The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic: Book 2 Hardcover – 20 September 2018
The Wizards of Once was my BOTM on launch last year, going on to win the Blue Peter Award. In the sequel, Wish and Xar must work together once more. A brilliantly realised fantasy adventure and an absolute delight. ― The Bookseller
This sequel is just as exciting as the first instalment and just as thrilling, gorgeously written and illustrated....Cressida Cowell's writing is so warm; it just flows like a runaway train. There's real friendship here and some deep truths about family dynamics. ― Book Trust
Cressida Cowell writes exceptional fantasy novels, full of atmosphere, and this is another great story. Wonderful illustrations by the author are key to the story and work really well to keep children's attention, as well as setting the scene. ― Parents in Touch
Cressida Cowell's writing is so warm; it just flows like a runaway train. There's real friendship here and some deep truths about family dynamics. ― BookTrust
Also back is dragon-mistress Cressida Cowell. Twice Magic (Hodder £12.99) is the sequel to last year's The Wizards of Once, and masterfully picks up this series' tale of the errant son and daughter of two opposing clans, the Wizards (who loathe iron) and the Warriors (who despise magic), who are in turn besieged by the massing forces of the seriously unpleasant Kingwitch ― The Guardian
Dragon-wrangler Cressida Cowell came back strong too. The second instalment of her new universe, Twice Magic (Hachette), found her misfit young Wizard and her magically misfiring Warrior princess striving to unite their enemy tribes against a clear and present danger: the malevolent Kingwitch, so horrible you can smell him on the page. ― The Guardian
Dragon-wrangler Cressida Cowell came back strong too. The second instalment of her new universe, Twice Magic (Hachette), found her misfit young Wizard and her magically misfiring Warrior princess striving to unite their enemy tribes against a clear and present danger: the malevolent Kingwitch, so horrible you can smell him on the page. ― The Guardian Books of the Year
Cressida Cowell's writing is so warm; it just flows like a runaway train. ― Book Trust
Magic and high-octane action ― The Daily Mail
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- Publisher : Hodder Children's Books (20 September 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1444941402
- ISBN-13 : 978-1444941401
- Reading age : 9 - 11 years
- Item Weight : 642 g
- Dimensions : 15.3 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #575,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Structurally, I did feel as though this novel had the same issue as the previous book. The first half of the story largely felt like filler. It separated both Xar and Wish once again, and took a surprising amount to time to bring them back together again. Yet, the novel did find its feet again in the second act and built to a climax that was very satisfying, if a little bit bittersweet in places.
While the themes that the novel presents can be very large - ranging from Wish's struggle with dyslexia to the difficulty in trying to unite people who have very different beliefs. Yet, the novel this time seemed to struggle to keep its focus. As with the previous instalment, the novel frequently bombarded the reader with new characters and concepts, flipping between one and the next without taking the time to develop them.
Yet, the book is sure to appeal to young and reluctant readers purely due to the fact it is so fast-paced and random. The tone of the novel is the perfect mix of creepy and humorous, and the accompanying illustrations do a great job of capturing the personality of the characters (even if they don't always exactly match what is described on page).
Yet, ultimately, as the story ended it did feel as though not a lot had been achieved. While the novel does end on a slight cliffhanger that did at least point Xar and Wish in the right direction for the sequel, it did not feel as though they were any closer to defeating the Kingwitch, curing Xar's witchstain in this novel or uniting the Warriors and Wizards.
In fact, even the characters did not get that much development this time around. Xar is still, largely, insufferable. He is arrogant and self-centred, usually acting in his own best interest. Although he does seem to change over the course of the climax, this largely comes out of left field and felt more like a sudden epiphany rather than character growth.
Wish, on the other hand, is still a wonderful character. The fact that Xar is so awful only serves to illustrate how brave and empathetic she is. I loved the scenes that focused on her learning how to use magic, and the delight that she felt as she discovered a way of learning that suited her. It was a shame that the adult characters could not share in her growth. Sychorax, in particular, seems to have taken a step back in this book and it annoyed me that she seems now to be portrayed in a far more negative light than Encanzo.
So, all in all, I was a bit disappointed by this one as I did not feel that it was as strong as The Wizards of Once. Hopefully, the story will pick up again in the third instalment.