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The Threads of Magic Hardcover – April 13, 2021

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Readers will immediately settle comfortably into this deftly written high-adventure fantasy. When Pip, described as a "thieving young man with black hair, short scrawny legs and weasel eyes," pickpockets a Royal of Clarel, he finds himself with a silver box that holds a bewitched human heart. His sister El is wary of the magical object, but Pip can't seem to part with it. He becomes the target of royal assassins, witches, and specters-all of whom will stop at nothing to get the heart back. The omniscient narrator gives readers a bird's-eye view of the many-threaded plot and the multitude of players woven into it: Pip; El; the blonde Princess Georgette; Oni, a witch with curly, closely cropped hair, and her mother Amina; several kings; a few assassins, shape-shifters, and a host of others. At times, keeping the characters straight becomes cumbersome, and exactly how the magical heart will benefit those seeking it is not clear until more than three-quarters of the way through. However, the theme that power without love must be defeated drives the story. And it's a fun world to be in. The close buildings, cobblestones, and mucky streets of Clarel bring the Victorian gothic mood of Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors and Glooms to mind, while the worldbuilding and adventure will be enjoyed by Cornelia Funke fans. VERDICT A great selection for voracious readers who aren't yet ready for YA.-Hillary Perelyubskiy, Los Angeles P.L.α(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


When he acquires a silver box containing a mysterious shriveled heart, an orphan boy suddenly finds his life in peril...A fascinating, fantastical cast of characters with competing interests and motivations adds richness to this suspenseful tale of unexpected alliances...Sinister assassins, ghoulish Specters, and feisty witches make this a rousing read.
—Kirkus Reviews

Readers will immediately settle comfortably into this deftly written high-adventure fantasy... the theme that power without love must be defeated drives the story. And it’s a fun world to be in. The close buildings, cobblestones, and mucky streets of Clarel bring the Victorian gothic mood of Laura Amy Schlitz’s Splendors and Glooms to mind, while the worldbuilding and adventure will be enjoyed by Cornelia Funke fans.
—School Library Journal

Croggon’s interesting world spans a variety of perspectives that add tension and insight at integral moments. The premise and the power-squabbling between the Specters, maneuvering with and against each other, are intriguing, but the distinct characters and a vein of humor that ensures the story never takes itself too seriously are really where this novel shines. Australian author Croggon, author of The Books of Pellinor series, delivers another great story targeted toward a younger audience in this new page turner.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

. . . Croggon (the Books of Pellinor series) subverts genre expectations and offers up multiple perspectives—both heroic and villainous—to weave a complicated tapestry of magic and sacrifice.
—Publishers Weekly

There are shadowy assassins to dodge, mysterious Specters to stop, and rips in the fabric of reality to mend, but Pip and El have a host of unlikely allies in their corner, including a wayward princess and a coven of underground witches. It’s a beautifully crafted story. . . The young protagonists are easy to befriend, acting believably bewildered, bothered, or brave in turn, and the villains are deliciously menacing. Fantasy fans will feel right at home in this magical, marvelous world.

Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick (April 13, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1536207195
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536207194
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 4 - 7
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 23 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
23 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
By Belle’s Middle Grade on February 28, 2021
This was a dark, thrilling read! I’d say definitely upper MG. We have royals, witches, Spectres who eat souls, & a heart trapped in a stone.. just to name a few things lol Pip & his sister El are orphans. He is also a pickpocket. 1 night he steals what he thinks is a treasure, in a very fancy expensive looking silver casket. What he finds is a stone that looks like a heart. Stranger, it seems to be trying to communicate w/him. The evil people who lost it will stop at nothing to get it back. Pip has unknowingly broken an ancient spell, & it will have consequences. An ancient war b/n the Spectres & the witches reignites, & the heart wants revenge for all it has suffered. There are a lot more characters than this in the book, & it’s amazing how they are all connected by the same thing. How all the ones that are on “goods” side, have to come together to beat this evil. The author weaving all of that together was just brilliant. I saw some reviews that didn’t like how some of the characters were annoying. Well they’re kids, & kids tend to annoy me sometimes lol If they were written like perfect well mannered kids(one a spoiled prince, one a over confident princess, & one who is easily scared & has asthma) then I would have liked the story less. The characters that have their annoying moments, have them b/c of the kids they are. It’s exactly how they would be. This was dark, atmospheric, creepy, suspenseful, & full of danger. Also, full of a ragtag bunch of a found family of sorts lol & full of so much hope. Doing what’s right. Righting wrongs. Highly recommend. Love this beautiful cover by Matt Saunders too!💜
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