Twelve-year-old Toby Roberts, the main character in The Magicians Convention by Elena Paige, is sure that magic isn’t real. But one morning while looking out his bedroom window, Toby sees hundreds of people clad in black cloaks and top hats streaming into his neighbor’s tiny house. Stranger yet, his grandpa swears he doesn’t see anyone at all.
Toby decides to go investigate; but when he gets downstairs, he realizes that Grandpa is gone, and in his place is a talking black panther. The panther tells Toby that in order to get his grandfather back, he must follow the mysterious figures into the house next door. Given no choice, Toby joins the line of magicians, and before he can turn back, he’s swept into a magical adventure full of new friends and foes and magic (both good and evil).
Will Toby and his new friends, Wesa and Thatch, be able to decipher good from evil? Will they all be able to find their lost family members again?
The Magicians Convention (Book 1 of The Magicians series) by Elena Paige is an exciting, fast-paced read. This book reminded me of another magical adventure series that I couldn’t put down: the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
Paige’s vivid descriptions of the characters and their fantastical world drew me into the story. Although I found it easy to keep track of the main characters, it was challenging to keep all the secondary characters straight, especially when they reappeared later in the story.
This book was clearly for entertainment, but it did emphasize the message, “Be careful who you trust,” a valuable lesson for adolescents. I highly recommend The Magicians Convention for readers ages 9-14 who love fantasy. I can’t wait to read the second installment in The Magicians series!