Thursday, September 29, 2016

Book Review: The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers

Title: The Voyage to Magical North
Author: Claire Fayers
Series: The Accidental Pirates #1
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Adventure
Length: 320 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborn is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter. 

When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship The Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks in the pirates' quest to find Magical North, a place so shrouded in secrets and myth that most people don't even think it exists. If Brine is lucky, she may find out who her parents are. And if she's unlucky, everyone on the ship will be eaten by sea monsters. It could really go either way. 

My Thoughts: 
Brine Seaborne doesn't know where she came from. She was found drifting at sea as a baby with nothing but a starshell. Starshell accumulates magic and is used by wizards which is why she was given to Tallis Magus, the wizard of Minutes. She is allergic to magic though so she cleans his house while his apprentice, Peter, learns magic. When Brine learns that she is to be sold off to be a maid in someone else's household and Peter is to marry, they both run away, taking a boat out onto the sea where they are snatched up by a pirate ship. Adventure ensues as they are caught up in a scheme to find Magical North where treasure awaits. 

The Voyage to Magical North is a fun, imaginative, and adventurous read. Who can resist 'accidental pirates', the promise of enormous sea creatures, and lots of magic? Another big plus, there's a library island completely run by women! 

The characters are all loveable and worthwhile and I especially loved the dynamics between Brine and Peter's friendship. I loved that the pirates had rather normal names and were all around good chaps that helped Brine and Peter when it was needed. (Not all pirates need to be scurvy knaves ready to stick anyone in the back!) 

The magic and worldbuilding wasn't overwhelming while still being a huge part of the plot. The cluster of islands, the Onion, the library, and Magical North were fun to imagine. 

My only problem with this book is that I was reading during a slump and I felt like I couldn't fully appreciate for that reason. It is a great middle-grade read though and I think a lot of readers will enjoy it. 

My Rating: 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I love that synopsis! "It could really go either way." :) And Brine Seaborn- what a name. I like that they run off too t get out of their respective fates- it may be a timeworn trope but sounds like it works here. Plus pirates and a library island? Yes please!