Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Barrow Full 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 has just been released! Oscar's story is out on bookshelves everywhere, so keep an eye out for this middle grade read! It's perfectly lovely.

Has anyone else read The Real Boy 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

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38 comments:

  1. Great review. <3 glad you loved this book :) I did too. Thought it was amazing :D

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    1. Carina- It is such a wonderful read! So glad you enjoyed it too. :) ~L

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  2. I haven't read this one yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

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  3. I love that you enjoyed the book. I'm waiting on my library to get copies so I could read it too.
    Neat review.

    ~Akoss

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    1. Akoss- I hope your library gets it soon! Enjoy! :) ~L

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  4. I have this book! I want to read it soon!

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    1. Patty- Enjoy! I can't wait to hear your thoughts! :) ~L

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  5. This book does sound like it could whisk me away. . .me and those kids I love to see disappear into a good story.

    I'm back and already wondering where Sept. went. Great to be here again.

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    1. Lee- So nice to have you back. :) Glad your time away was good. I think you will love this story! :) ~L

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  6. I haven't read it yet, but I certainly want to. Your review is excellent.

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    1. Barbara- Thanks so much! It really is a magical tale. :) ~F

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  7. Sounds great & I LOVE the cover. Thanks for the in-depth wonderful review. I can't wait to see what happens to Oscar

    Paul R. Hewlett

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    1. Paul- It is great! I love the cover too. :) I hope you get to read it soon. :) ~F

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  8. Sounds like a great book. Liked your review of it.

    Nas

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    1. Nas- Thanks so much! It really is a book that shouldn't be missed. :) ~F

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  9. This sounds like a really interesting read and like one that Katertot and I would enjoy -- and we love the quote about cats! We'll have to add this to our TBR list for sure. Fantastic review!

    -- Michele & Katertot @ A Belle's Tales

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    1. Michele and Katertot- I think you will both enjoy this one! Glad you enjoyed the cat quote. :) Happy reading! ~F

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  10. The top quote drew me right in, and the rest of your review really makes me want to read this. Thanks!! :)

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    1. Meradeth- Thanks for sharing what drew you in. :) It is an excellent read! Hope you get to read it. ~F

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  11. Love the cover and the story sounds great. I love the line you quoted too. Adding to my list. :)

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    1. Kelly- Isn't the cover amazing? I love it! Happy reading! :) ~F

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  12. I don't know why but in the beginning of your review I was reminded of Markl from the Howl's Moving Castle movie. It's kind of like what he would do as a magician's apprentice. As soon as you said magician's hand I knew that I really must get my hands on this book. It's sure to be amazing. I hope the ending isn't as... it isn't like Breadcrumbs. I love the magic of this story and that everything comes back to the greatest weapon we have which is our heart. Really excited! Thanks for your review :D

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    1. Adriana- It is such a great read and I really enjoy Anne's style. I haven't seen the movie you mentioned- but I will have to check it out. I hope you will enjoy this one. :) ~F

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  13. A barrow full of magic is just a ding a ling thing, a good intro to a good review

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  14. This sounds like a great read to lose yourself in. I haven't tried anything by Anne Ursu before, but I have a copy of Breadcrumbs and look forward to picking it up. I'm glad you liked this! Thanks for the great review. :)

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    1. Sam- I hope you enjoy Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy. I thought both were well written and I loved the images they created in my mind. Happy reading! :) ~F

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  15. This sounds fantastic and I hope to read it. I believe I have Breadcrumbs already.

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    1. Medeia- I hope you will enjoy The Real Boy. I loved it! If you read Breadcrumbs first- then I hope it is one you fall right into. :) ~F

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  16. I've put The Real Boy on my to-read because of your review on GoodReads, Jess. Thrilled about the release! And I absolutely adore the quote and sketch you shared here.

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    1. Claudine- I am glad my review made you want to read this one. It is such a wonderful book. So happy you enjoyed the quote and sketch. Thanks for stopping by. :) ~Jess

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  17. Sounds like a wonderful book! I hadn't heard of it before.

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    1. Cherie- Glad to introduce you to a new book! It is excellent. :) ~F

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  18. Another great review and It does sound very entertaining.
    Who doesn't like a touch of magic and a fling of whimsy?

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    1. Anna- So glad you enjoyed the review. I love a touch of magic and a fling of whimsy. :) ~F

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  19. I want to read the book! It sounds great! :D

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    1. Erik- I think you will love it! :) ~F

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