A Bitter Magic

A Bitter Magic A deliciously quirky tale of secrets magic and illusions Everything is in place the packed theater the Amazing Thummel and center stage the magician s mysterious assistant Some have called her t

  • Title: A Bitter Magic
  • Author: Roderick Townley
  • ISBN: 9780449816493
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A deliciously quirky tale of secrets, magic, and illusions.Everything is in place the packed theater, the Amazing Thummel, and, center stage, the magician s mysterious assistant Some have called her the most beautiful woman in Europe.Then, in a swirl of light, she vanishes An astounding illusion, but she never reappears All that remains are a bloodstained white scarf anA deliciously quirky tale of secrets, magic, and illusions.Everything is in place the packed theater, the Amazing Thummel, and, center stage, the magician s mysterious assistant Some have called her the most beautiful woman in Europe.Then, in a swirl of light, she vanishes An astounding illusion, but she never reappears All that remains are a bloodstained white scarf and her daughter, Cisley, who lives in a glass castle and walks her pet lobster each morning by the sea.Enter Cole, a rambunctious boy from town and Cisley s first true friend Together they hunt for clues to her mother s disappearance They puzzle over broken mirrors, ever shifting labyrinths, a closet full of whispering ball gowns, and a fatal quest for a pure black rose.Roderic Townley spins a deliciously spooky tale of one girl s journey to discover what s real and what is simply an illusion.

    One thought on “A Bitter Magic”

    1. What an inventive story. Cisley's mother and uncle are famous for their magic shows. Thing is, Uncle is an illusionist but Mom is actually magic. But when she disappears for real one day (not a spoiler; this happens at the beginning), Cisley has to try to figure out what happened to her, as well as what her non-magical uncle is up to trying to get powers of his own in the forbidding glass castle they live in. The writing is good, the characters are well-drawn and the plot moves at a good pace wi [...]

    2. I loved this book. I read so much I usually guess what is going to happen before it happens. This book kept me guessing until the end.

    3. I actually didn't read this, but here is what my fantasy-loving bookworm daughter says about this:I didn't like this because it was weird and the end did not make sense.

    4. A Bitter Magic is fantasy fiction that will appeal to ages 12 – 14. Cisley’s plight to find her missing mother is pieced together through magical clues revealed in the narrative. Sometimes predictable, readers may be slightly disappointed in the mystery, as all is not revealed in the last chapter. The tone begins at a breakneck pace that may leave young readers confused with what is happening. The narrative tends to jump, with Cisley’s thoughts moving quickly from one point to another with [...]

    5. There is definitely enough suspense to carry you through, and I like the snarky main character and the very mysterious beginning to the book, but I had a couple big disappointments, especially near the end. The best part of this book is that Cisley has a pet lobster she can talk to! I so wish he had truly been what he seemed in the beginning, and that his character had played a bigger role in the story. I felt used when he was tossed aside so early on, and explained later to not quite have exist [...]

    6. Some strange magic going on here, but it is interesting. Her appreciation of the townspeople while her uncle hates them is a good contrast.Cisley is the daughter of a beautiful magician's assistant, who one day literally vanishes. She and her magician uncle return to his glass castle, for it was really her mother who was magic, and the uncle is just a master at illusion, including his tourist attraction castle with unusual hallways. Cisley has some magical ability too, and her uncle tries to sap [...]

    7. *I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through my district library services*I enjoyed the magic in this book, and found Cisley an easy protagonist to cheer for. However, I just wasn't totally engaged in the story and found the ending to be a bit too quick. I am not sure I'll be putting this in my collection. Definitely more for older elementary (there is a very bloody scene at the end), I'm not sure most readers will stick with this book. Maybe if you have some die-hard fantas [...]

    8. This was a totally enjoyable read! It is a YA fantasy, coming of age story -- complete with first love. But it has some substance that is missing in so many YA books. Here we have a very strong female protagonist who has lost her mother (and does not know who her father is). She faces many challenges (no, I am not going to ruin the story by giving too much away) and makes mistakes along the way. The end is a little unexpected (I like it!) but positive and satisfying.

    9. A glass castle and a black rose. Whispering dresses. A lobster on a golden leash. A Bitter Magic is lyrical and original, a tale of magic that avoids cliches and draws the reader forward with a dark family mystery. It subtly tackles class division and income inequality, and left me feeling uplifted and satisfied. A great read.

    10. *2.5 stars*Buzzwords: Family, Friendship, Loss, Mirrors, Magic (real and sleight-of-hand), Character growth, coming of age, art, choices

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