Review: The Wizards of Once, Cressida Cowell

March 10, 2019 Reviews 5 ★★★★½

Review: The Wizards of Once, Cressida CowellThe Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell
Series: The Wizards of Once #1
Published by Hodder Children's Books on October 3, 2017
Genres: Children's Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 455
Source: Library
Amazon • Amazon UK • Book Depository • Bookworld

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure ...

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn't, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he's got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn't realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring ...

Cressida Cowell might be best known for her plentiful How To Train Your Dragon series, but this new series is well worth a read. It may be classed as a children’s book, but if you’re the sort of person (of any age) who likes dark, mysterious stories, full of magic and danger, then you’ll almost certainly enjoy this book.

The Warriors and the Wizards have fought over the forest for many years. But something is stirring deep in the forest, and Xar, son of the Great Encanzo the Enchanter, is keen to find out if it’s a witch. Witches are supposed to be extinct, but Xar’s not so sure.

Wish is the young princess of the Warriors, a un-warrior-like as can be. She asks questions, is curious to find things out, and never thinks of how much her mother, the stern Queen Sychorax, isn’t going to like it until it’s too late.

What adventures might these two unlikely heroes get up to? Plenty of them, that’s what. This story is a delight from start to finish, creepy at times, beautifully melancholy at others. There are quirky illustrations all the way through. I loved it to bits, but it should also suit middle-grade readers from about 9 and up.

Book two in this series, Twice Magic, was released during last year.

If you’re into audiobooks, you might be interested to know that the British audio version is read by David Tennant. I’m told it’s brilliant.

Anni lives in Brisbane, Australia with her young family. She loves everything fantasy and science fiction and believes sleep is really very underrated.

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