goes approach taken with the storytelling.) The vocabulary usage is strong, and the subtle south-eastern Native American elements (more prominent in the 2nd half) add a unique angle of approach.

What I Liked:

The most robust part of this tale was, by far, the intricacies paid to the creation of wands—including the personalizing and variations thereof. The author initially gained notoriety with the 2006 release of The Wandmaker’s Guidebook, an interactive book and wand-assembly kit. Wandmaker seems to present as an inventive effort to back the existing guidebook with lore.

Another plus to this story was the growth of the brother/sister relationship. The progress that Henry and his younger sister make, in both a familial and complementary sense, is significant and well developed. (Which is quite the relief, as readers may spend the first third of this book wanting to throw Brianna out a window.)

What Didn’t Work For Me:

As one might guess by the cover, it’s difficult not to compare this book to Harry Potter. Although, the feel of it is closer to Fablehaven meets the American version of Harry Potter--minus the wizarding school and a large majority of the world-within-a-world. (An extra-special boy with no idea of his chosen-one status, annoying younger sister sidekick, evil magical overlord with a heinous plan, spells that go terribly wrong out of user-ignorance, etc.) Instead you get a crotchety old man in a castle, who loosely heads up a group that adamantly refers to themselves as “Wandbearers” rather than wizards.
Harry Potter IS mentioned by name and its author alluded to by the characters within this book, but primarily with the intent of emphasizing all that existing pop-culture got “wrong” about magic.

Henry Leach isn’t an orphan, though for the vast majority of this book his parents are basically a non-factor. Despite the fact that they both have been involved in the magical side of their reality, they’ve more or less left Henry to figure some distressingly dangerous things out all on his own. Initially I thought there must be a reason for this trial-by-fire parenting style, but near the end when some attempt was made by Henry’s mother to assure him she’d done the best she could, I couldn’t find the explanations for familial non-disclosure at all satisfying.

Side Note: Unfortunately, it truly chaffed at me to see yet another example of albinism being used as the prominent trait of a one-dimensional villain. The albino mutation is portrayed negatively enough in literature and pop-culture (in this reader’s opinion).

On the whole, a serviceable option for those insatiable light fantasy fans.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0
An awesome story of good vs evil
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Wandmaker is an adventure packed book filled with family, friends and magic. After several attempts to get his wand to work Henry writes a letter to Coralis the author of his guidebook, unknowingly setting off a series of events that will change his life forever. Henry comes from two great lines of Wandbarers and he himself has great magic within him. Told in alternate points of views this is a story so brilliantly woven together, you would swear the author has a bit of magic himself.

What I loved:
This novel is told from multiple points of view, and while in some stories this is hard to follow, Ed makes it work really well. We don't get lost or confused. Not to mention getting inside the heads of all the different characters, Henry especially, is something I am huge fan of. While I feel the story focused more on Henry, his budding powers, and his relationships, there was still a good balance for those looking for a bit more action. Henry and Brianna's relationship was among my favorites to see developed. We see them going from normal sibling rivalry to working as a team. The bond between them growing even stronger and is something I will be very excited to see in later books. Coralis Henry's mentor and the author of the guide book, is a crotchety old man who will make you laugh with his bizarre cursing (children appropriate), and his lack of knowledge about the world. His relationship with Henry is something I really enjoyed. His duty to protect the world brought him out of seclusion, but his relationship with Henry and the love they share makes him continue to stay.

What left me wanting more:
The questions left me wanting more. What can Henry do? Just how powerful is he? I would like to see what Brianna can do as well. And what are the different levels of Wandbarers?

Final Verdict:
The fast paced movement of the novel, all the while giving us adequate character development, and beautiful family/friend relationships is definitely just part of the reason I would recommend this to young readers who love fantasy, magic and family bonds. This story had a bit of everything from giant squirrels, to a bird who carries a backpack that will make even the non-readers jump on board with this story.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Mall
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Members of the secret mermaid community have learned to trust...

Latest Member Reviews

 
5.0
"This was an adventure from start to finish. I love Polly and her determination to not give up. Gorgeous setting..."
The Slug Queen Chronicles
 
5.0
"When Cricket finds out that the dust she's seen her whole life has magical properties and her late mother could..."
Welcome to Chanu-Con!
 
5.0
"An adorable children's story about an important subject. The story: Max and Lila are celebrating..."
The Crystal of Gaea. Aki and the Spheres of Time #5
 
5.0
"Aki and Lilith are off on another exciting adventure, this time to the world of Ancient Greek mythology. This..."
The Crystal of Gaea. Aki and the Spheres of Time #5
 
5.0
"Another amazing adventure of Aki on the Parallel Crystal"
La Petite Josette en Provence: Going to Les Baux-de-Provence (Voyage aux Baux-de-Provence)
 
4.2
"'La Petite Josette En Provence' by Ashley Davidson-Fisher, illustrated by Martinique Louise Fisher, who so happens to be the author's..."
Cloud of Witnesses
 
4.4
"The Lifters Dave Eggers, Alfred A. Knopf, 2018 Is magic enough to fix the morass of Middle America? Are..."
Ranch Hero
 
4.8
"This story deals with loss, which is usually a very sensitive and difficult subject, in an uplifting and entertaining way..."
The Black and White Ball
 
5.0
"This is a delightful story about a very vain peacock who sets about ensuring he is the most beautiful creature..."
 
5.0
"Good book for middle school kids- a true snapshot of the struggle to fit in the middle school social scene..."
The Crystal of Rea Silvia. Aki and the Spheres of Time #4
 
5.0
"The book was just simply great! Surprises, twists and stuffs! Well I just loved Aki and his amazing adventures!..."
The Crystal of Rea Silvia. Aki and the Spheres of Time #4
 
5.0
"This exciting fourth adventure begins with Aki learning about a startling family secret and having to choose between telling the..."
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
 
4.5
"'Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13' by Barbara Roman, illustrated by Vladimir Cebu, is a sweet..."
Sal the Seagull Stole My Lunch
 
4.2
"This one is a lot of fun. Joe and Mary are getting ready to have a picnic at..."
 
4.8
"As a mother and tutor for young children, I highly recommend this novel to add to your children's book shelves...."
The Year Santa Stubbed His Toe
 
4.0
"Santa has always been there to deliver gifts to the good boys and girls around the world, but this year,..."
Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13
 
N/A
"Have you ever noticed how people are like light bulbs? They come in many sizes and shapes, varying in their..."
Felipe Femur
 
5.0
"While this book in occupied by a cast of monsters, it is far from scary. It is also not solely..."
The Crystal Of Atum. Aki and the Spheres of Time #3
 
5.0
"I am so pleased by The Crystal of Atum. I love Aki and the Spheres of Time series. This book..."
The Crystal Of Atum. Aki and the Spheres of Time #3
 
4.8
"This is Aki’s third trip with the Sphere of Time. As usual, he ends up nowhere near the spot where..."