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A Far Away Magic

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A Far Away Magic Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 11
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When Angel moves to a new school after the death of her parents, she isn't interested in making friends. Until she meets Bavar - a strange boy, tall, awkward and desperate to remain unseen, but who seems to have a kind of magic about him. Everyone and everything within Bavar's enchanted house is urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift through which monsters are travelling, the same monsters that killed Angel's parents. But Bavar doesn't want to follow the path that's been chosen for him - he wants to be normal; to disappear. Fighting one another as well as their fears, Angel and Bavar must find a way to repair the rift between the worlds, and themselves, before it's too late . . . Praise for A Girl Called Owl ' A story of wild winds and bitter frosts with the warmth of friendship at its heart' - Abi Elphinstone, author of The Dreamsnatcher 'This debut is a sparklingly frosty read, full of feisty characters, myth and mystery' - Daily Mail 'A winter treat full of frosty magic' - Katherine Woodfine, author of The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow 'A perfect read for those who love wintery magic and a strong female character proving her place in the world.' Booktrust

A Far Away Magic Reviews | Toppsta

9781509837755

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12th January '18
I read it myself (an adult)
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
When a grief-stricken Angel moves to a new school after the mysterious death of her parents, she just wants to hide away from the world. Despite having no desire to make friends she is drawn to a peculiar boy Bavar who also seems to be trying to disappear into the background. For Angel he has a magic around him that is totally compelling and she recognises another lost soul searching for peace. However it is a dark magic surrounding Bavar that is threatening to consume his life through his calling  to protect the world from a magical rift through which monsters are trying to escape. Angel watches Bavar struggling to accept his fate and is determined to find a way for him to choose his own path in life. But it soon becomes clear to Angel that her past is more entangled in this darkness than she could possibly ever imagine.

I was totally spellbound by this unique and bewitching adventure which held me tightly in its grip till the very last page. Amy seamlessly weaves together the contemporary and magical worlds creating this totally believable world of good battling against evil. By allowing both Angel and Bavar to tell their sides of the story it adds a hidden depth and understanding of the personal struggles they both battle. and you can feel their connection vividly. Angel’s determination to support Baver and refusal to give up even when the odds are fierce and their quest seems impossible, is just so wonderfully brave. Whilst Bavar’s refusal to accept the demands of everyone to be something he just can’t bear to be is just inspiringly defiant. Together they must face their own demons without destroying each other before it’s too late to save their world. A story of dealing with grief, acceptance and being strong enough to be yourself in a world. You are bound to be captivated by this extraordinary dark, mysterious tale.
12th May '18
Neriah read it themselves aged 7 aged 7
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
This book was really good, very enjoyable a story of friendship both characters have lost family in different ways angels parents were killed and Bavar parents have left would recommend this book thanks toppsta
5th May '18
Darth read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
What a wonderful story about two children finding friendship. The book deals with some big issues, Angel's parents have been killed and Bavar's parents have left but the book is ultimately hopeful and this is because there are some really strong supporting characters. My son thought the story was very exciting, especially the monster battles. He liked how the story was told by the two characters in turns. It was easy to read and once he started, he was keen to see how the story ended.
26th February '18
I read it myself (an adult)
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
‘Hauntingly beautiful and richly enchanting… A Far Away Magic is sure to cast its spell over you. Magic is most definitely not far away with this one, in fact it’s in every moment.’

Moving all alone to a new home, a new school, a new family, Angel finds herself mother and fatherless, friendless and faceless. Living with her foster family, whom in the beginning she never really gives a chance, she however starts to see something in someone deep within the shadows at school. The same kind of something that she saw in two other people close to her that are no longer here.

We discover that this someone named Bavar is a seven-foot-tall, misunderstood monster of a boy. In more ways than one. Completely and utterly unnoticed at school by his peers, he’s forever been seen as strange and hunched over, almost as if he’s been living with the weight upon his shoulders of the weird and wonderful world that he finds himself within.

At home however he’s different. His background is worlds apart – quite literally – from this lone figure. Living in the house on the hill where portraits of his dead ancestors whisper through the corridors and a bronze bust of his grandfather gives him advice, he discovers that he’s the family’s heir to defending the rift – a piercing void that allows monsters known as raksasa from an altogether otherly world through in to this one.

Once Angel sees Bavar, that’s all she sees. She tries getting his attention, talking to him, accidentally-on-purpose bumping in to him but it’s all in vain. It’s not through lack of trying however. Bavar doesn’t even want any friends. Particularly not one like Angel…

For unbeknown to him, she can see not just in to his eyes.
But his heart.
Even his soul.

