Minor Mage

paperback, 174 pages

English language

Published July 29, 2019 by Argyll Productions.

ISBN:
978-1-61450-500-6
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4 stars (22 reviews)

Oliver was a very minor mage. His familiar reminded him of this several times a day.

He only knew three spells, and one of them was to control his allergy to armadillo dander. His attempts to summon elementals resulted in nosebleeds, and there is nothing more embarrassing than having your elemental leave the circle to get you a tissue, pat you comfortingly, and then disappear in a puff of magic. The armadillo had about wet himself laughing.

He was a very minor mage.

Unfortunately, he was all they had.

1 edition

By turns melancholy and creepy, with a dash of sarcastic armadillo

No rating

Minor Mage is firmly in the "kid goes on scary quest and comes back stronger" genre. The 12-year-old protagonist is cast out to complete a nigh-impossible quest alone (aside from his armadillo familiar), facing ghouls and starvation and bandits and ghosts and murderers. He's a wizard, yes, but he's barely half-trained and only knows a handful of spells (though his herbal lore is pretty strong). Like the young heroes of A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking and Illuminations, he has to learn how to make the most of his limited abilities in order to survive -- only this story takes place not in a city but mostly in wilderness an abandoned farmlands.

From an adult perspective, Oliver's constant lamenting that he's "only a minor mage" starts to grate after a while. But that's not the perspective it's written for: it's a kids' book, and operates on kids' fantasy logic. …

Review of 'Minor Mage' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Ich wollte was Harmloses, Erholsames und ich habe es bekommen. Das Buch handelt von einem halbwüchsigen Zauberer auf einer Mission, der von einem sprechenden Gürteltier begleitet wird und nur drei Zaubersprüche beherrscht, von denen einer dem Gegner die Schnürsenkel verknotet. Nur der Schluss war mir einen Hauch zu blöd, aber Schlüsse sind ja immer schwierig.

Review of 'Minor Mage' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

This was a slog. Things keep happening to the protagonist, he never really gets in control of them, and then eventually, his quest just ends and the book is over. There are some similarities to Wizard's Guide, but that book was much better.

Review of 'Minor Mage' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3.5/5

Very cute book featuring a boy and his pet armadillo going on an adventure to save their town. Despite the few magic spells the boy knew he was pretty clever in using them. There were some great moments that really made me fall in love, however there were also some unexpected turns that were not foreshadowed well enough. I believe because it’s a children’s book that’s more acceptable so I am not judging it too hard in that aspect.
The armadillo is a great and rather uncommon pet for a magical but he was a perfect companion who really made the story. I think overall it's a nice light read!

Review of 'Minor Mage' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Delightful, thoughtful, and wonderfully written. I adored this tale of a boy and his wise armadillo friend, full of heart and life and sarcastic cingulates. It's a tale of growth, struggling to find your footing in this messy world of morality, and learning to trust advice of those who have your best interests at heart, even as you have to learn things for yourself sometimes too.



Which is why I wholeheartedly agree with the author that it's a kids' book - it's just a kids' book that believes kids are people and treats them like they are. The world needs more kids' books like this one, I think.

Review of 'Minor Mage' on Goodreads

5 stars

Delightful, thoughtful, and wonderfully written. I adored this tale of a boy and his wise armadillo friend, full of heart and life and sarcastic cingulates. It's a tale of growth, struggling to find your footing in this messy world of morality, and learning to trust advice of those who have your best interests at heart, even as you have to learn things for yourself sometimes too.



Which is why I wholeheartedly agree with the author that it's a kids' book - it's just a kids' book that believes kids are people and treats them like they are. The world needs more kids' books like this one, I think.

Review of 'Minor Mage' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

After really enjoying the Clockwork Boys books by Kingfisher I decided to hunt down other books by her and discovered Minor Mage, which is also completely charming. It's really a YA book, although apparently her publishers refused to publish it as such as it does have some scary characters (some human-eating ghuls) and various references to death. Nonetheless, can't say it's any more grim than many of the original fairy tales that children have enjoyed for centuries, so unless your kids are super sensitive I'd give it to them to enjoy.

The protagonist is Oliver, a 12 year old minor mage who knows only three spells (one of which is to control his allergies to armadillos). Oliver gets by with the little he learned before the town's senile old wizard died, and by a lot of trial and error. But when a drought hits Oliver's tiny farming town, he's the …

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