Magic Month: The Best Read of February

This month, although my reading time was limited, I discovered I read with an unplanned theme: magic. Shadow Magic by Patricia Wrede and Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine. One was a fantasy novel by someone I consider the queen of world-building, the other a how-to book for young readers containing instruction exercises, and encouragement for writing their own fantasy stories. I enjoyed both.

However, the title Best Read of February goes to Patricia Wrede for Shadow Magic. It’s hard to beat “experiencing” a magical realm. Shadow Magic is a story that explores the disunity of the races in a magical realm and what it takes to unite them and use their magic for the common good.

Many may be familiar with Wrede’s recent young adult titles—The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, The Sorcery and Cecilia books she wrote with Caroline Stevermer and, more recently, The Thirteenth Child. However, before hitting it big in the world of YA literature, she was already an established fantasy novelist.

Among those in the science fiction/fantasy writing world she is gratefully known for the extensive list of world building questions she shares on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Website.

And so, although I only read two books this month, you get a double dose of fantasy writing help. Check out Wrede’s questions and Levine’s book. Then curl up in a comfy chair to enjoy Shadow Magic and see those fantasy writing principals in action.


2 thoughts on “Magic Month: The Best Read of February

  1. I love both those books. It seems anything by Patricia Wrede is going to be enjoyable. I am currently reading another magic/ fantasy that is an example of building a world – Flight of the Dragon Kyn by Susan Fletcher. I am impressed with the world and characters she created. It doesn’t hurt that Susan Fletcher is an Oregon author too. (I like to support our local authors)
    Pat Knight


    1. I’ve read Susan’s dragon books and enjoyed them very much. I also loved her “Arabian Nights” novel. I can’t think of the title right now and I’m sick so I’ll have to hunt it down and post it another day. She used to come to the Silver Falls conference back when I first joined SCBWI Oregon.


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