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Thirteenth Child | [Patricia C. Wrede]

Thirteenth Child

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.
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Publisher's Summary

#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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1151 )
5 star
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3.9 (1053 )
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4.2 (1048 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Howdyholly Youngsville, NC, United States 07-03-14
    Howdyholly Youngsville, NC, United States 07-03-14 Member Since 2011

    A book lover with a romantic soul, but willing to take a leap of faith. I LOVE to get sucked into a story and live there for a bit.

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    "Interesting but it tries a little too hard"

    This book tries really hard to be dystopic but they take normal words like "Child" and makes it into "childlings" which is somehow supposed to make us believe that society is that far away from our reality that it changes the venacular. Sigh...
    There is also the problem with believing that these people can do magic, but then there are people who prefer not to do magic and want to live without it (WHY?) and then there is the whole problem with re-writing history and making the founding fathers magicians... Double sigh....
    There are a whole lot of holes in the plot and even if you can suspend your disbelief, you still have to get through the book, which is alright, but not wonderful or transforming. I woud say it would be wonderful for a 7th grader. No major love interest or plot twists except that it is a BIG DEAL that she is the 13th child, until suddenly it isn't... IDK

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg 06-25-14
    Meg 06-25-14 Member Since 2014

    megdraco

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    3
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    "A Fitting Tribute to Laura Ingalls Wilder"
    Would you listen to Thirteenth Child again? Why?

    I in fact have listened to it and its two sequels again, multiple times. The narrator's voice is calm and soothing but still conveys emotion and humor, AND she's fantastic at doing lots of different voices.

    The story itself is light - it's not one of those dark, gritty stories, nor is it a hair-raising thriller. It's just a lovely story about a girl named Eff and her life, as she lives it - there are adventures, to be sure, in both this book and the sequels, but the big climatic problems and resolutions, interesting as they are, pale in comparison to the world building and depth of character Wrede portrays.


    What other book might you compare Thirteenth Child to and why?

    There are definitely similarities to Laura Ingalls Wilder's works, which lends even more verisimilitude to the story.


    What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

    Her voices! The story itself is in first person, and she portrays all of Eff's emotions and wry humor in an easy, effortless manner that really makes it sound like someone just telling you their own life story. That she could give other characters such distinct voices, even in the midst of large amounts of dialogue, was also very impressive - I like full cast readings, how much realer they seem, and she practically was a full cast in of herself.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The very first scene Eff describes, one she goes back to again and again throughout the book and even occasionally in the later books, stuck with me just as much as it stuck with Eff, which I think is testament to the skill of Wrede's writing. (not described here because I think you should hear it for yourself.)


    Any additional comments?

    I'm almost sad this was the first new audiobook I got from audible, because it's set the bar so high - I can listen to this series again and again and enjoy it every time, and it's disappointing to then listen to other books and just enjoy listening to them the once.

    Couldn't you be as lovely to listen to as these books, other audiobooks? I'd really appreciate it. (Although I suppose my wallet might not.)

    I do have to add a disclaimer here that I do regularly re-read and re-listen to my favorite books so it's not like it's a completely unique experience for me - although I have never listened to a series repeatedly like this before, where I started listening to the first book again the moment the third was done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaliene north branch, MI, United States 06-20-14
    Kaliene north branch, MI, United States 06-20-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am one who really likes to give out 5 stars"
    Where does Thirteenth Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Highly! It was a fun read, easy to follow and the characters were so likable, even when you got mad at them.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    William, or Eff. I like them both and I like the relationship they share. William seems to keep Eff grounded and she keeps him on his toes. It seems so realistic.


