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The Wizard's Dog Hardcover – January 17, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Merlin's dog, Nosewise, can talk and do a bit of magic with the help of a special stone, instruction from Morgana, and some confidence. But magic isn't a power that should be used by everyone. When Merlin is kidnapped by the fae, it is up to Nosewise and his friend Arthur to save the day. This is an interesting retelling of The Sword in the Stone, offering readers an alternative view of a classic tale. Nosewise makes for a lovable protagonist, with his canine and human characteristics providing humorous insight. Merlin, Morgana, and even Arthur all play supporting roles and serve more as devices to drive the plot rather than characters to be fully explored. This is definitely the dog's story, and animal lovers will enjoy the antics of Nosewise and his human family. VERDICT A delightful magical fantasy, perfect for fans of fairy tales, legends, and dogs.—Elizabeth Speer, Weatherford College, TX
Rescued stray Nosewise makes the thrilling discovery that the magic Asteria stone of Morgana, preteen apprentice to human packmate Merlin, allows him to talk and maybe even perform tricks well beyond "sit" and "shake." It comes none too soon, as wizard and apprentice are kidnapped by Oberon, Fae prince of the Summer court, to steal Excalibur. Collecting a castle "poop boy" named Arthur along the way and with help from Guinevere, daughter of a tavern keeper named Leodegrance, Nosewise loyally sets out to rescue his beloved family. The quest leads from this world to the Otherworld and thence to frozen Avalon for a desperate battle with Oberon, human minions, and insatiable magic-eating worms. But Excalibur, it turns out, can only be extracted by "a worthy soul who loves man and would never do him harm." There is, as you might guess, but one such who truly fits that description here. Along with his other canine virtues, though, Nosewise is generous in the aftermath: "Arthur is my carrier, and he can use it too, if he wants." The often scary Fae come in a variety of sizes and shapes; humans, and the doggy narrator, are largely white in Phillips' occasional vignettes, though Morgana appears to have somewhat darker skin.
An ingenious and entirely credible (at least dog lovers will agree with this) twist on the familiar tale. (Fantasy. 10-13)
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Top Customer Reviews
Nosewise is curious as to why Merlin and Morgana spend all day in the study. He picked up his tricks quickly enough, why do they need so much more practice? When Nosewise learns some magic of his own, he’s the only one capable of rescuing Merlin after the wizard is kidnapped. So he sets off on the adventure of a lifetime, aided by his capable nose and brain.
THE WIZARD’S DOG is, as I said above, a fun book. Nosewise’s observations about humans are amusing, his travels are quite the adventure and learning experience, and he gets in and out of trouble like, well, a dog. I liked that the author kept Nosewise a dog -- sure, he’s smart, but he can’t see all colors and he thinks poo is great. He’s loyal to the humans that deserve it; there’s even a little about animal abuse mentioned.
I do wish the Nosewise on the cover looked less silly, because my younger self might have passed this book up because of his comical appearance. Yeah, he’s funny, but he and this story are more than that.
THE WIZARD’S DOG is an enjoyable, unique take on Merlin, Arthur, and the Sword in the Stone, starring one very special dog. I know this is a standalone, but I gotta say, I’d like to see more of Nosewise!
Nosewise is Merlin's dog. Nosewise likes being Merlin's dog, but he doesn't like sitting outside a closed door everyday while Merlin and the young Morgana do their 'work'. One day, Morgana convinces Merlin to allow Nosewise into the room with them, and Morgana discovers that with a magic stone, Nosewise can speak.
I have to agree with my son-this is a good book. I'm not usually a huge fan of stories from animal perspectives (never have been), but this book is an exception. Nosewise is extremely well written.
His thoughts are simple but natural enough not to irritate or seem ridiculous. He's a clever, humorous dog who slides seamlessly with the Merlin/Morgana reality. The writing is so natural that the chapters flow by with ease, letting the story take over completely.
This was a very refreshing version of the entire Merlin-Morgana-Arthur story. It stays light yet adventurous. Arthur is simply a nice, fun guy and makes a perfect fit to Nosewise. Even Morgana comes across very natural and without the whole darkness often seen with her character. There's a lot of warmth in the pages, even when things get sticky.
Another bonus are the illustrations. Black and white sketches are sprinkled between the pages adding to the entire experience. They are simple but very well done and pop up at just the right times.
Summed up, this is simply an enjoyable read boys and girls ages 8 to 12 are sure to enjoy.
I received a complimentary ARC and had to leave my thoughts since my son and I both thoroughly enjoyed it.
Nosewise is a white shepherd that gets adopted by the old wizard Merlin. Morgana is an 11-year-old girl learning tricks from Merlin. Nosewise quickly bonds with his new family. But then one day Merlin and Morgana are kidnapped by the evil Lord Destrian who has an ax to grind with Merlin. Nosewise is determined to find his masters and goes on a search for him. He befriends a young boy who guides him, a boy not much older than Morgana. While they are both on the search for Merlin and Morgana, they face all kinds of obstacles together, but they also learn about one another.
The story is told from Nosewise's perspective, who clearly has a superior nose. There are some whimsical passages in which life is contrasted between that of a dog's world and that of a human's world. The humor is clean and the language is easy for young readers. The pace moves fast, though, as there is always something happening in the short chapters. What I liked, as a dog lover myself, are the funny antics Nosewise finds himself in. He is loving and loyal and will whatever he can to save his master. Anyone who owns a dog can sympathize with Nosewise, Merlin, Morgana and Arthur. It's a quick read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated with stories that take place during King Arthur times.Read more
Do you NOT see that awesome cover? It's got Merlin and his adorable dog on it!Read more