May 29, 2017

The Magician's Workshop: Volume 1

The Magician's Workshop: Volume 1

Christopher Hansen & J. R. Fehr

Image result for magician's workshop cover
*This book was gifted to me by the author. The below review is my honest opinion*

This was a pretty good start to a series, I just had a few minor problems but look forward to continuing eventually with Volume 2.

Goodreads blurb:

"Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world."

The world-building was truly masterful. Of all the different books we have about magic and colors and abilities, I felt like this was a different combination of all. There are mages and commoners, different colors and abilities. When a person turns a certain age, they can show test their projections for coins and go to get their color 'pulled' (if they have a color). The only problem I had with the world was that the colors weren't really explained. We know there are different colors (and usually characteristics that go with them since people say that's so orange of you etc.), but we don't really know what differentiates each. I'm hoping that this is more detailed in Volume 2.

The characters are great, I just felt like there were so many of them that it retracted from the storyline. The author's note in the beginning explains that they had so much fun creating so many different characters that they decided to keep all of them and just make different volumes. I feel like if each volume focused on a different character's story within the same world, this would have been fantastic. However, the book is about a normal length with little conclusion to the characters' plots because the book focused on introducing us to each of the characters. I feel like if the books were broken up between Kai's journey (with Jade, Weston, and Talia), Layauna's journey, Kaso's journey, and Kalaya's journey it would have made for better pacing as this book had little action between the different introductions.

Overall, I thought it was a good start.

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