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Worldweavers: Gift of the Unmage Hardcover – March 13, 2007

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

They say there's no heavier burden than great potential, and Thea is weighted down. The seventh child of two seventh children, she has been watched from near and far for signs of magical greatness, but, alas, none have appeared. Her perpetually disappointed father finally brings her to a place where she meets Grandma Spider, who shows her that she has the ability to weave dreams and stories and a new life for herself. But Thea, who has subjugated her powers to thwart enemies, now finds that they won't take no for an answer. The book, which is the first in the Worldweavers trilogy, is itself divided into three parts: before, during, and after Thea's spirit quest. Alexander does an exquisite job of showing Thea's growth, her ability to maintain her own counsel, and her boldness. Although the languid pacing in the middle is appropriate to the action, it does drag the story a bit. But once Thea is at Wandless Academy for the magically challenged, she faces a barrage of experiences, many terrifying. Readers will look forward to finding out how Thea saves her world. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"An excellent start to a new series with a fascinating premise." -- Realms of Fantasy

"Entertainingly different, engagingly familiar." -- Locus

"Readers will find the inscrutible Thea remarkable." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for SPELLSPAM:"An incredibly enjoyable tale that blends reality, legend, and magic in one of the freshest fantasy narratives this year." -- KLIATT (starred review)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Series: Worldweavers (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st edition (March 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060839554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060839550
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,818,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"I have a wonderful occupation; I dream for a living." Alma Alexander
----- ------ ----- ----- -----

Alma Alexander, the 'Duchess of Fantasy,' was born on the banks of an ancient river in a country which no longer exists. When she was ten, her family left Europe and moved to Africa. Since then she has lived in several countries on four continents and now lives in America with a husband she met on the Internet

She has written three million words in more than 20 books and one of her novels, "The Secrets of Jin-shei," has been published around the world in 14 languages. The heroine of her popular Young Adult Worldweavers series is as American as Harry Potter is British. The first book in another young adult series about a shape-shifting Were family will be published shortly.

When asked what she would be if she weren't a writer, she quotes Ursula LeGuin's answer to that question: "Dead."

Alma is a punaholic and a chronic worrier, one of those people who proves that real pessimists are truly born and not made. She is owned by a cat. She was born on the fifth day of July (the day after America), six years before man walked on the moon, which makes her a cancer according to the Western horoscope and a water rabbit according to the Chinese one.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Thea is a double seventh--a seventh child of two seventh children--and so, as soon as she is born, great things are expected of her. Everyone waits anxiously for her sure-to-be powerful magic to reveal itself.

And waits. And waits.

She disappoints everyone with her lack of the magic almost everyone in her world has, even those who can't show it, like her parents. However, in a last-ditch attempt to find Thea's power, her father sends her to another world, where her teacher, Chevyo, helps her to discover her own abilities.

Back home, however, Thea attends the Wandless Academy, where those hopeless cases are sent to be isolated from magic. There, her strange powers that Chevyo helped her find in the other world come in surprisingly handy when she and a few friends, thought to be talentless and useless by much of their society, are called upon to save their world.

GIFT OF THE UNMAGE was a good book, really, but at times I felt like it had a lot of potential to be even better, so I was a little disappointed. It's still worth the read for those who are looking for this sort of fantasy, however, and I will be looking forward to Ms. Alexander's next books.

Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Hill on February 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was a perfect mixture of Madeline L'Engle's a Wrinkle In Time, old native american folklore, with some Hogwarts academy thrown in. Thea is the main character of the book and she wonderfully portrays a young woman who is unsure of herself in society and at home. This book made me think and I loved it!!! A part of me related whole heartedly with Thea, I too doubted my place at home and in society when I was her age. I too had to (and still do) ask why?, to every thing and anything. I will warn you that this book isn't a light read, but if you are looking for a book that is going to make you feel good and make you think about life (or your supposed life path is) then this is the book for you.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Toot on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Gift of the Unmage" is the first book in a YA trilogy aimed at an audience that wants more from fantasy than a standard kids-defeat-evil theme. What sets this book over and above other YA books in the genre (a certain boy wizard comes to mind) is the inner conflict. Thea is a real teen, with real doubts, uncertainties, and questions about herself and the situations she faces. The enemies aren't all externalized Bad Guys Out To Destroy The World; there are inner demons that must be faced as well. Anyone who has gone through the teenage years, or is going through them, will instantly recognize the confusion and turmoil that goes along with being human.

And that is ultimately the best part of the book: Thea is human. She doesn't always do the right thing, and she faces the consequences of her actions when through the best of intentions she makes a wrong choice. Again, unlike the boy wizard books where everyone is the same at the end of the books as they were at the beginning, Thea changes, grows, and learns from her mistakes.

If I had a complaint, it is that the book is not long enough. There are numerous plot threads, external and internal, and at the end I was wishing for another couple hundred pages to watch the playful weaving move towards the upcoming major conflict. I'm sure that is what will happen in Book 2, but it is going to be difficult to wait for Book 2 to hit the shelves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MelHay on August 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Thea is 14 years old. She's the seventh child of two seventh children, which means she is to be very powerful. Thea wants to go to the best magical University when she gets older. But, there is one thing holding her back...she doesn't have the magical touch, at all. She's not able to perform any magical projects. She feels she's letting her parents down. They have tried everything they can to help Thea find her magical nitch. Now, there is only one thing left to try and her father will call in a huge favor to try it.

In her eavesdropping Thea knows her parents have plans for her and if these plans with some private lessons don't work, she will be sent to that place next year. That place is The Wandless Academy, where non-magical children go to school. Non-magical children and schools are the minority and she feels she will become nothing in a magical world without magical powers.

This is a world where magic exists in a big way, and in many different specialities and levels. If you don't have magic, you don't amount to much of anything here, or as Thea feels. There is a big world starting to be created here with endless magical possibilities; from our traditional telepathy between family members to traditional magic with music or shepherd mages and different levels of mages. We even have portals to travel to different places and through time.

This young adult read is not one for lots of violence or intimacy of boyfriend/girlfriend, but what I did enjoy from it was the American Indian mythology usage. This was a great mythology to set with this world. Alma relates the things Thea learns my using the beliefs to the current time and place Thea lives in.
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