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The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle Hardcover – May 25, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4–6—Prunella Bogthistle may have the name and chicken-foot-festooned braids of a bog-witch, but she can't cast curses or grow warts. To prove her witchy worth, she goes on a quest to find her infamous ancestor's long-lost grimoire, joining forces with Barnaby, a foppish Uplander with a mysterious past. On their travels, it becomes clear that what little magic there is in the Uplands is draining away. As Prunella and Barnaby try to discover the cause, they realize that good and evil can come packaged in deceptive forms—nasty bog-witches, malevolent wizards, and beautiful queens aren't always what they seem. Prunella's tetchy interactions and thrilling adventures with Barnaby are tinged with her unwillingness to admit to herself that she is, at heart, a kind, if occasionally contrary, bog-witch. A spectral horse, a lonely ghost, and numerous wary and prejudiced villagers add humor and danger to this magical adventure. If the denouement is a bit hurried, no matter; all ends are satisfactorily tied up. This colorful, fast-paced fantasy is recommended for fans of funny, fairy-tale-inspired stories.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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This colorful, fast-paced fantasy is recommended for fans of funny, fairy-tale-inspired stories. (School Library Journal)
Spunky characters and surprising plot twists will keep readers laughing and turning pages. (Kirkus Reviews)
This is a delightful coming-of-age story about two plucky misfits who elicit readers' chuckles with their escapades, while gently reminding us not to judge a person by appearances alone. (VOYA)
There is a nicely understated lesson here about adhering to your own principles, even when those you love would rather you didn't. (BCCB)
Top customer reviews
What I loved most about it, giving it 5 stars is that Deva Fagan is not the all too magical and mightily popular author you can easily see in bookstores. I don't even see her name in the local library. And I find her story and the way she tells it as interesting, and a breath of fresh air. I read the first chapter and that got me into buying this book, and when I was reading it I had the slightest "fear" that later on she'd let me down. Well, she didn't, and as I went along it kept getting better. It's written for a much younger audience but it definitely can work for an adult who'd like some bit of fun from light reading. Reading it gave me smiles all throughout and I found it to be relaxing even. And if this book can do this for me, then it has a mark of good authorship.
I'm keeping this for children who will one day grow up old enough to join in on the fun.
Barnaby plans to become famous by finding and returning the Mirable Chalice to the Uplander Queen. Prunella joins Barnaby on his quest. She is determined to find Esmeralda's (an infamous bog witch) book of magic. Prunella believes with Esmeralda's grimoire, she will be able to curse properly and be welcomed back home.
On their journey, Prunella and Barnaby find themselves helping Uplanders. Something is out of sorts in each town they pass. Many Uplanders are too sick to get out of bed. Prunella starts to do a few other things that make her question her bog witch ness.
"Now that we were well on our way, walking under a cloudless blue sky through the green meadows, Barnaby had regained his airy cheer. Perhaps a bit too much cheer.
"Do you always whistle?" I asked.
"What's wrong with whistling?"
What was wrong was that his silly little tune made my steps bounce as if I were trotting across billowing clouds. I felt ridiculous. Who ever heard of a bog witch skipping along past meadows full of daisies and cornflowers? I forced my feet into a more appropriate stalking gait."
Prunella isn't bothered by dirt, instead of a hair clip she has a chicken bone. Barnaby does his best to stay clean and loves a good suit. The two are an odd couple playing off of each other very well.
From the beginning its obvious Prunella's has not mastered her magic. Its funny watching her try.
"I tried to slow my hammering heart. I was not going to let myself get riled up by a straggly snot of a boy. "It was supposed to be boils not oils!"
"But if it makes you happy, you did ruin my favorite jacket. "But I'll take that over boils any day."
I loved Prunella she's a misunderstood bog witch who wants to be loved by her grandmother. Fagan's writing is well layered allowing for Prunella's vulnerability. Visually this is a very fun read. Prunella and Barnaby run away from a crocodile in the bottomlands. (the cover). On their misadventure the two discover what's really going on in the Uplands. Barnaby has a story of his own, and its connected to the happenings in the Uplands.
I've read a few books this year that lost me with the ending. Whenever that happens I feel cheated. If a novel is going to turn on me I'd rather it happen in the middle so I can put it down. The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle was the complete opposite of that. The first part was very good though Fagan seemed to give a little more for the second half. This looks to be the first book in a series ( fingers crossed)
The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle is an enchanting read that connects a fantasy world of magic to a the modern day world. There are lessons to be learned, but they are layered so far down that the reader will not realize the bigger picture until later. It is first and foremost, a story to entertain and it does just that. Deva Fagan has put her own twist on witches and it's quite imaginative and enjoyable. The plot twists and thickens and the ending is not entirely foreseeable. An alluring group of main and supporting characters along with fantasy elements and lots of fun adventures keep this book moving. I highly recommend it.