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The Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates) Hardcover – July 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—Brine has no recollection of her family or of why she was abandoned on a rowboat three years earlier, and at 12, she is unhappily cleaning house for the magician Magus. She and magic don't get along, however—she's allergic to it. She might as well be allergic to Magus's annoying apprentice, Peter, too. All that interests her are the books in her mentor's library. When Magus plans to give both children away to the richest man on the island, the kids take a boat and escape, only to end up in the path of notorious pirates who are not quite as terrible as legend tells. Brine and Peter quickly learn that it takes hard work to keep a ship afloat as well as the ins and outs of becoming (and staying) friends. The beautiful cover design reflects the charming adventure within; this multilayered fantasy handles a variety of themes, including the meaning of family, the ability of power to corrupt, and the importance of stories. VERDICT Upper elementary and younger middle grade fans of Lynne Jonell's The Sign of the Cat will be enchanted by Brine's high seas adventure.—Kerry Sutherland, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
"A robust debut, well stocked with heroic exploits, monsters, pirates, explosions, magical transformations, and life-changing adventures, and a promising series starter." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on The Voyage to Magical North
"Welsh author Claire Fayers buoys her seaworthy series debut The Voyage to Magical North with agreeably understated humor, over-the-top sea monsters and nuanced characters. This finely spun adventure is the very definition of swashbuckler, but also thoughtfully examines ideas of story, good vs. evil, instinct vs. rules and self-discovery. A treasure." ―Shelf Awareness, starred review, on The Voyage to Magical North
"The beautiful cover design reflects the charming adventure within; this multilayered fantasy handles a variety of themes, including the meaning of family, the ability of power to corrupt, and the importance of stories. Upper elementary and younger middle grade fans of Lynne Jonell’s The Sign of the Cat will be enchanted by Brine’s high seas adventure." ―School Library Journal, on The Voyage to Magical North
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is so imaginative and clever! Here are just a few things that happen: a character is eaten by a whale, another turns into a worm, penguin-like creatures attack the pirate ship, a magician transforms fish into carbon copies of the pirate ship's crew. . . all toward the end of not just finding the Magical North, but also toward the two main characters (Brine, an orphan who doesn't know her origins; and Peter, a magician apprentice) figuring out where they truly belong.
I am so glad this is a series, because so much can be done with it! And has, with this first book. This isn't just a "magical" story with smoke and mirrors - there are characters to love and root for, adventures on the high seas, and a few subtle lessons. Like a Simpsons episode, kids will love the book now, but when they get older they'll also find the different layers (which is appropriate, given that the name of the pirates' boat is The Onion).
The Voyage to Magical North is a fun, nonstop, pirate adventure that will appeal to both boys and girls. The main characters, Brine and Peter are relatable characters that grow emotionally over time, yet it doesn't seem forced. The other characters (you gotta love the pirate captain, Cassie O"Pia and the Onion's cook, Trudi) are quirky and delightful, and the story never disappoints.
When their master makes plans to marry off Peter and trade Brine to another merchant, Peter and Brine don't take it sitting down. But when their plans go awry, they end up running away and being captured by the renowned pirates of the ship named the Onion. But when a nefarious magician who was supposed to be dead turns up, very much not dead, they find themselves on a dangerous quest to find Magical North and treasures untold. And of course to stop the magician.
I cannot say enough good things about this book. The voice was lively and hilarious, and I was laughing through so much of it! And the villain! Oh, just the kind of villain I love who makes you question everything. Who really is the villain? And who really is the hero? I mean, I think I know, but do I? The story felt so full and brimming to life. The characters were so individual and complete! This is just exactly the kind of story I love to get lost in. For those who love adventure, and magic, and friendship, and villains, this story is for you! I highly recommend it!
(Note: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review).
Wow! Let me count the ways I love this book.
1. Brine Seaborne is a fantastic heroine. I love her zest for adventure and her passion for books. (and what a GREAT name)
2. There's a merry band of pirates! They're on a ship called the Onion! How great is that?? (also, this book is an onion because there are so many awesome layers to the story!)
3. There are sea monsters! (really scary ones) There are creepy birds! (really creepy - also a few nice ones)
4. There is magic! And a bad magician. And a good magician named Peter. Did I mention there is magic??
5. It's a celebration of stories. And libraries. And books!
6. It's so funny! There are so many clever quips and play on words and different situations that had me laughing out loud.
The only downside to getting the chance to read an ARC of this charming, delightful book is that I have to wait even longer to read book two of Brine and Peter's adventures!
This is absolutely perfect for middle grade and I think it belongs in every kid's hands!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The sass!Read more
I will admit that what sold me on this book was that I had read it included an island of female...Read more