Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit

Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit
Age Range
Release Date
May 14, 2024
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In misty Shelwich, magic rises and falls with the tides, everyone is born with a magical gift, and people have started to . . . disappear.

Rumor has it they are snatched by monsters, but Ista Flit doesn't want to believe it. Not when her own father is missing. As she scours the city, searching for clues, a notorious thief finds her. Ista has a rare talent: she's a face-changer, able to take on the appearance of anyone she's seen, and Alexo could use a girl with her skill. Ista could use Alexo's help in her search--if only she could trust him.

As more people disappear from the city, Ista finds unexpected allies in Nat and Ruby, each searching for their own missing loved ones. These three determined kids will need to use all the Tidemagic they can summon, infiltrate the city's highest elite circles, and dive into its lowest caverns, in order to find how thieves, monsters, and the missing are all connected.

Editor review

1 review
The Tide is turning
Overall rating
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What worked:
It seems like characters who can change their physical appearances are usually bad guys but Ista breaks that mold. The Tide is the source of magic and all of the characters, except for Nat, have abilities. It’s expected in this society. Ista is at the mercy of a notorious thief, Alexo, so readers will root for her as she tries to reacquire her missing father’s last possession. Ista feels there must be a little bit of good inside of Alexo but readers may doubt that. Their relationship is not mutually beneficial as readers will sense Alexo can’t be trusted. The uncertainty of their relationship creates an interesting conflict to follow. However, Ista never suspects what Alexo is really up to.
An unexpected mystery is introduced when Ista crosses paths with Nat. Nat’s mother is a newspaper reporter and her magical talent is getting hunches that are never wrong. She suspects someone is controlling the grilks that are being blamed for disappearances across the city, possibly including Ista’s own father. The grilks are so feared that citizens are afraid to even say that word out loud. No one has ever escaped a grilk encounter before but Ista has now done it twice. Ista and her friends follow leads, investigate suspects, and are still stumped by confusing evidence. The victims of the grilk attacks must have something in common, but what? The author manages to conceal the truth for much of the story and even then, surprising twists and turns await.
The Tide sometimes feels like more than a natural occurrence depending on the setting. Its power comes and goes each day much like the tides found in large bodies of water. There are times during the story when Ista must feel for the magic or moments when the Tide is upset that she’s using it. The author artfully describes this relationship and the narrative as evidenced by this sentence later in the book. “The Tide was rising, its magic nosing at Ista like a puppy seeking attention…” Besides displaying the appearances of others, Ista can manifest their magical powers. The Tide doesn’t like her doing this and she can’t use the abilities for long.
What didn’t work as well:
There are many moving parts to the plot that some young readers might not appreciate. However, most readers will like the uncertainty and creative writing of the story.
The final verdict:
The author has crafted an imaginative, suspenseful adventure that will captivate young readers. Ista’s determination to locate her father and the other missing citizens makes her character admirable and appealing. I highly recommend you give this book a shot.
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