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Thirteenth Child  By  cover art

Thirteenth Child

By: Patricia C. Wrede
Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
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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.

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What listeners say about Thirteenth Child

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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

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.

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

Just couldn’t do it.

Maybe if I could have gotten further into the book I would have a different opinion. I fell asleep went back to listen again and decided it just wasn’t anything that would be worth staying awake. First book I have tried from this author.

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

History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance

First of all, Thirteenth Child's lack of romance is extremely refreshing. There are a lot of YA series out there with strong female leads, and there's almost always a romance in there... but not here. Maybe in the later books.

Eff isn't unique in her tomboy-ish characteristics; that's a familiar trope in modern YA literature, but she's more Laura Ingalls or Jo March than Katniss Everdeen. She's remarkably normal for a world full of magic - then again, this is a world where magic is seen as a given, and its the Revisionists (affirmed non-magic users) are seen as radical.

Wrede writes a world that makes no bones about life with magic being easier, and finds suitable, unexpected consequences for that magic. Magic in Columbia isn't opposite of nature, it's an instrinic part of it - and as our environment adapts and changes with our use of it, so the magic does in Eff's world.

Amanda Ronconi is a fine narrator, and I liked what she did with Eff's character and did adore the voices she chose for the men - particularly Wash, a character who appears about 2/3 of the way through the book. I don't know if it was a specific choice on her part, but she made Eff and Lan's voice relatively similar (they're twins!) and I liked that. Otherwise, the narration was a little slow, but it suited the tone of the story.

Overall, the plot isn't particularly surprising or exciting, but it's a solid tale with good world creation, and fleshed-out characters. I was able to stop and start listening with relative ease... I think it took me about two weeks to go through it, listening for a few hours every couple of days. It was easy to fall back into the story, and Amanda Ronconi helped with that familiarity a lot.

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62 people found this helpful

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

Frontier diary of a magical child

Any additional comments?

The book "reads" like a diary, like Laura Ingals diary from Little House on the Prairie had Laura been born to a magical family. It is easy paced and somewhat sedate but pleasant enough to play while I am sewing.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Slow in places but ended making me want more!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, it's a bit wordy. Reminds me at times of Eragon in details but it ends well and I was excited to start the next book

Which character – as performed by Amanda Ronconi – was your favorite?

Eff was my favorite. She showed her vunerability and braveness

Do you think Thirteenth Child needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, there are two more in the series

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

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.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Overall: enjoyable

A bit slow, but really interesting, I think this sets up more a more exciting story. TBC.. once I get through the next book.
Wasn't a huge fan of the narrator, I didn't think her accent fit the book well, and she was a bit dry for my taste, but that's just personal preference. I was still able to get through the entire book.

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