Parentless. No friends. Troubled and lost. Invisible to the world. 
The two of them together have no idea of how much they both have in common.

As their two, very different worlds begin to collide, the most unlikeliest of friends need to come together to try to resolve each other’s problems and this is where we start to see both characters’ true personalities. Angel may be fatherless, friendless and faceless but she’s also fearless. Whilst Bavar comes not only big in stature but also seemingly big in heart, as he wishes to defy and break his family cycle by not wanting to face up and fight the demons and darkness in the destiny that his predecessors have so dangerously left him in.

With a chapter-changing dual narrative providing both sides of their stories, it took slightly longer for me to get into this one than Amy’s debut A Girl Called Owl (a book I named as one of my top 20 #FaveMGKidsBooks2017) but maybe this was a sign as I started to feel more invested in the characters of Angel and Bavar. Something that Amy herself describes has likewise happened to her whilst writing.

Amy masterfully conjures up characters who, to start with, possess echoes of an almost gothic-like Beauty (Angel) and the Beast (Bavar) nature; who, during the story, so desperately need one another; and who, in the end, really do bring the best out of each other.

As readers, sometimes we may not fully acknowledge supporting characters within books. But in my eyes, Mary (Angel’s foster mother) is the most important character. Because if Angel is the only one who truly sees Bavar for who he is, then the same could be said for Mary who I think is the only one who truly sees Angel for who she is.

As Amy describes, it took 17,000 words for her to get Bavar to even think about speaking to Angel so it’s entirely fitting that he has the last word in the final chapter yet Angel really is the catalyst, that she is so often referred to as in the book, to Bavar for helping him to find himself… but can they work together to close the rift in time and keep the raksasa out? Will the truth about Angel’s parents’ deaths be revealed?

This hauntingly beautiful and richly enchanting story while having themes of grief, loss, loneliness, magic and friendship, is also about the power of others seeing something within you and that may be something that you yourself might not believe you even have.

It broods and stirs with a mesmerising quality – full of emotional intensity –  weaving a whole feast of fantastical elements in to Bavar’s world of magical warfare against the backdrop of Angel’s real world. There’s a line in the book when Angel discovers a room in the house of Bavar where men and women gather in clusters and a woman has ‘magic in every movement’, well to paraphrase this: A Far Away Magic certainly has magic in every moment.
15th May '18
Sea Turtle read it themselves aged 10 to 11
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
It was a magical book full of adventure and bravery. I really liked it because it was like I was on the adventure with them. I recommend it to 7 and above.

Ailsa age 11
25th May '18
Alisha read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
I loved it. 

About friends who  have lost some of their  family in different ways, one characters parents were killed and the parents left. 

This book might help children in similar situations.
8th May '18
I read it myself (an adult)
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
I really liked this book. A book about an unlikely friendship Angels parents have died and Bavar is alone. This book was quite addictive. It has action and mystery in it. Kept me in suspense until the end. Really enjoyed it
12th May '18
Belllboo read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
5 stars
I loved reading A Far Away Magic. 
I really liked the characters Bavar and Angel, I really liked the excitement in the story and I loved to hate the people eating monsters the Ravsasa. 

This book was epic and everyone should read it. 
24th May '18
MissMessy read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
4 stars
Lovely storyline about love & loss within family. 
3rd August '18
Poohbear read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
4 stars
I liked how it was mysterious. I got confused by the changing perspective without warning at the start as I was not expecting that. 
The characters are good and easy to like. You want them to have a happy ending. 
The story is very mysterious.
There are no pictures in the book. 
I really enjoyed this book, it made me think about going on adventures and that it's always good to have a bit of mystery in your life  
30th May '18
I read it myself (an adult)
A Far Away Magic 9781509837755
4 stars
Angel is a girl who has been orphaned, and is now living with carers in a new place and starting a new school. As an outsider, she is surprised to discover that she appears to be the only one able to see a boy in her class. He is a giant, and yet nobody appears to be able to see him. Curious, she follows him. Bavaria, the boy in question, does not want to be noticed. How does he seemingly appear to make himself invisible? And how is Angel able to see him? 

What follows is a magical mystery, of monsters from another world, a house with speaking portraits and a fight to save the world.

If you like this book, I would also recommend 'A song from somewhere Else' by A F Harold which has similar themes.
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About Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson has a background in journalism and lives in Bristol with her young family. She is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing and is the author of the critically acclaimed novels A Girl Called Owl - nominated for the CILIP Carnegie medal - and A Far Away Magic . Snowglobe is her third novel for Macm...

More about Amy Wilson

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