A BITTER MAGIC by Roderick Townley

A BITTER MAGIC

Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

After Cisley's mother disappears into the shards of a black mirror during her illusion act, the 12-year-old must discover her own powers to learn whether her mother is alive and how to find her.

Cisley lives with cold and mercenary Uncle Asa in the Crystal Castle, a maze of ever changing glass and mirrors that trap and confuse Cisley. Friendless, fatherless, and largely having been ignored by her beautiful and talented mother, lonely Cisley has only her pet lobster, Elwyn, as a companion until she meets Cole, a boy from the village. As she becomes acquainted with Cole, she also becomes aware of her uncle’s unjust treatment of the Roma who also live nearby. Cisley's mother has left a clue to her return: the scent of a pure black rose. As Uncle Asa, lacking true magic and fiercely envious of his sister's magical abilities, frantically works in his lab to create this essence, Cisley fears for her life. The twists and turns of the plot and some dangling ends slow the pace, which speeds up considerably in the gruesome and melodramatic climax as the castle shatters, leaving shard-impaled dead bodies strewn about. Equally abrupt is the happily-ever-after ending that quickly follows this darkness, but this comes as a welcome release after the moodiness of the book.

Plenty of magic, a touch of romance, an appealing heroine, and a talking lobster lighten Townley's tale of deadly sibling jealousy. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-449-81649-3
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015




MORE BY RODERICK TOWNLEY

ChildrenTHE DOOR IN THE FOREST by Roderick Townley
by Roderick Townley
ChildrenTHE BLUE SHOE by Roderick Townley
by Roderick Townley
ChildrenTHE RED THREAD by Roderick Townley
by Roderick Townley
ChildrenTHE CONSTELLATION OF SYLVIE by Roderick Townley
by Roderick Townley

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenBORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown
by Teri Brown
ChildrenTHE BOOK OF STORMS by Ruth Hatfield
by Ruth Hatfield
ChildrenGRAYLING'S SONG by Karen Cushman
by Karen Cushman
ChildrenTHE BOOK OF KINGS by Cynthia Voigt
by Cynthia Voigt