Abracadabra! This word has been used for centuries as a fantastical joke. Plenty of children have waved sticks in the air and shouted this word, claiming that they can perform magic. However, for 12-year-old orphan Toby, the playful word takes on a whole new meaning when his world is flipped upside down by a talking panther who kidnapped his grandfather. Thrust into a world of magic, strange dialect, beauty, and imagination, Toby learns a whole new meaning to the word abracadabra.
Before his disappearance, Toby’s grandfather scrawled the names Thatch and Wesa on a blackboard. The only lead that Toby has is by joining a strange line of people wearing wizard hats right outside his window. He can see them, but no one else can. What he finds is the 999th Magicians Convention. Filled with mages, illusionists, and intrigue galore, Toby and his newfound friends, Thatch and Wesa, must find an ancient magical hat before the convention ends, or they will never see their loved ones again. The convention is full of many people, some friend but most foe. Betrayal riddles the convention as the three friends don’t know who to trust. Now, Toby must explore deep within himself to discover a strength that has been kept hidden for so long; a strength that can help save, not only himself, but his friends and family as well.
The Magicians Convention (Book 1 in the Magicians series) showed me the power of believing in yourself. Without confidence and hope, none of these characters would be able to succeed in the way they did. This magical adventure kept me hooked until the very end. The descriptions of the beautiful convention and the extravagant magic kept me yearning for more and feeling like I was right there, experiencing the glories of the magicians convention right with Toby and his friends. The writing was precise and flowed very well to make a wonderfully written story.
The character development in this book was extraordinary. I loved how each individual character had to overcome difficulty to succeed as a group. Toby was forced to be brave and overcome his disbelief and fear. Thatch, my personal favorite character, had to overcome doubt and barriers set up by others prohibiting him from performing magic. As a character, Thatch taught me that dreams are never impossible to reach as long as you don’t give up on them. He taught me to put others’ lives before your own. That way, you will always find joy.
The biggest thing that this book taught me was picking who to trust. You can’t trust everyone. Toby, Wesa, and Thatch learned that the hard way many times. Don’t be too trusting, but also don’t not trust at all. I learned that trusting those who will betray you is petrifying, but trusting in no one but yourself is even worse. In a fantastical world of intrigue and betrayal at every turn, our protagonists had to quickly learn who was friend and who was foe.
This book is perfect for middle grade fantasy readers. I believe that they won’t be able to put down this enjoyable, easy-to-read novel.