A Tale of Magic Series

A Tale of Magic
A Tale of Magic Book One
Written by Chris Colfer
Middle Grade, Magic, Friendship, Adventure
Published August 11th 2020
448 Pages
Thanks to Hachette Australia
Add to Goodreads
★★★★☆

When Brystal Evergreen stumbles across a secret section of the library, she discovers a book that introduces her to a world beyond her imagination and learns the impossible: she is a fairy capable of magic! But in the oppressive Southern Kingdom, women are forbidden from reading and magic is outlawed, so Brystal is swiftly convicted of her crimes and sent to the miserable Bootstrap Correctional Facility.


But with the help of the mysterious Madame Weatherberry, Brystal is whisked away and enrolled in an academy of magic! Adventure comes with a price, however, and when Madame Weatherberry is called away to attend to an important problem, she doesn't return.


Do Brystal and her classmates have what it takes to stop a sinister plot that risks the fate of the world, and magic forever?

In the Southern Kingdom, young girls are educated to become housewives, mothers and caregivers, good girls by honouring their fathers, brothers and husbands as silent, neglected members of society. Thirteen year old Brystal Evergreen is determined to journey across the kingdoms, seeking adventure and freedom but for the time being, Brystal is content to read. For women and girls within the oppressive kingdom, reading is illegal so when Brystal stumbles across a banned magic book while covertly cleaning her local library, she's caught not only reading but practicing magic and sentenced to the horrific Bootstrap Correctional Facility. 


Ohh Brystal, what a darling girl you are with your big dreams and immense feelings. I was so incredibly smitten by this spirited young lady. She's courageous and determined to push against societal boundaries. Brystal's father is a leader among their community and although paid handsomely for his work, the family live with the bare necessities, handmedown clothing while Brystal and her mother work tirelessly to keep house. After all, the Southern Kingdom tells women that's all their good for. Grown men scared of the superiority of women and Brystal's father is without a doubt, a misogynist. As a Justice, along with both Brystal's brothers, they're responsible for keeping women in line, uneducated and sentencing those suspected of magic to death. 


Girls from across the kingdom have been accused of practicing magic, outlawed after hordes of magical creatures were purged from the kingdoms into the inbetween, a dangerous and unruly place where ogres, goblins and club thumping trolls dwell and fight for resources. The inbetween is incredibly atmospheric and foreboding, an ancient forest and ungovernable land separating the northern and southern kingdoms and where Madame Weatherberry has stationed her new school. 


A reprieve arrives in the form of Madame Weatherberry, a delightful Mary Poppins type woman who has Presidential approval to open a school for Fairies, Under the guidance of Madame Weatherberry, students Brystal and her new friends Xanthous, Emerelda, Tangerina, Skylene and travelling showbusiness performer extraordinaire Lucy, will learn to control their abilities and become the faces of the magical community to promote acceptance and understanding. Madame Weatherberry has an ulterior motive, the children must learn to defeat the Snow Queen, an enchantress wreaking havoc on the northern kingdom, decimating villages and homes. 


Although the injustice and inequality of the kingdom are fictional, young readers will draw parallel's within the world and the prejudice communities endure. Communities of colour, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexualities, persecuted rather than celebrated. 


A Tale of Magic is a whimsical series debut that will delight and enchant readers. Simply magical.



A Tale of Witchcraft
A Tale of Magic Book Two
Written by Chris Colfer
Middle Grade, Magic, Friendship, Adventure
Published September 29th 2020
528 Pages
Thanks to Hachette Australia
Add to Goodreads
★★★★☆

Brystal Evergreen changed the world, but the journey is just beginning.


Brystal Evergreen and her friends have saved the world from the evil Snow Queen and secured worldwide acceptance for the magical community.


However, when a mysterious new witch named Mistress Mara arrives at the Academy, the celebrations are cut short. As Mistress Mara begins recruiting faeries into her rival school of Witchcraft, it becomes clear she has dark intentions. And soon Brystal's friend Lucy becomes embroiled in an ominous plot against mankind.


Elsewhere, the fragile peace is on the brink of shattering. Outrage has spread throughout the kingdoms in opposition to the legalisation of magic. And a dangerous and centuries old clan known as the Righteous Brotherhood has resurfaced, with one goal in mind: to exterminate all magical life for ever. Starting with Brystal.

As the kingdom celebrates the once isolated and persecuted magical community, Brystal is now academy administrator and along with Xanthous, Emerelda, Tangerina, Skylene and Lucy, the academy welcomes the wider community seeking solace within the sanctuary grounds. The northern conflict has been resolved, the land thawed and the Snow Queen has been banished under the northern lights but a new threat has emerged. 


The Righteous Brotherhood is a patriarchal organisation opposing the magical community. While the community was isolated by the kingdom, the Brotherhood remained dormant and with Brystal's new found popularity, they have awoken to destroy the alliance the kingdom and fairy community has aligned. Brystal has found an unlikely but wonderfully charismatic ally in Prince Gallivant, affectionately known as Seven due to his lineage to the royal throne. The Brotherhood will stop at nothing to see their leader on the throne, including the decimation of the royal family and Brystal will risk her life to ensure the safety of the academy and community. 


One of my favourite aspects of the A Tale of Magic series is the societal and political undertones. How society often devalues the lives of minority communities and legislates, discriminates and excludes based on ethnicity, gender and sexualities. Brystal has matured into a wonderful young lady, confident and fiercely vigilant, protecting the community she embraces. A Tale of Witchcraft is very much Brystal's journey of acceptance and growth, learning who she is and her place within the world. 


Beautifully written and lovingly told, The Tale of Magic series is a wonderful exploration of adventure and found family, of wanting to belong and finding your place within the everchanging world. An absolute delight. 

11 comments

  1. I have a copy of Chris Colfer's very first book and I still need to read it! hah All the books sound really good. I'm glad you liked this series! I do love a good MG read.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It's amazing Lauren! I've actually just bought the original series as well and looking forward to reading it over the holiday break. This series can be read as a standalone but I'm wanting to devour all of his books now, they're brilliant!

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  2. The storyline about keeping women inline is hardly fiction. LOL The way you describe the characters makes it sound like I would be delighted by them. I am all about the characters, and these sound easy to love.

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    1. It's wonderfully character driven and the world is incredibly detailed and atmospheric, especially in the second installment. It's one of those series you fall completely in love with and I can't wait for book three!

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  3. Oh wow I've kinda lost track of Colfer's stuff since the early Stories books. These sound really nice!

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    1. They're all interconnected but this series can be read as a standalone as well. I'm hoping to read the original series soon after purchasing them recently. Such wonderful reads!

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  4. Why are you making me want to read more MG books? I don’t ofren want to read MG but you’ve certainly convinced me that these books would be exactly what I would have wanted to be reading when I was younger and I’m a little tempted to read them now.

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    1. It's definitely the year for more middle grade reads, I love how wonderfully entertaining they are and this is fast becoming one of my favourite series.

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  5. Chris Colfer???? OMG when did he start a new series? Not to mention, this sounds amazing!

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  6. I am loving the idea of this series! I am sure I have read some Chris Colfer before and would be intrigued to try more. I love the sound of Brystal - what a lovely main character to follow. And I love the sound of the Mary Poppins-esque character in the first book as well. What a delightful series!

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  7. I am reading so much more middle grade this year, and I've been wanting to start Chris Colfer's books! Brystal sounds so wonderful, I'll definitely be giving this one a try.

    Also haven't been here for a while, missed you Kelly! Hope you're doing great.

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