#1 New York Times best-selling author Pat Wrede returns to Scholastic with an amazing new trilogy about the use of magic in the wild, wild west.
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.
©2009 Patricia C. Wrede (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Eff struggles to find her place while seeking to limit the damage she might cause, what with being the thirteenth child born to her family and the older twin to her brother Lan, a seventh son of a seventh son. Everyone knows, after all, that Double Sevens are both lucky and powerful natural magicians, while thirteenth children are bad luck to have around and certain to go bad. But in trying to control the curse she fears lies on her, is Eff likely to destroy her own considerable magic power?
Far from the prejudice shown by her father's family back east, Eff finds Mill City on the Mammoth River to offer far more acceptance than she'd known as a small child. And as she grows she becomes increasingly fascinated by the lands west of the Great Divide where a powerful magic boundary runs along the river, keeping creatures such as mammoths and wooly rhinos, sphinxes and ice dragons west of the mixed spells set up to protect the settled lands. In this alternate United States, after all, magic is a real source of power; and it is both respected and necessary for those who wish to settle in the plains west of the river. Or, is it as necessary as is commonly believed?
Patricia Wrede has written a fascinating first volume in what promises to be an entertaining and thought-provoking series of a girl growing up on the leading edge of a growing nation in which magic is a common feature of life. Perhaps inspired equally by Laura Ingals Wilder, J.K. Rowling, and Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series. Narration is good, but could be better, I think.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
I'm sort of damning with faint praise. This was a perfectly pleasant read. It's a child's viewpoint, and it never really transcends that in a way that grabbed me. Nice premise. I'd like to see the next in the series just to see if a more adult character would have more substance.
There was a lot to like about this book. I enjoyed the folksy language, the unusual animals, and the alternate historical timeline that is referenced throughout the book.
I would recommend this book. I read a review that said it was like Harry Potter and Little House on the Prairie. I would agree with that. It is an interesting story about a young girl growing up in a magical society on the frontier.
My favorite scene may have been when Eff finally stood up to her awful Uncle.
Look out Laura Ingalls, there's a new girl on the frontier.
The characters were flat and this felt more like a first draft outline than a finalized story. About 10 more drafts would have made this a good story. Really very little happened to the characters that made me root for them.
Nope... but I won't be listening to anything by this author.
Narrator was ok, but not one of the better speakers. Her attempt at character voices were half-hearted at best.
The concept of a 13th born child witch was a great idea and could have really been a great story. It was the reason I bought the book
I really tried with this story. I plowed through it thinking that the story telling had to get better. the trails of a child must get deeper as she grew up... but by the end of the book I felt like I was cheated out of 10 hours of my life.
So many missed story opportunities were glossed over and the major trials that would shape a young girl were, again, glossed over. The writing and story telling were the weakest I have heard. Something you would expect from freshman English... not something that Audible would have in their collection.
Have you heard of the 7th son of the 7th son? What about the 7th daughter of the 7th daughter? What about the 13th child? Is this child doomed to be evil? This is the story of the 13th child.
This is a wonderful story and I enjoyed it very much, and I hope that you will too.
This author's imagination engaged me. I also liked the fact that I could recommend it to my grandchildren. The author did not fall back on unnecessary explicit sex or bad words to sell the story. The characters were well developed though obvious as to good or bad.It was upsetting at first to have US history so fractured. As the story progressed, it seemed to be less important.
It was a pleasure to listen to the narrator as she brought the story to her audience.
Oh yes, especially a friend with who I shared a childhood reading list.
A strong female heroine without any forced romance.
As a fan of 'dealing with dragons' as a kid, I was not disappointed in Wrede's strong female characters who were interested in things other than boys. A bit of prior knowledge about old west customs and female expectations within those customs may be needed to enjoy this read.
too many people review this book and complain about historical inaccurancy. it's fiction! and its good fiction, well planned without story gaps. I enjoyed the book
The story is some what interesting. The alternate reality, history, and world Wrede created keeps you listening. The heroine is a tad bland. Eff's supporting characters and surroundings often seemed more interesting than her. I support and like female led novels, but in this case I would have preferred it was her brother this book focused on. He seemed like he had more of a personality than Eff. The narration is plain and some what flat. I think it was done to reflect the practical minded heroine, but it just made the story duller. I think in the case of this book it would have been better to read it than listen to it.
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