Tag Archives: magician

Review: Black Diamond

Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske and Eveliina Tommola is a YA fantasy about Shannon McLean, a 12-year-old girl who moves in with her magician father and is immersed in a demon-infested battle.

Her Father Lives in a Musty Manor House
Her Father Lives in a Musty Manor House

Three weeks after her mother passes away, a heartbroken Shannon leaves Boston and moves to London to live with a father she doesn’t remember. Connor McLean lives in a musty manor house and is aloof, mysterious, and a bit terrifying to his cheeky daughter.

The servants are either cringing like scared rabbits or lost in a thrall-like state. The strangest thing of all is that everyone has curious tattoos on their wrists, and the inked images move. Contrasting these hideous things is discovering she has a twin brother named Ian. Separated soon after they were born, Ian lived his whole life in this huge house with a father who has slowly descended into evil. Ian also has an unbelievable revelation for his sister. The twins are powerful witches, and they must combine their power and save their father from the demon that is slowly devouring Connor. The worst of all is that the demon infection is Shannon’s fault.

Servants Are Cringing Like Scared Rabbits
Servants Are Cringing Like Scared Rabbits

Black Diamond is a satisfying story about a couple of likable kids caught up in their parent’s dark magical past. Jennifer Loiske uses a deft hand in weaving a plot laced with unexpected twists and a shivery mood.

Gentle Readers who enjoy a story centered on a determined young lady with a sturdy sense of right and wrong, but is smart enough to listen to the wiser counsel of her brother, would like Black Diamond. This dark adventure is no diamond in the rough, but rather is a polished sparkling gem of a gothic fantasy.

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Ice Devils

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the land of Clockpunk Wizard today, with an excerpt from Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Mountain Pass to Fearsome Valley
Mountain Pass to Fearsome Valley

Wizard Kadmeion, his assistant Sir Bright, and the wizard’s cynanthrope familiar Furgo have flown their airship to floating Wager Island. They now journey by horseback over a mountain pass to Lady Luck’s home. They must take this difficult path because workers are repairing the Lady’s airship dock.

They must cross the glacier-filled Fearsome Valley. The wizard says that if they are lucky, they will not meet the unpleasant residents called Ice Devils. The mountain path has narrowed, and the travelers must walk their horses single file. They go around a curve. Before them stretches Fearsome Valley. And unfortunately, they have a welcoming committee.

An odd glint caught Bright’s eye. He turned his head and froze.

An Ice Devil stood on the snow. Bright’s imagination had been too kind. This dazzling horror was almost four feet tall and bristled with icicles. The creature radiated nastiness and sucked joy from the air. The only good news was that the creature stood twenty feet away from the path.

“Kadmeion? Are you sure Ice Devils can’t leave the snow?”

“I am sure. Maybe it won’t follow us.”

They Journey by Horseback Over a Mountain Pass to Lady Luck's Home
They Journey by Horseback Over a Mountain Pass to Lady Luck’s Home

Not to be. The Ice Devil skittered across the glacier’s surface, and then froze. Bright saw no eyes in the part of the creature that resembled a head, but the narfleet was positive it had no difficulty tracking their movements. They rounded a bend. A rockfall blocked the trail. Ten Ice Devils waited at the snow line.

“Can you blast the fall away with magic, Kadmeion?”

The wizard examined the heap of dirt and rocks. Kadmeion shook his head.

“Could you elevate the largest rocks so we can get by?” Bright asked. “The entire slide doesn’t need moving, only enough so we can get over it.”

“I can do that, but it will be difficult.”

(Old Bony Blue Eyes excerpt Copyright 2013 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)

Read more in Chapter 1

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Guild Matters Sye: Midwinter Festival for Enchanters

The Guild Matters Sye book whispers the arcane secrets of the Magic Workers and Merchant guilds. This is the third of three stories about Sye’s Midwinter Festival.

Previously:

Ghosts of Former Enchanters Enter the Five Schools During the Midwinter Festival
Ghosts of Former Enchanters Enter the Five Schools During the Midwinter Festival

The Enchanter magicians in the Enchanters of Sye world celebrate Midwinter Festival by allowing the ghosts of former Enchanters to enter the five Schools of Magic. The ten Grandmasters adjust the Schools’ foundation spells to coincide with the Priests’ spell weaving at Soul’s Midnight. This coordination keeps Sye’s fundamental magic in balance.

