The Mage and the Magpie: Magemother, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Brinley has spent her life lost in her imagination, teaching bullfrogs to do gymnastics and pretending to be invisible. Now, when a magic bell from another world summons her across time and space on a journey to find her mother, she will discover real friendship, face true evil, and overcome her greatest fears in order to save the ones she loves.
The Mage and the Magpie is the first book in Austin J. Bailey's Magemother series: an epic middle-grade fantasy adventure series with witches, shapeshifters, and cliffhangers, and awesome kids.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 43 minutes|
|Author||Austin J. Bailey|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 15, 2017|
|Publisher||Austin J. Bailey|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #96,328 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#886 in Action & Adventure Fantasy for Children
#8,108 in Children's Fantasy & Magic Books
#10,809 in Children's Action & Adventure Books (Books)
Top reviews from the United States
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Brinley is a girl from our world, raised by her father and fond of drawing, sneaking off to be alone, and dreaming of her long-missing mother. But one day she steps into an abandoned church... and through a portal into another world! Said world is under a dark threat, however -- the mages that power the world's elements are vanishing, and the Magemother, the being charged with teaching and guiding the mages, has vanished as well. With the aid of an untried but daring prince, an girl with an affinity for birds, and a host of unlikely and colorful characters, can Brinley overcome her own fears to save a world... and perhaps learn about her mother in the process?
There are some creative concepts in this book, and the system of the mages and the Magemother is unique and interesting. There are the seeds of good ideas here, and decent characters to make said ideas work. Brinley herself is a fantastic protagonist, and the parts dealing with her were some of the best in the book, especially as she works to overcome her own lack of confidence and uncovers more details about the mystery of her past.
It's a shame that great concepts and decent characters were muddled so hopelessly by writing that's bland at best and outright bad at worst. The story is a jumbled mess that introduces concepts, only to abandon them when they're no longer necessary, and that tries to cram too many POV characters into one story -- and drop these characters without warning when they're no longer vital to the plot. And little effort is made to craft a good writing style or to smooth the jerky pace of the story.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- just because you're writing for a YA audience doesn't mean you can get away without putting in any effort. Kids deserve good writing too, and writers do their audiences a disservice when they assume that kids don't pay attention to that kind of thing. "The Mage and the Magpie" has good characters and concepts, but they deserved far better writing and story than this one.
The title of the book, “The Mage and the Magpie,” at first seems a little odd; I wondered why it wasn’t simply called “The Magemother.” But as the story progresses, you learn the importance of the two characters from the title.
There is quite a large cast of characters involved in the narrative, but each of them is distinctly unique and endearing. The main handful of players are especially well-developed, but everyone adds their special lit bit to the development of the story. Even some of the personae that one might consider minor or even irrelevant, later prove to have a specific part to play.
Brinley, of course, is the main character, an adopted young woman of unknown origin, who is quite abruptly transported across space and time, to a world desperately in need of her help, although neither she nor anyone else knows that at the time. The mere fact that she was summoned by a calling bell intended for someone else lends a significant amount of intrigue to the tale.
Searching for the Magemother (who alone can repair some of the damage being done to the world), while also looking for her birth parents (especially her mother), Brinley ventures along with a rather odd assortment of traveling companions, all of whom prove to be quite helpful and necessary.
This book is classified as a middle grade series, which I would say is just about correct. There are a few dark scenes that are rather uncharacteristically and perhaps unnecessarily gory and gruesome, but the overall tone is hopeful and positive. Even if the general tone is a little bit younger, the tale has something for everyone; and the writer’s style just draws you into the story and carries you along for the ride.
Interesting concept three mages and the magemother (sort of guardian) have disappeared, no one knows where they are and there is evil stirring in the shadows. Young princeling wants to be a mage, young girl wants to find her mother, young student just wants to talk to birds. Their lives come together trying to help find the magemother's herald and save it. Then find themselves deep in the mess of things.
Characters started out strong, then slowly one by one some dropped out of the story. One character, Tabitha, who I thought was an interesting Luna Lovegood type character (Im not comparing the two, just the first character I thought of that had a similar personality) but she quickly disappeared from the story all together until the end.
I was disappointed that there wasn't more magic aside from the Wind Mage and his apprentice using Wind and minor shape shifting. I wanted more from the two other mages and even something more from Archibald, I envisioned as a sort of wizard, maybe not with the power of a mage, but some sort of magical capabilities. There was mention of the gods who created the mages and magemother but we only see them for a brief moment that wasn't really all that necessary.
Some things were sort of predictable, but I still was interested to see what happened. I found myself wanting to know more about where the other mages where,<spoiler>how could the magemother who was their guardian and the person who hide them forget where she hide them?</spoiler> Maybe we will find them in the next book. I downloaded the next book so we will see how that one fairs.
Top reviews from other countries
This book is actually aimed at Middle-schoolers (I had to look that up, and seems to be roughly 10-13yo), so slightly younger than any of the books I usually read.
I could tell this book was aimed at children - slightly quicker pace with less description and depth than I'm used to, but actually it was still really enjoyable. I'm not going to read the subsequent books in the series, but if my children were looking for a fantasy book I would encourage them to read this and I would buy the following books for them. (And admittedly, once I've bought them, for the kids, I probably would end up reading them.)
The book is really well written and the story is easy to follow, even though you are following multiple characters at times. I like books with a sense of good prevailing over evil, and even though there are sad bits, the book is built up as an adventure and you cannot always predict what will happen next.