Review: Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

Sunday, January 2, 2011

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Title: Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic #1)

Release Date: April 15th, 2009

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 344

Source: Library (I’m seriously considering buying it though!)

Other Titles in the Series: Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic #2) due out in August.

Challenge: N/A

Summary ( Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent -- and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild.
With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

My Review: I can totally see this book becoming my new obsession! It's completely different from everything I’ve ever read. Who would’ve thought that magic on the frontier make such an interesting subject. I loved Eff’s voice in this. Everything she says sounds exactly right for the time period even when she’s talking about magic and magicians. There’s just so much to learn about this magical Old West and about Eff and Lan’s powers. I think it was cool how Eff’s narrative about her life in this book spans from when she was five until when she was eighteen. It never felt like time was passing too slow or even too fast, the pacing was always right and the author never over does any of the magical elements or even the hardships of life on the frontier. Every character from Eff and Lan to the obnoxious Uncle Earn (who I honestly wanted to strangle because of the things he said to and about Eff) were all very vivid and stand out in their own way. I’m really glad this is a start of a new series because there’s just so much left to learn about this Old West and the creatures that are plaguing it (like the steam dragons and mirror bugs). The only thing that would have made this book better is a map, just so I can make a visual in my head to compare to what I know about how the US looked back then to the Old West of this book. Other then that though I wouldn’t change anything. Its great just the way it is!