Excerpt from The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Magician's Daughter

by H.G. Parry

The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry X
The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Feb 2023, 400 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Jo-Anne Blanco
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"Why haven't I gone to school?"

She thought he focused his attention a little more carefully on the books in front of him, but he might have just been trying not to fall to his death. "Do you want to go to school?"

It wasn't what she had been asking, and the possibility had distracted her while she considered. "I think so," she said at last. "Someday."

"Well, then you will, someday," he said. "It might be a while, though. I'll see what I can do."

It was no different to the kind of thing he'd said before, but for the first time, far too late, she realized what he wasn't saying. He was telling her that she couldn't leave yet, and she trusted that he had a good reason. He was telling her that she would leave one day, and she trusted that too. But he wasn't telling her why. He never did.

Once she had noticed that, she began to notice other things he wasn't saying, lurking like predators in long grass amid the things he was saying instead.

She knew, for instance, that Rowan had grown up on the distant shoreline she could see from the cliffs on a clear day, the one she used to think of as the beginning of the world. Actually, it was Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands. Beyond it was the coast of western Ireland, and beyond that was Great Britain and then the great mass of Europe, over which Rowan and Hutch had wandered before coming to the island. Rowan would give her all the books and maps she could ever want, and in the right mood he would talk to her for hours about the countries inside their pages. Yet when she pressed him on any stories from his own childhood or travels, he would turn elusive.

"It was a long time ago," he said once, with a shrug.

"So was the Norman Conquest," she reminded him. "And we were just talking about that."

He laughed. "Well, it wasn't that long ago!"

"How long was it, then?" she countered. "I know you're a lot older than you look, because Hutch told me that magicians age slowly once they get their familiars. But he didn't know how old that made you, because rabbits aren't very good with time."

"Neither am I. A hundred years or so? I lost count around the Boer War."

She didn't believe that for a minute. Rowan could misplace a lot of things, but surely not entire years. But she had learned to accept it. It was useless to try to make Rowan talk when he didn't want to. And Hutchincroft, who when he could talk would do so happily at any time at all, knew Rowan too well to give Biddy information that she wasn't supposed to have.

Lately, though, things had been different. It wasn't only that she was getting older, more restless, her eyes pulled constantly to the bump of land on the horizon and her thoughts pulled even further. Rowan had been disappearing more and more often; he was bringing back a lot more injuries than he was artifacts, and some of them she suspected hurt more than he was letting on. Hutchincroft was restless when he wasn't there, on edge, possibly in constant silent communication and certainly in silent worry. It was possible, she supposed, that these things had been festering under the surface of her life for a long time, and she was only lately becoming aware of them. Either way, she could feel a bite of danger in the air like the first frost of autumn, and she didn't like it.

It should have been a perfect morning. The day had unfurled crisp and bright, the kind to be taken advantage of on Hy-Brasil, where wind was common but sun was rare, and she had gone up the cliffs with a rug, three undersized apples, and a battered copy of Jane Eyre. The wind ruffled her hair and the grass behind the castle; the black rabbits grazing there, infected with the chaotic joy of it, flicked their ears and jumped in the air. It made her smile, despite everything. And yet she hadn't been able to focus as she usually did. The argument had tainted the morning like smoke, leaving an acrid taste in her throat and a grey pall over the sky. The world of her book seemed impossibly far away, full of strangers and schools and romances when she had never seen anything of the kind. Her self-righteous fury at Rowan's treatment of her gave way, predictably, to doubts about her own behavior, and then to guilt. It was a relief when shortly after midday a shadow fell across the pages.

Excerpted from The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry. Copyright © 2023 by H.G. Parry. Excerpted by permission of Redhook. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

For a year of great reading
about exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Move Like Water
    Move Like Water
    by Hannah Stowe
    As a child growing up on the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales, Hannah Stowe always loved the sea, ...
  • Book Jacket
    Loved and Missed
    by Susie Boyt
    London-based author and theater director Susie Boyt has written seven novels and the PEN Ackerley ...
  • Book Jacket: Beyond the Door of No Return
    Beyond the Door of No Return
    by David Diop
    In early 19th-century France, Aglaé's father Michel Adanson dies of old age. Sitting at ...
  • Book Jacket: Crossings
    by Ben Goldfarb
    We've all seen it—a dead animal carcass on the side of the road, clearly mowed down by a car. ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Fair Rosaline
by Natasha Solomons
A subversive, powerful untelling of Romeo and Juliet by New York Times bestselling author Natasha Solomons.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Devil Makes Three
    by Ben Fountain

    A brilliant and propulsive novel set in Haiti from the award-winning, bestselling author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

  • Book Jacket

    This Is Salvaged
    by Vauhini Vara

    Stories of uncanny originality from Vauhini Vara, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.

Win This Book
Win Moscow X

25 Copies to Give Away!

A daring CIA operation threatens chaos in the Kremlin. But can Langley trust the Russian at its center?



Solve this clue:

A M I A Terrible T T W

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.