The visiting ghosts are confined to the common areas of the schools. The living and dead Enchanters exchange stories and magical wisdom during the three days of Midwinter Festival. Sye’s ghosts are intellectual beings devoid of emotion, and the quality of the ghosts’ memories have many variables. The living Enchanters plan for months what they will discuss with certain ghosts. Sometimes this preparedness is for naught if a ghost does not visit during the Midwinter Festival.

Enchanters Share Loving Dreams During Their Midwinter Festival Slumbers
Enchanters Share Loving Dreams During Their Midwinter Festival Slumbers

During the three nights while the ghosts roam the schools, even the Enchanters who normally sleep alone find bed partners. They retreat into their private rooms where the ghosts cannot go.

Whether bedding other Enchanters or their favored Consents, the most powerful magicians in Sye weave spells to share loving dreams during their Midwinter Festival slumbers. Their emotional and physical intimacy during these three nights stave off the madness that would otherwise result from commingling with the ghosts.

Read more about the Enchanters of Sye world:

Guild Matters Sye: Midwinter Festival for Church Magicians

The Guild Matters Sye book whispers the arcane secrets of the Magic Workers and Merchant guilds. This is the second of three stories about Sye’s Midwinter Festival.

Previously: Midwinter Festival for Secular Magicians

Sciomancers Put Candles on the Tombs in the Burial Yards
Sciomancers Put Candles on the Tombs in the Burial Yards

Sciomancers in the Enchanters of Sye world honor the wandering dead during the three-day Midwinter Festival. These Church magicians visit every tomb in the Burial Yards and catacombs during the weeks before the Midwinter Festival.

The Sciomancers leave unlit candles in sheltered niches on the doors of the dead’s homes. They also recite traditional prayers to prepare the tomb for its ghost.

Unlike the window candles that secular magicians use, Church candles do not burn Enchanter essence. They are traditional paraffin candles protected by containers that hold Church magic. The Sciomancers leave charms in the candle niches to link the candles magically.

Sciomancers Visit All the Tombs in the Autumn Months
Sciomancers Visit All the Tombs in the Autumn Months

At Soul’s Midnight of the first morning of Midwinter Festival, the town’s Priest leads his Sciomancers in weaving one of the Church’s foundation spells. This magic lights all the linked candles in the Burial Yards. During the Midwinter Festival, the wandering ghosts will seek out the lighted tombs and catacombs instead of visiting the houses of the living. The Priests stop the illumination spells at Soul’s Midnight of the fourth morning.

Next time: Midwinter Festival for Enchanters

Read more about the Enchanters of Sye world:

Guild Matters Sye: Midwinter Festival for Secular Magicians

The Guild Matters Sye book whispers the arcane secrets of the Magic Workers and Merchant guilds. This is the first of three stories about Sye’s Midwinter Festival.

A Secular Magic Worker's Home Decorated for Midwinter Festival
A Secular Magic Worker’s Home Decorated for Midwinter Festival

The Midwinter Festival in the Enchanters of Sye world is held on the three darkest days of the year, when the sun shuns the northern sky. The yearlong snow fields of the mountain passes creep down the slopes and claim all but the low coastal towns and arid desert in the continent’s interior.

Almost all of Sye’s mountain dwellers abandon the heights during winter and join their family and friends in the more hospitable coastal towns. They begin this journey in late autumn because the ghosts walk during the three darkest days of winter. Without the proper magical preparations, ghosts can drive the living mad.

Small Light Charms Fueled With Enchanter Essence
Small Light Charms Fueled With Enchanter Essence

Sye’s living denizens adorn the windowsills and the outside of their homes with small charms that shed light fueled with essence. Because the dead do not care for the Enchanters’ magical essence, the ghosts avoid the magical glows.

The living decorates the inside of their homes during Midwinter Festival with rich colors, sweet-scented pine branches, and musical charms that play soft tinkling melodies. The secular magicians gather friends and family for feasts on all three Midwinter Festival nights.

Next time: Midwinter Festival for Church Magicians

Read stories from the Enchanters of Sye world:

Review: My Wizard Buddy

My Wizard Buddy by Brian Wu and Scott Spotson is a middle grades fantasy about 11-year-old Tyler Dunsmore and his adventures with a magic-wielding youngster wizard.

