The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic, by Cressida Cowell

The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic, written and illustrated by Cressida Cowell (Little Brown, middle grade, October 9 2018), is now out here in the US, so anyone who wants to continue the wild magical fun of the first book should be very happy!

The three young teens (13 years old, so still kids) of the first book are off on another adventure--Wizard Xar (headstrong as ever, with the stain of witch magic spreading through him) and Warrior Wish (still not sure of how strong her magic is, still hoping to please her mother, the fearsome Warrior Queen), and the hapless sidekick bodyguard, Bodkin (who has no magic, and as yet little role in the plot....).

Riding on an enchanted door, accompanied by magical utensils, sprites, and sundry other magical creatures and persons, the kids are off to collect the ingredients for a spell that will eradicate the witches.  Wizards and Warriors might be enemies, but they both agree that the witches are an enemy!  Especially now that the Kingwitch has been freed from its prison....

Their quest takes them to a ruined castle, and an old, sad story, and into a maelstrom of magical and warrior-ly chaos!  It's fun adventure, with lots of light humor and a smidge of deeper heart (more so than was present in the first book, and it might well grow into more than a smidge as the series progresses, in the same way her Dragon series did...).    And it goes down awfully nice and easy--good escapist magical entertainment!  Since I was reading an ARC, I didn't get all the pictures....but the ones that I did see added to the sense that Cowell was enjoying herself tremendously.

Not recommended, though, for grown-ups who don't already know they enjoy middle grade fantasy--the light-hearted bopping around of the story (though the quest runs in a straight line I still felt it bopped) requires a relaxation of grown-up expectations.

ps:  Spoon is my current favorite magical utensil.  The fact that I can't think of any others off the top of my head is irrelevant.

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