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Worldweavers: Gift of the Unmage Hardcover – March 13, 2007
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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 Childrens 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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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.
Thea starts off as a typical teenage child who in a way feels sorry for herself and guilty for her lack of powers, in relation to her parents. She has a wonderful and open relationship with her Aunt. As she is close with her parents, it's just she feels she has let them down, being expected to be so powerful. Thea really grows greatly through this book with what she learns while with Chevery. Then how she uses it when she returns home to willingly go to the Wardless Academy. Thea makes some wonderful and unusual friends there at the school. But it is a time she will never forget, for the things she accomplishes. I enjoyed the journeys Thea takes to understand herself. Through the beliefs and teachings Thea goes through she learns she has to be patient and the understanding will come ~ a great lesson to be learned by both children and adults alike.
I enjoyed this first book, and will be reading the next book as well. I would suggest this book to a Young adult who likes to read of magic and Americal Indian mythology. I feel this book was a nice break from lots of fighting and violence and even the drooling love scenes. This is a nice read for a younger adult to sit back and enjoy, and the parents not worring what is in those pages.
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