Antonia may not be the most powerful wizard the world has ever seen, but she's worked hard to win her place as apprentice to renowned sorcerer Master Betrys. Unfortunately, even her best dancing turnip charm might not be enough when Moppe the scullery maid turns out to be a magical prodigy. Now that Betrys has taken Moppe on as a second apprentice, Antonia's path to wizarding just got a bit more complicated.
But when Betrys is accused of treason, Antonia and Moppe are forced to go on the run. To prove their master's innocence--and their own--the rivals must become allies. As their island province teeters on the brink of rebellion, they'll face ancient spells, vengeful mermaids, enchanted turnips, voice-stealing forests, and one insatiable sea monster.
What I love most about RIVAL MAGIC are the themes. Antonia and Moppe demonstrate that every one has unique strengths and weaknesses. Someone being stronger than you in a specific realm doesn’t detract from your own strengths. It’s ok to feel jealous or uncertain as long as you can grow beyond that and not let it become toxic. Antonia struggles with this but comes to realize that teamwork will always be more powerful than individual effort when figuring out complex problems. No one person can do everything equally well.
Unfortunately, there were times I found the story to be a bit stale. It had so much potential to dive a little deeper in areas, especially in Moppe’s development.
Overall, RIVAL MAGIC was an enjoyable middle grade fantasy ideal for those who love a good witchy book with strong friendship themes.