Into the woods Xar and Wish go again; they have to every now and then….
In this action-packed magical sequel to The Wizards of Once (2017), Cowell returns readers to a fantasy world chock-full of wizards and warriors, distrust, and discord. Following the events of the first novel, Xar, the Enchanter’s son, finds himself imprisoned after a self-injection of Witchblood, an attempt to make his own magical powers manifest themselves. On the other side of the kingdom, Wish, the daughter of the Warrior Queen Sychorax, is locked in a magical cupboard, still being ignored by her mother. Desperate to recapture the Kingwitch and halt the infestation of witches in the kingdom, both teenagers break out of their respective prisons and join forces. The tale zips along, aided by the author’s humorous dialogue and the antics of returning characters, from Xar’s sprightly advisers to Wish’s beleaguered bodyguard, Bodkin, and her anthropomorphic Spoon. Magical mischief aside, this is a tale about parent-child relationships and the lengths to which the latter will go to gain the former’s respect. Xar’s and Wish’s parents love them but fail to recognize them as individuals coming into their own. This is a cautionary tale demonstrating the danger of not taking children seriously, and the parental blunders while trying to understand their children feel very real. Both children present white in Cowell’s scratchy, smudgy illustrations.
Readers will clamor for more. (Fantasy. 9-13)