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America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger and Emily Woo Zeller
Malamander by Thomas Taylor
A Man and His Cat, Volume 1 by Umi Sakurai
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Parachutes by Kelly Yang
Restaurant to Another World Volume 1 by Junpei Inuzuka and Katsumi Enami
River of Dreams by Jan Nash
Sandhill Cranes by Lynn M. Stone
School-Tripped by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle
Some Enchanted Éclair by Bailey Cates and Amy Rubinate
Still Life by Louise Penny
Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper
Time for Bed, Fred! by Yasmeen Ismail
Valley of the Lost by Vicki Delany

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Minor Mage: 09/25/20

Minor Mage

Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher is a middle grade fantasy novel that she originally tried to publish as Ursula Vernon. Unfortunately she's been pigeon holed as an author of upbeat, colorfully illustrated hybrid-comic fantasies. After years of trying to make this novel acceptable for her publishers, she decided to release it as an ebook. Her T. Kingfisher books are ones she "likes to write."

Oliver is a minor mage in both senses of the word. He's a child and he's a mage of rather limited capacity. He has an armadillo as a familiar and a very short list of spells.

He, though, is his village's last hope for stopping the drought. In the past, heroes have gone through the woods and up into the mountains to bring home the rains. But now he's the only wizard in the town.

Along the way, though, Oliver comes across a worse threat, ghuls. Here's where things get dark. But it's no worse than what Tiffany Aching faces in any of her adventures, the first being The Wee Free Men (2003).

Oliver, like Harriet Hamsterbone, excels at lateral thinking when it comes to magic. In Harriet's case, it's using the curse to her advantage. In Oliver's, it's using the push me pull me spell to it's full capacity.

The quest to find the rain (as well as destroy the ghuls) is mapped on the road narrative spectrum. Oliver leaves his village alone, essentially as an orphan traveler (FF). The destination are the mountains, specifically a farm up there somewhere, which can be represented as the wildlands (99). The route he takes is the Blue Highway (33), meaning he sticks to the road he's memorized as best as he can (save for numerous detours to avoid the ghuls and other threats along the way). Minor Mage can be summarized as an orphan traveling to the wildlands via the Blue Highway (FF9933).

Five stars

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