Book Review: The Lost Magician

Title: The Lost Magician

Written by: Piers Torday

Cover illustrated by: Ben Mantle

Published by: Quercus

The Lost Magician

The Lost Magician is an exciting and unique quest that has significant parallels to C S Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe. The story is set in 1945 just after the Blitz in London. Two brothers and two sisters, Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry Hastings are sent to stay with their aunt, Professor Diana Kelly, who lives in Barfield Hall, a large house in the countryside. The book opens with an omniscient narrator who talks directly to the reader, explaining why the children have been evacuated and how they discover the mysterious library hidden in the attic. The reader is then swept along on a phenomenal adventure written from all four children’s point of view.

Larry is the first to venture into the library and the magical world of Folio where he meets a fairy knight called Tom Thumb riding on the back of a butterfly. In true CS Lewis style his brother and sisters will not believe the library exists. Until Eve the more scientific of the children discovers the entrance for herself but where Larry went to the land of the Reads, Eve goes to the non-fiction world of the Unreads which is ruled by the notorious Jana, Secretary of the Unreads whose mission is to rid the world of fiction.

The desire for knowledge and the free-will of imagination are pitted against each other in the epic battle scenes between the reads, un-reads and Never-reads in an eternal battle. The children’s only hope is to search for the magician who created the library but he has been lost for centuries.

This novel highlights why a good range of diverse books are essential throughout the world and demonstrates the importance of libraries to society and the need for more good librarians.

The Lost Magician is a celebration of the importance of reading.

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