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Publisher's Summary

Caitlyn Aguirre should have been a magician. Her family certainly expected her to be a magician. But by the time she reached her 12th birthday, Caitlyn hadn't even managed to cast a single spell! In desperation, her parents send her - and her magical sisters - to Jude's Sorcerous Academy, her last best chance to discover her powers.

But as she struggles to survive her classes without a single spell to her name, Caitlyn starts to uncover an ancient mystery that may prove the key to her true powers.... If she lives long enough to find it.

©2017 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

In a world of Magic, One Girl has Zero

This is a world in which everyone has magic, every person can do some form of spell, from the full on Magic Users that create magical items and study magic full time, to cleaners who use simple spells to help them with their daily tasks. The world is kind of like an old world England, with villages, Lords etc, but prestige is not determined by Magical talent rather than sheer wealth.
The story starts with us being introduced to the Aquirre family, the Father is a powerful Mage, able to craft items of true power, and do other amazing feats of magic. His wife is a world renowned Potion Master, able to craft, brew and generate potions of amazing magical power like no other. In the Magical world, twins are a great gift, making a family extremely powerful, so when the Aquirre family are blessed with triplets, their power and place amongst the Elite is practically guaranteed for generations. That is, right up until Caitlyn, the 3rd of the triplets is found to be a Zero, someone with absolutely NO magical ability at all.
Her two sisters Alana and Bella of course have it, Alana is the standard precocious, horrendous, snobby person absolutely full of herself that you would expect in such a family. Bella is kind of lazy with her magic, knowing that she is the 2nd child.
There are going to be obvious comparisons to Harry Potter here, but this is much better. For starters, Caitlyn doesn’t have all the answers, she has to work for things, she isn't handed them, and Nuttall has actually written his story, rather than re-writing a lot of well-known mythology, and having a fairly predictable story.
Secondly, having the main character with no magic in an entire world of magic users is a lot of fun. Yes, I know, it has been done before (Such as Weis & Hickman’s Darksword Trilogy for example), but this is a fantastically written story.
Nuttall has created a beautiful world for the characters to play in and this story to unfold, and it adds a sensational depth to the book. With the upper class magical element, and the peasantry all wrapped around magic through, rather than money, it creates a unique perspective of things. There are also references to this ancient ‘Empire’ that existed previously that fell, and how knowledge was lost, and those of today are trying to re-create some elements of the new world based on this old Empire. It adds an element of mystery, gives the story some extra depth, and allows Nuttall to add various storylines that provide his story with some actual substance.
The main character herself is brilliant, both for a younger audience (which to be honest, I think this book might be aimed at, but, we’re all big kids at heart), but this is also a great listen for anybody who likes a good fantasy story.
Caitlyn is obviously a troubled girl, struggling in a world where she is not only expected to have the gift of magic, but without it, she may well damage the reputation of her family. And even worse, without it, she becomes the target of everyone who sees her as easy prey. However, she is a wonderful role model as well, in a current real world full of news of bullying, Caitlyn shows that you can stand up for yourself, using your intelligence, courage, and your wits. Without giving too much away, she finds things to counter her ‘disability’ as such, making her creativity and intuitiveness part of the real fascination of this book as she has to deal with not just her sisters, but Judes school of Magic, a place where she should be eaten alive with no magical ability.
There are some other wonderful characters as well, Rose, the commoner who was lucky enough to get into the school and becomes Caitlyn’s friend, Caitlyn’s two sisters obviously, the twins of a rival family, as well as those of Caitlyn’s Dorm. All come together to make this an exceptional book. (I was going to write a ‘magical book’ but it I just couldn’t bring myself to do it…)
Whether you are new to Fantasy or Christopher Nuttall’s work, this is a great place to start.
As for the Narration Saskia Maarleveld has such a beautiful voice it is such a joy to listen to regardless of the story she is telling, so when she has material of this standard, it is a true blessing to get to listen to. Maarleveld captivates with a wonderful array of voices, both male and female, using her exquisite tones to bring life and magic to the characters so you can thoroughly enjoy Nuttall's wonderful story.
This is a perfect match of an outstanding Author and an Exceptional Narrator, and anything this pair does is going to be worth listening to.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A New And Exciting Magical World

This is the 3rd different series by Nuttall featuring a magical society and a strong female lead. While it's not necessarily better than the other series, it is full of its own creativity and characters that make it distinct and in some ways more interesting. It has elements of Sanderson's Mistborn series, as well as Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles. Good company, indeed.