    What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

    At first I was a little bothered by her voice, but as I listened I came to love it! I think the problem was that I came into the book with absolutely no idea of what kind of story it was, so the whole western thing threw me off a bit. So at first her accent seemed weird, but then made sense. I took one star off, but her performance was really a 4 1/2, because some of the voices she did sounded very similar.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved the way that the world itself was constructed. I was a bit disconcerted, trying to figure out what was going on, like a blind person in the dark. But once I got my "night sight" and fell into the rhythm of the story, I loved it.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to anyone! I read a comment somewhere else and unfortunately don't know who said it, but someone had mentioned that this book is like a blending of "Little House on the Prarie" and "Harry Potter" and I would say that is an extremely accurate description. So if you're a fan of both, go ahead and try it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Plain City, UT, United States 06-18-14
    Julia Plain City, UT, United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Disappointing"
    Where does Thirteenth Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It wasn't my favorite, but it was a far cry from my least favorite.


    Any additional comments?

    I was actually pretty bored, and had to force myself to focus on the story. I think this is a book better left read by the junior high crowd.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Johnson 06-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An entire book of exposition"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It helped pass the time, but I did not feel enriched or entertained after it was over.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Patricia C. Wrede? Why or why not?

    Probably not. This book was clearly setting up a series, but never had any action to warrant another try. Although I was intrigued by the world she presented, it was often glossed over, and the story moved in fits and jerks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CastleofJules MAGNOLIA, TX, United States 06-11-14
    CastleofJules MAGNOLIA, TX, United States 06-11-14
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    "Not interesting enough to keep me listening"
    Would you try another book from Patricia C. Wrede and/or Amanda Ronconi?

    I listented for almost 2 hours and didn't get pulled in the story line. Requested refund.


    Has Thirteenth Child turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What aspect of Amanda Ronconi’s performance would you have changed?

    She was ok - not great but average.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thirteenth Child?

    Didn't finish listening so I can't answer.


    Any additional comments?

    Wish it could have been exciting enough to keep me interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JK13 06-08-14
    JK13 06-08-14 Listener Since 2001
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    "Interesting story line; but, book ends abruptly."

    This is clearly a book written for juveniles, which is not a bad thing. I have to say that I was rather surprised that the book ended suddenly; I kept thinking that I must have fast forwarded it to the end, which I did not. So, all I can say is that I disliked being led so blatantly to buy the next book in the series, which I will not. I would not recommend this book to others as a result.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela C. Southern CA 06-02-14
    Angela C. Southern CA 06-02-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "13, Can you imagine being born with it?"

    There is a superstition in being the 13th anything so imagine for a moment that you are the 13th in a group of children. You would be pre-judged, already behind the eight ball from the very beginning.

    Add a magical world to this, add people moving to untamed areas to settle in a world full of magic. Imagine adding another faction, a group of people who refuse to live using magic. How would you survive here? What is it like to be a pioneer in the West as a magical or a non-magical person? What would school be like?

    You are about to embark on a journey that will delight young teens, old teens and adults alike. From the first chapter of this book, I was pulled in and held tight by the story read by Amanda Ronconi.

    Pull up a chair, stop what you are doing and listen. I promise you aren't going to want to stop until the story stops and the last words of the book thanking your for your Audible purchase play in your ears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin M. Slonski Wausau, Wisconsin United States 05-30-14
    Kristin M. Slonski Wausau, Wisconsin United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Hooked from the Start"
    Any additional comments?

    Immediately after finishing this book I bought the second in the series. Then the third. This is the kind of book I would stay up late to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jules ALBION, NY, United States 05-29-14
    jules ALBION, NY, United States 05-29-14 Member Since 2012
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    "very refreshing"
    Would you listen to Thirteenth Child again? Why?

    yes. i thought the description of magic in this book was very interesting, a different approach than any other book. i also loved the parallels to real history and the way the author made changes, it was not crucial to the story line but made the listen much more entertaining and engaging.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    *spoiler*
    when eff figures out how to solve the beetle problem. it shows how she is able to think in different ways than all of her magical counterparts.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when eff was upset about len potentially hurting the classmates with the hot foot spell even though they had been antagonizing her she still showed compassion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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