Magic-wielding youngster wizard
Magic-wielding youngster wizard

Life just isn’t fair for young Tyler. His insufferable older sister is possessive of her electronic tablet–a treasure that has the hottest video game around. She uses the tablet to send stupid text messages to her friends, and Tyler’s parents scream at him to give it back. He is sulking outside when Dirk, an odd-talking lad, introduces himself and wants to be best friends. What is so odd about the new boy? First of all, Dirk announces that he is from another planet. A disbelieving Tyler scoffs. Then Dirk disappears. Literally. A moment later, Dirk pops back into view, and Tyler is a believer.

The Odd-Talking Lad is a Boy Wizard
The Odd-Talking Lad is a Boy Wizard

What follows is a fun romp filled with young boy adventures that only a like-minded little wizard can deliver. My Wizard Buddy is a charmer of a young YA fantasy story. Reminiscent of Ray Bradbury’s “boy adventure” stories, but much lighter in tone and set with modern-day props.

Tyler is a well-drawn, believable little boy who just loves video games. Dirk is a lonely kid who shows great restraint in using his incredible magical powers.

My Wizard Buddy is a kid’s cool world for sure, plus it makes the adult reader smile. Remember those childhood days when having a magic-wielding best friend would have been the finest thing ever? That childhood dream-come-true world is in My Wizard Buddy.

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Mermaid in a Bubble Trouble

Following a string of floating water globes called The Water Pearls
Following a string of floating water globes called The Water Pearls

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the land of Clockpunk Wizard today, with an excerpt from Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Wizard Kadmeion, Sir Bright, and the three fairies are on their airship and following a string of floating water globes called The Water Pearls to Sir Death’s island at the edge of their plate-shaped ocean world. A mermaid has taken a ride inside a large Water Pearl. Her globe has tangled in the airship’s rigging. Bright has just rescued their three fairies from the mermaid’s glamour spell. She is ravenous for magic, and tried to eat the fey-folk. Kadmeion has just climbed up to join them on the cabin roof. The mermaid tries her spell again, but this time focuses it on the young, magic-rich wizard.

Izlyesende kissed the squeezed spot in apology. Bright’s ear tingled from the fairy’s magic.
Izlyesende kissed the squeezed spot in apology. Bright’s ear tingled from the fairy’s magic.

Bright felt the itch of the mermaid’s renewed attraction spell. Izlyesende gasped, pinched the narfleet’s ear, and then relaxed when Bright’s natural glamour resistance protected the three fairies. Izlyesende kissed the squeezed spot in apology. Bright’s ear tingled from the fairy’s magic.

“Stop it, Madam Mermaid,” Kadmeion said. “Your trick will not work on me.”

Her glamour spell trickled away. This mermaid was a colorless, almost translucent being. She turned around once in her bubble, tried unsuccessfully to push her Water Pearl away from its mooring to the cabin roof, then curled into a waiting stance.

“Will you hold my hand, Sir Wizard?”

“You would surely bite me if I allowed that.”

“Will you hold my hand, Sir Wizard?”
“Will you hold my hand, Sir Wizard?”

“Mer has poor magical fare,” she said.

“Is that why mermaids savage wizards who fall into the sea?”

“Magic too long denied has made us greedy.” She brushed away her floating cloud of white hair and gave it an impatient glance.

If you want to woo her cooperation, Kadmeion, try a spell to play with her hair, Bright mind spoke.

Bright’s suggestion earned him a glance and a nod from the wizard. Kadmeion turned back to the fussing mermaid and sang this spell.

“Lovely mermaid encased in Water Pearl,
You grace my airship with hair unfurled.
Beautiful silver tresses
Replace land-lady’s dresses.
Your hair now obeys me. Undulate. Curl.”

The wizard made her locks sway and swim to his whim.
The wizard made her locks sway and swim to his whim.

Kadmeion lifted his hand and made a delicate swirling motion. The mermaid’s long hair lifted away from her face and mimicked the motion of the wizard’s hand.

He made her locks sway and swim to his whim. Kadmeion first twirled the long strands around her slim waist, and then spun them atop her head in a confectionary arrangement of braids and sparkling magical bits. By the time he finished the spell, the mermaid’s eyes glowed with pleasure.

(Old Bony Blue Eyes excerpt Copyright 2013 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)

Read Chapter 1 of Old Bony Blue Eyes for FREE

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