The Lost Magician by Piers Torday

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The Lost Magician by Piers Torday

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Four children find a world where anything that can be imagined actually exists: a recipe for thrills and perils if ever there was one!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: September 2018
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781786540515

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In a world ravaged by the horrors of the Second World War, two boys and two girls move to the countryside to stay with a professor. They find a secret door and then a strange and enthralling world where they are needed, to play a major role in an epic battle. Sound familiar?

Well no, not exactly. Yes, it's a brilliant story, Yes, just like in Narnia the children have to struggle against evil and their own secret failings. And yes, the world though the door is full of amazing characters, drawn partly from well-known tales, and partly from Mr Torday's prodigious imagination. But this is 1945, and these are children who have just lived through the blitz in London. They are all, to some extent affected, even traumatised, by what they have seen, things no child should ever, ever have to experience, and this colours the way they react to Folio, the land beyond the door. Because Folio too is at war, and all the sadness, fear and misery they hoped to leave behind is right there once more before their eyes.

Apologies - this makes it sound gloomy, as descriptions of Piers Torday's plots can be, but it's not. He's a master story-teller who combines drama, imagination and even humour (the three bears, anyone?) in a wondrous hotch-potch where readers will find themselves identifying with now one, now another of the four young people, and it would be hard to put this book down at the end, having been both gripped and entertained, without at least an inkling of the different effects war has on the young. In fact, this story should be prescribed reading for all villains, despots, dictators and war-mongers: what kind of world do you think you're creating?

As in so many of the best books, there is a quest: the title kind of gives that away. But although there is a thoroughly satisfactory ending to this book, it is part of a series, so we can look forward to more breath-taking adventures. And read the last few The Lost Magician by Piers Tordays attentively: there's more going on than a simple adventure here, and in future volumes it looks as if it's going to involve more than just the world behind that magical door.

Piers Torday has written another excellent and award-winning series which fans of this book will want to check out. Start with The Last Wild, follow on with The Dark Wild then you'll find yourself racing through to the thrilling climax in The Wild Beyond. Exciting stuff, but scary too – and pretty convincing on what might happen if our environment is sacrificed to human greed. And once you've read that series, try There May Be a Castle which Bookbag also loved, and which, once again, contains Mr Torday's unique blend of thrills, comedy and fantastic (in both senses) story-telling.

And of course, if you haven't already read them, you simply must try The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis. Good and evil, magic, huge battles, talking animals . . . it's all there, just waiting for you to pick up the first volume and lose yourself in one of Britain's most famous stories.

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Buy The Lost Magician by Piers Torday at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Magician by Piers Torday at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Lost Magician by Piers Torday at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Magician by Piers Torday at


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