The narration is first-rate, and I was pleasantly surprised that the book is less predictable than it appears at first. Sure there's a magical school, kids that can be cruel, and occasional duels, but if that's to your liking, you won't be disappointed with this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story & Narrator! Often Forgot It Was YA

While the ages are pre-teen, the intelligence and invention that the lead character, even with the voice appropriately young, often allowed me to forget the age. The material is clean and appropriate for the age. The latter allowed the focus to be on the excellent story telling. The narrator, Ms. Maarleveld, is excellent, as always.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My two sentence review

I honestly doubted I'd enjoy the book as much as I did. Chris has easily become my favorite author with this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Holly
  • ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
  • 03-29-18

Highly immersive and warmly recommended

I am a big fan of the very immersive and detailed Schooled in Magic series; though was not keen on the first Bookworm novel. However, this gem has usurped any favorite in the Schooled in Magic series. Simply splendid. Incredibly detailed magic world, and the writer very skillfully allows the reader to suspend their disbelief. This is quite the page turner! I had to alter my activities to finish it. I can hardly bear to wait to begin the next one, which I will do the instant I finish this review.

SUPERBLY narrated.

The only "drawback" is that Caitlyn, her sisters and Isabella all seem more like 16 years old, certainly not ten. However, that is a wonderful drawback as it made the book much more appealing and yet it will "last" much longer, her school years.

I just loved how this first installment wrapped up and the insight into her father was very well done. I am keenly interested in Caitlyn's well-being, that of her friend Rose, and care even about some of the teachers. Well-done!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

love them all

I love all the books hes put out so far can't wait for the next ones have already completed The complete bookworm series and just waiting on the next schooled in magic book to come out now hes got me hooked on this one too........ Keep them coming just a little faster would be great lol

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the authors best yet!!!!

What did you love best about The Zero Blessing?

The way Christopher builds his characters drawing you into them making you care or dislike them.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Caitlyn the main character and following her development

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not up to expectations

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The series is a big disappointment considering how much I enjoy his Schooled in Magic series. I tried listening to this book twice and was just bored through both attempts. I've had this problem with a few of Nuttall''s series. I can't wait for the next book in his Schooled in Magic series. Same with his space operas, I like one series.but the others didn't hold my attention.

The narration is always good but it just can't make up for the uninteresting characters and storyline of this new series. Nuttall is not an automatic buy for me. I have to try each of his series and return the ones I don't immediately enjoy. Then I have to try and remember which seris I didn't like so I avoid future books in that series. Confusing as Nuttall is so prolific. I'm returning this one and I've avoided the second and third books in the Bookworm series.

What could Christopher G. Nuttall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Make his characters more interesting. I don't feel any involvement or interest in any of the characters in this story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The only scene that I even remember is the inquisitor's first interview of the bookworm.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The only redeeming quality is the narration. At least I didn't have to put up with a poor narrator as well as a boring story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joel
  • sioux falls, sd, United States
  • 12-14-17

Another enjoyable tale

This is the start of yet another series that I shall have to experience. The heroin has shown remarkable courage while overcoming the trials that life keeps throwing at her. I am looking forward to the next book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worth a credit, but does have some annoying flaws

The book has a nice story line, but it is long and drawn out. The writer has a tendency to repeat the same mantra every few paragraphs...after reaching 3/4 of the book, I just started to skip chapters. The events that occurred in the middle of the book had little impact on the ending...so, honestly, I think you could read the first 1/4 and then skip to the last quarter and not miss much of anything. It is for that reason that I dropped a couple stars.

The storyline itself is kinda interesting and you do want to see where things go. I also thought Maarleveld did a good job with the voices of the various characters. So, I can recommend this for using a credit, or maybe wait for a sale....but if you are scrapping by for credits or cash, hold off.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-17

kid safe HP

Great story for primary school children. I really liked the story line and the setting. It lacked descriptions in some areas. I felt that Christopher could have allowed me touch the ancient walls and feel the dust or smell a rancid potion. Instead I was always faraway from my characters. Still I will continue to read the series, which may end up being a part our reading list in the classroom.
-z

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-03-17

Love this book

Fantastic story line and a great story highly recommend can not wait for book 2