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Reviews of The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry

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
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  • Paperback:
    Feb 2023, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo-Anne Blanco
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About this Book

Book Summary

In the early 1900s, a young woman is caught between two worlds in H. G. Parry's spellbinding tale of miracles, magic, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Off the coast of Ireland sits a legendary island hidden by magic. A place of ruins and ancient trees, sea salt air, and fairy lore, Hy-Brasil is the only home Biddy has ever known. Washed up on its shore as a baby, Biddy lives a quiet life with her guardian, the mercurial magician Rowan. A life she finds increasingly stifling.

One night, Rowan fails to return from his mysterious travels. To find him, Biddy must venture into the outside world for the first time. But Rowan has powerful enemies—forces who have hoarded the world's magic and have set their sights on the magician's many secrets.

Biddy may be the key to stopping them. Yet the closer she gets to answers, the more she questions everything she's ever believed about Rowan, her past, and the nature of magic itself.

Chapter One

Rowan had left the island again last night.

He had done so quietly, as usual. Had Biddy not been lying awake, listening for his light tread on the stairs outside her bedroom, she would have never known he was gone. But he had slipped out of the castle once or twice too often lately while she slept, and this time she was ready. She got out of bed and went to the window, shivering at the touch of the early-autumn chill, in time to see him cross the moonlit fields where the black rabbits nibbled the grass. Her fingers clenched into fists, knowing what was coming, frustrated and annoyed and more worried than she wanted to admit. At the cliff edge he paused, and then his tall, thin form rippled and changed as wings burst from his back, his body shriveled, and a large black bird flew away into the night. Rowan was always a raven when he wasn't himself.

When she was very young, Biddy hadn't minded too much when Rowan flew away at night. As unpredictable as Rowan could be, he was ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The early chapters of The Magician's Daughter superbly evoke the beauty, wonder and fairy-tale aura of Hy-Brasil. The sense of place on the island is powerfully rendered, lending the vivid descriptions an air of enchantment and mystery while invoking a history that reaches far back into the mists of time. But, like all fairy tales, the initial idyll cannot last, and darkness must ultimately be faced and fought. Biddy's journey of discovery makes it clear that outside of Hy-Brasil, the magical world mirrors the darkness and cruelty of the ordinary mortal world in many ways, and her choices in the face of her new knowledge make her a sympathetic and compelling protagonist...continued

Full Review (685 words)

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(Reviewed by Jo-Anne Blanco).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Parry's greatest gift as a fantasy author isn't her ability to create magic systems that are both easily understandable and also detailed and immersive...it is how she takes those worldbuilding skills and uses them in service of deeply felt characters... Another gem of a novel from a talented writer.

Library Journal (starred review)
Highly recommended for fans of heroine's journeys, steampunk alternate worlds, and stories about what happens after the magic goes away.

Publishers Weekly
Parry continues her hot streak of well-researched historical fantasy with this mix of bildungsroman and love letter to the 19th-century English canon...The magic system—which posits magic as a nonrenewable resource—works wonderfully as a metaphor for capitalism after 19th-century industrialization. Parry's fans will not be disappointed.

Author Blurb Alix E. Harrow, author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January
The Magician's Daughter is that most rare and precious thing: a brand-new classic, both wholly original and wonderfully nostalgic. It's an absolute treasure.

Author Blurb E. J. Beaton, author of The Councillor
The Magician's Daughter casts a spell with its warm and subtle prose. Parry has created an enchantment of a novel―a coming-of-age story teeming with magic, with characters striving to change an unjust world―this is a book to be savoured.

Author Blurb Lucy Holland, author of Sistersong
Brilliantly-imagined. I love the way Parry blends mythic elements with wit and heart. A fast pace, period detail and an intriguing cast of real, flawed people make The Magician's Daughter a book to be absolutely devoured.

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Beyond the Book

The Origins of Female Protagonists in Children's Literature

Bridget (known as Biddy), the protagonist of H. G. Parry's The Magician's Daughter, grows up on the magical, hidden island of Hy-Brasil, with only her father, the mage Rowan O'Connell, and his familiar, a rabbit named Hutchincroft. She is greatly influenced by the stories of heroines she reads about in her father's library; female literary figures with whom she identifies and who help shape her character and moral compass. Their influence proves crucial when, in 1912 at the age of 16, Biddy has to leave the island to right past wrongs and face the challenges of the human world. Biddy's coming of age from an idyllic, magical childhood to a cruel, harsh awakening follows in the footsteps of her heroines, such as Alice from...

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