Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Barrow of Magic!

"There is a danger in small enchantments, my boy. Small enchantments make us dream of big ones." ~ Master Malcolm from The Real Boy 

Oscar is just a magician's hand. He's nothing special. Certainly not worth paying any mind to. He doesn't care, though. In fact, he couldn't feel luckier. Grinding herbs and packaging potions for Master Caleb, the most respected magic peddler in the Barrow, is a fine lot in life- better than the orphanage, that's for sure. Even though his memory of the boys' home is foggy, he's positive it wasn't a pleasant place to live. Oscar enjoys his routine of running to Caleb's spectacular gardens, gathering herbs, and learning how to draw out their natural attributes, like: raspberry leaves to protect a relationship or walnut leaves to break one up. It's very important to get the ingredients right, as you can see. Especially for the Shining People from the city, Asteri. They're Caleb's most valued customers. Asteri sits on a hilltop above the Barrow, which is a tangled, dark swath of magic soaked land that surrounds it like a moat. Asteri's residents visit the market in the Barrow to shop for spells, find cures, brew love, create luck, find lost items, etc. Their every fancy can be filled by the shop owners, who keep the land that survived the plague of death. It survived thanks to a hundred wizards, who rooted themselves into the ground and became magnificent trees that protect the city and feed the land with magic. When Master Caleb is called away to the continent, he leaves his apprentice, Wolf, in charge. Wolf enjoys reminding Oscar how worthless and non-magical he is, so Oscar isn't thrilled about this turn of events. On top of that, something strange has been going on in the forest. The animals are anxious, and the people seem nervous. The only confidants Oscar has are the cats that live in Caleb's shop with him, and they don't seem very happy about what's happening either- though, it's extremely hard to tell what cats are thinking at all.

"Most animals do not like magic-other than the ones native to forest, of course. But in the case of cats, I believe magic does not like them." ~ Master Malcolm  



When the healer's apprentice, Callie, enters Caleb's shop, Oscar's life is changed forever. What will happen while Caleb's away? Will Oscar be able to take over the magical shop? Can Callie help Oscar figure out what's wrong with him? What is happening in the forest? You must read this spectacular book to find out! 

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu speaks of the truest and oldest magic- that of the heart. Just like Breadcrumbs, this book will whisk you away on a unique, fairy tale adventure. I found myself caught up in Oscar and Callie's web of worry- so much so, that it inspired a little fan art, and now I know where Bookworm Stew was being brewed ; ) I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a touch of magic and a spoonful of whimsy!

Caleb's Gardens

The Real Boy isn't out yet! This is a sneak peak. Oscar's story will be hitting bookshelves everywhere in September, so keep an eye out for this middle grade read! It's perfectly lovely.

Has anyone else read Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu? What did you think?

* Check out our author interview with Anne Ursu and find out what she has to say about her stories! 

Happy reading ~ F 

24 comments:

  1. I just loved your blog , the Real Boy Sounds enchanting, I look forward to it,
    It must be a wing ding thing to be able to create, thank you, agman

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    1. Hi Terence, Thanks so much! We enjoy hearing from you : ) The Real Boy was enchanting! ~ F

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  2. Can't wait to read this book!

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    1. Hi Donna, You will love it : ) Thanks for stopping by! ~F

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  3. This sounds like a truly magical read that isn't at all dark. Perfect bedtime reading I would have thought, thanks for recommending it.

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    1. Hi Petty, It's enchanting! Great to hear from you- thanks so much for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  4. This one sounds lovely. I enjoyed what Master Malcolm said about magic and cats!

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    1. HI C. Lee, Me too : ) Very true- thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us- always a pleasure to hear from you : ) ~ F

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  5. This sounds like a delightful magical story. I loved the description, "The Real Boy by Anne Ursu speaks of the truest and oldest magic-that of the heart."

    Those have always been my favorite kind of stories.

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    1. Hi Anna Maria, It's a unique story and one that is truly charming- I think you would really enjoy this one : ) ~ F

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  6. I love books like this...love them...and I did read Breadcrumbs...but a while ago!

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    1. Hi Patty, I knew you would! This one is special- it inspired fan art! Always lovely to hear from you : ) ~ F

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  7. Thanks for posting about this book, sounds great.

    Nas

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    1. Hi Editors At Work, Thanks for stopping by! ~ F

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    1. Hi This Kid Reviews Books, You will absolutely love this story! I guarantee it : ) ~ F

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  9. Ahhh magic and a spoonful of whimsy! I am adding this to my pin board right now! Sounds terrific!

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    1. Hi Heidi, Excellent! Thanks so much for popping by : ) ~ F

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  10. Ahh! Love your review :D Sobs. Dying to read this one. <3 Edelweiss keep declining me :p Sniffs. Anyway. Glad you enjoyed it :) Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Carina, Thanks! You will definitely find it enchanting : ) ~ F

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  11. Oh, this sounds like a fun mix of Harry Potter and The Hobbit! Love the fan art too. :)

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    1. Cate- Thanks! I love creating fan art. It is such fun and my imagination can go anywhere. :) This is an amazing book! :) ~F

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  12. I've read Breadcrumbs and it's one of my all time favorite middle grade books. I can't wait for this one. I've been avoiding all teasers because they make the waiting unbearable. :)

    ~Akoss

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    1. Akoss- I loved Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy is just as fabulous. I know you will love it when you get to read it! :) ~F

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