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Uncertain Magic by T.A. Clark

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Book Information  
AuthorT.A. Clark
TitleUncertain Magic
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by LA Solinas 
(Jun 26, 2001)

Comparisons to Edward Eager and Lloyd Alexander are not mistaken. This is a highly enjoyable fantasy with snappy dialogue and characters and a well-paced, original plot. It takes place on the lovely island kingdom of Pandium, where magic is an art like painting or music, that the gifted can master. The characters we are introduced to are Kyp and Edwin. Edwin is the Crown Prince of Pandium, scheduled to become king on his twelth birthday, while Kyp is an apprentice to the Royal Magician Krisgen. Not much of an apprentice, though - his treatment is subtlely illustrated when the author tells us, "He hadn't owned a pair of shoes or boots since Krisgen had taken him as an apprentice." But apparently Krisgen isn't inclined to let Edwin become king. Kyp overhears his plotting and tells his friend. The two boys utilize Kyp's untutored magic and a borrowed spell book to conjure a hero who can bash down the conspiracy against the future king. Who arrives? A pair of ordinary kids from Florida, Nat and Katie. Together, the four kids have to defeat Krisgen and his allies before Katie and Nat can be returned to their own world... I found this book while browsing the publisher's website, and got a copy as soon as possible. It proved to be a well-done book in the manner of Lloyd Alexander's "The Arkadians," with a bit of world-crossing thrown in. I found the characters to be engaging and endearing, especially Kyp and Edwin, who actually act like preteen boys (a rarity in most books). Katie and Nat were also engaging, though I found them a little less so than the Pandian heroes. Like the book "Dulcinea," the writing style is not dumbed down or deliberately made stark. Though a little less descriptive in parts than I would like, the book doesn't skimp on describing the heroes or the objects they focus on (settings are less well-defined). There were definitely some mild awkward passages, like "the cow's blood sizzled and smelled terrible as it hit the hot metal" but these are relatively few and far between. Overall, this is a magical and well-written fantasy. I hope that TA Clark has more in mind...

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