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The Language of Spells: (Fantasy Middle…
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The Language of Spells: (Fantasy Middle Grade Novel, Magic and Wizard Book… (2018 original; edició 2018)

de Garret Weyr (Autor), Katie Harnett (Il·lustrador)

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13118177,617 (3.73)8
Grisha the dragon is born in the Black Forest in 1803, the last year any dragon was born, and while young he was trapped by the emperor's sorcerer, and turned into a teapot, which was frustrating but kept him alive while magic and other dragons were disappearing--until one day he meets Maggie, a poet's daughter, and the two of them set out to discover what happened to all the other dragons.… (més)
Membre:jkfw
Títol:The Language of Spells: (Fantasy Middle Grade Novel, Magic and Wizard Book for Middle School Kids)
Autors:Garret Weyr (Autor)
Altres autors:Katie Harnett (Il·lustrador)
Informació:Chronicle Books (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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The Language of Spells de Garret Weyr (2018)

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» Mira també 8 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 19 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Reads like discount Terry Pratchett. DNF page 21. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Oct 3, 2021 |
children's middlegrade fantasy (magic, dragons, friendship).
Terrific storytelling; recommended to fans who enjoy classic magical adventures.

Parental note: there is at least one "crap" in here, but that is the worst of the language; there really isn't any violence but there are some scenes which could be frightening to the smallest children. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Very odd, very rich. It's a YA - there are a few holes in the logic, but nothing that leaps up and destroys the story, and the story is great. I kept expecting it to turn into a Holocaust story, or at least a moral tale - and it never did, aside from "magic still exists, if you look carefully" and "friendship is important". The ARC only had sketches of the art, I think I'll look for the published book to see them in full. They're interesting sketches but I think seeing the finished work will be worth the effort. I'm not sure if I'll ever reread it, but I'm very glad I have read it. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 9, 2019 |
In 1803 the last dragon ever is born, named Grisha. He lives with his mother in the black forest of Germany until he is about 60 years old, when he has an encounter with an evil magician and is turned into a teapot. For 80 years he lives as a teapot, shuffled around Europe in various households. When he is finally transformed back into a dragon, right after World War II, he learns that all dragons from all over the world are heading to Vienna, so he does too.
Several months later he is working as a janitor and meets a lonely girl named Maggie. She asks him where all the other dragons are and he .... doesn't remember. Can Grisha and Maggie find out what happened to the dragons, and get them back?

This book has all the elements of something I would really love, but they are not formed into a cohesive world or narrative. I loved the setting, and magic, and dragons, and I mostly really liked Maggie. But other than that I found the book to be way too long and unnecessarily explain-y. It was always telling and rarely showing. I really liked the beginning of the book, learning about dragons and seeing European history from the eyes of Teapot-Grisha, but that turned out to be almost irrelevant to the rest of the book.

The only thing I did not like about Maggie was that the book makes a big deal of how Maggie is "special", in a way I really did not care for, and the perspective of the book is very misanthropic. All humans are mean and cruel, except Maggie and her father. Maggie is lonely and wants to make friends, but when she talks to other kids they think she is weird and don't want to be friends with her. This is presented as "people are terrible" instead of "a kid raised without any contact with other kids is going to have a hard time relating to other kids and so maybe you shouldn't do that."

As far as the magic goes, the author makes a lot of complicated rules and then either ignores them or hand-waves them away as convenient. The evil magician casts a lot of spells, but the magic system is such that if the spells a magician casts are broken, the magician loses their power. Why would a magician bother to cast such pointless spells as turning a dragon into a teapot and selling the teapot if the breaking of that spell would mean that his power would be diminished?

In the end, Maggie saves the dragons by giving up her "first and only friend". However, she actually loses the ability to see or interact with any part of the magical world. Either of those things would make sense as an ending but the book presents them as if they are the same thing, which they are not. It just doesn't quite click.

There's some seriously wonderful material here, but it's lost in a book that desperately needs an edit. My dislike is definitely influenced by the high hopes I had after the first few chapters. I did very much enjoy the *gorgeous* illustrations. It's probably aimed at a middle-grade or younger audience, though it's 300 pages and contains complex language and ideas. ( )
  norabelle414 | Oct 16, 2018 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
This review and many more like it are available at Read Till Dawn.

Sometimes, when I've gotten too bogged down with churning through books and reviews, I get a little disenchanted with reading. I forget the magical feeling that comes with losing myself in a good book.

But then I read something like The Language of Spells and I remember all over again.

It reminds me of so many of the fantasy books I read when I was younger, but it's not so redundant that it becomes forgettable. The approach to magic is a relatively fresh angle, and the faux history of magic's disappearance in the past few hundred years actually makes quite a bit of sense. The mistreatment of the missing dragons is awful, but made a hundred times worse by the fact that it eerily echoes the Holocaust which took place around the same time.

Don't worry, though, the story is not so dark that it would be bad for younger or more sensitive readers. In fact, I think it's just about the perfect combination of sadness and fun. Grisha's story is a fascinating one, which I don't want to talk about too much because of spoilers, and I loved to watch his and Maggie's relationship.

My only real issue with the book, I think, is that Weyr kept basically smacking us in the face with the idea that everyone has become so caught up in efficiency and facts that they've forgotten how to see magic; only people like Maggie, whose father lets her read whatever books she chooses and lets her direct her own homeschool education, has kept hold of her imagination enough to see the dragons. As a former homeschooler myself, I don't believe you have to have an unorthodox education to stay imaginative–and I don't think small children should be encouraged to read books with adult topics they're not ready for.

But that's a rather small quibble I have. Overall, I just really enjoyed the reading journey. On one hand, I'd love to read another book set a few years down the road–but on the other, I think the ending is just about the perfect bittersweet end to a perfectly bittersweet story.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
1 vota Jaina_Rose | Aug 28, 2018 |
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Harnett, KatieIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Wikipedia en anglès

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Grisha the dragon is born in the Black Forest in 1803, the last year any dragon was born, and while young he was trapped by the emperor's sorcerer, and turned into a teapot, which was frustrating but kept him alive while magic and other dragons were disappearing--until one day he meets Maggie, a poet's daughter, and the two of them set out to discover what happened to all the other dragons.

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El llibre de Garret Weyr The Language of Spells estava disponible a LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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