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Magic's Child (Magic Or Madness) Hardcover – March 22, 2007

10 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Magic or Madness Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–As the concluding volume of this trilogy opens, Reason Cansino is fifteen years old, pregnant, and magic. In the world that Larbalestier has created, magic users have a choice–to use it and die young, or not to use it and go mad. However, at the conclusion of the previous volume, Magic Lessons (Penguin, 2006), Reason was given a different, more powerful type of magic. Her new abilities begin to change her and her unborn child, drawing her deeper into the world of magic and farther from her friends and family. Reason and her soon to-be-born child both have aspects of the title magic's child, adding complexity to the book's themes of identity, choice, and power. Fans of the first two volumes will be glad to rejoin Reason and her friends in New York City and in Australia, though new readers may be confused by references to past events. Reason is a sympathetic and conflicted protagonist, and her struggles are fully realized and compelling. This is a strong conclusion to a compelling trilogy, and the epilogue offers a suitable twist and perhaps a chance to rejoin Reason in the future.–Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Previously in the Magic or Madness trilogy, a godlike ancestor has made 15-year-old Reason immune to magic's double-edged sword (use it and face early death, or abstain and go "bat-shit crazy"). However, plenty of other dilemmas keep her occupied in this, the series finale. Pregnant and rejected by the baby's father, Reason faces concerns about the future and untrustworthy elders who covet her new powers. Throughout, magic emerges as a potent emblem of personal identity, as Reason and friends Jay-Tee and Tom, each speaking in turn, express joy in their abilities and horror at losing them, like "being all three-dimensional and colorful and waking up 2-D and gray." In the end, the story doesn't quite hang together, hampered by too many incidental scenes and rehashings of the series' central conflicts. However, the inventive premise and amiable teen characters, whose immediate language brings everything down to earth ("How the hell do you tell someone that you're magic?"), give reason to hope for more from Larbalestier as her storytelling powers mature. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Series: Magic Or Madness
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (March 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595140646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595140647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am an Australian-American writer. My latest novel is Razorhurst, which takes place on a winter's day in 1932 when Dymphna Campbell, a gangster's moll, and Kelpie, a street urchin who can see ghosts, meet over the dead body of Dymphna's latest lover, Jimmy Palmer. The three of them tip the balance in a bloody underworld power struggle. Razorhurst publishes in the USA in March 2015.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Australian author Justine Larbalestier's first novel, Magic or Madness, challenged Reason - that is, to say, a teenage girl named Reason who spent her life with her cheery mother, until her lovely mother went a little mad. Reason realized that the stories her mom told her were true. Magic exists, and it runs through the veins of all of the women in her family. Either they use it and die young or they repress it and go mad.

Her grandmother, who is depicted as a villain in all of her mother's stories, takes Reason in when she has no other place to go. Reason then meets her gran's neighbor, a boy her own age, and Jay-Tee, who lives in New York - which magically appears outside of her grandmother's door. The story continued in Magic Lessons, when the stakes were raised and the powers of the main characters tested.

Now the final chapter in the Magic or Madness trilogy is here: Magic's Child. The title itself is a huge spoiler, obviously. I recommend that you read the trilogy in the proper order for the ultimate impact.

Each character gets his or her moment in the spotlight here as the story bounces back and forth between locations and viewpoints. I enjoyed Reason's travels around the world, confirming the presence of other doors and introducing her to another generation of magic-users. (Can you say spinoff?) I found myself liking Jay-Tee more and more as the story progressed. Even Sarafina has a memorable scene in which she creates butterflies. Such a childlike innocence about her then, making her greedy demeanor and evil actions only a short while later all the more scary.

Magic's Child pushes Reason's sanity and strength to the brink. Will she go past the point of no return? Has she any reason to stick around? Find out by reading the book, then share the magic of Reason's world and Larbalestier's writing with other fantasy fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
At the start of this wonderful conclusion to a great fantasy trilogy, Reason Cansino is a lot of things most fifteen year olds aren't. She's magic. She's pregnant. And she may or may not be entirely human.

In this continuation of Reason's story, she is falling more and more deeply into the strange, ancient, and inhuman power given to her by Raul Cansino. She is becoming more and more scarily powerful--but she's giving up her humanity (and maybe that of her unborn child) for that power. She won't die young like so many magic-wielders who use their powers unwisely, and neither will she go crazy and end up in the loony-bin with her mother.

But is giving up her humanity worth it?

MAGIC'S CHILD is strictly a continuation of an already begun story. It is not a story within itself, really, and, as such, should only be picked up by those who have read the first two parts of the trilogy (Magic or Madness (Magic or Madness Trilogy) and Magic Lessons (Magic or Madness Trilogy)). If you haven't read those, well, they're highly recommended, as well!

Justine Larbalestier's third installment in the MAGIC OR MADNESS trilogy is a good conclusion to the story, one that will have readers racing through it as fast as possible. It was a little bit open-ended for my taste, but not in a terrible cliffhanger way. It was either a less than fabulous last chapter or a fabulous way to leave the door open for another book set in this universe; who knows? Either way, the characters, dialogue, and style of MAGIC'S CHILD are all great, it's well worth reading, and I'm looking forward to reading more from Justine Larbalestier.

Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Tinkham on August 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a great way to end te series. A tantalizing taste of what magic could be like if it existed. 5 stars, and this authour is awesome. I will read anything else she comes out with.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the first book and was expecting something exciting. I enjoyed the series but sometimes her wordy descriptions of scenes really annoyed me.

If you don't mind authors that describe scenes to the minute details and take two or three pages to describe a room you would probably love this series. Personally if there is an action or something happening I want to continue the pace and not slow down by having the description of someone's face or how they are feeling with specific details which really tell you nothing of what is going on.

This is certainly a series which I will not read a second time and will be selling the books back or donating them. If you find it at your local library I suggest you check it out but save your money to buy other titles like Oracles of Delphi Keep, The Host, The Ranger's Apprentice's Series, The Brotherhood Band Series, The Magician's Trilogy, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Fablehaven series, I am Number Four Series or any number of other series which may appeal to young readers.
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By Runa VINE VOICE on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I really did like the title of the thrilling conclusion to the trilogy. I really did, as usual with this series by Larbalestier, enjoy the writing and interaction between the characters. I think the most interesting aspect of this comes up with a really frank and open discussion regarding the connection between religion and magic. I loved that Larbalestier was able to fairly show two differing opinions through her characters without sounding preachy or carrying a bias. One bone I do have to pick was the changing points of view. I am usually a fan of this if done well, but really, that bothered me a bit in this book. I don't think it fit in well with the rest of the novel. The final face off was fantastically well done, and really, I don't think I've ever read a book series that would translate so well to film. I hope one day this happens. All in all, it's a slow-paced read, but in a comfortable way, and the ending totally justifies all the preceding events.

Rating: 4/5
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