So I am really trying to keep on top of my reviews because I think it’s an important part of not only this blog, but how I see myself as a reader. I read The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell in mid- December and I must admit, I loved it.
The Wizards of Once follows the delightfully dark and twisted tale of Wish and Xar, a warrior and a wizard from warring worlds. When magic is banned from the forest by the Warriors, the Wizards go in to hiding, but when the warrior princess finds something magical and the a Wizard without magic goes on an adventure to find his; their worlds collide in a fantastic and hilarious manner.
This is definitely a middle-grade novel and is perfect if you want to introduce your kids to slightly darker fantasy. By darker I don’t mean they will be having nightmares, but rather it covers some difficult topics and has some dark illustrations. But it is also great for adults who like to devour quick and engaging reads, with the illustrations really helping you fly through this book.
I did love the complexity of the characters, although this is a middle-grade novel and the general assumption is that the characters are going to reflect kids; this was completely different. There isn’t the typical 1-villain and a group of people wanting to defeat them, rather a complex and complete story with multiple ‘bad-guys’ individual stories and individual battles.
As I have read both How to Train you Dragon and The Wizards of Once I can definitely tell that they were illustrated by the same person, and these were done beautifully. They really added to the storyline, not just showing what is happening in the text. There are full page illustrations and consistent characters that appear throughout.
I highly recommend this read, whether for yourself or as a shared reading experience with your child. It does have wonderful representation of disability has Wish not only is partially blind but is completely missing her eye, throughout the novel it doesn’t ostracise her for it but rather incorporates it wonderfully.
Check it out!