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The Lost Magician

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The Lost Magician Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 6
6 Reviews
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'If you can imagine it, it exists ... somewhere.' The new spellbinding fantasy adventure from the bestselling, award-winning author of The Last Wild trilogy. 1945. They have survived the Blitz, but when Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry step through a mysterious library door, it is the beginning of their most dangerous adventure yet. They discover the magical world of Folio, where an enchanted kingdom of fairy knights, bears and tree gods is under threat from a sinister robot army. The many stories of the Library are locked in eternal war, and the children's only hope is to find their creator - a magician who has been lost for centuries. What they find will change not just their own lives, but the fate of the world, for ever ... An ode to the world of Narnia, The Lost Magician is a classic in the making from one of the UK's most talented children's authors. Praise for Piers Torday:
'the new master of books for children who like magic and modernity with their lust for adventure ' - The Times

The Lost Magician Reviews | Toppsta

9781786540515

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16th May '19
MrH's_class read it themselves aged 8 to 10
The Lost Magician 9781786540515
5 stars
I loved the Lost Magician as it was a super adventure story that was full of mystery. Who knew that a painting could turn into the door of a magical library, inside which all sorts of surprises and adventures dwell. This is certainly a book that I would put in the 'read' aisle of the library, though I think it would easily go into a 'reread' one too - an idea Piers Torday himself liked! 
A wonderful story that you will certainly enjoy and see the author's inspiration in.
Thomas, 4DH
16th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Lost Magician 9781786540515
5 stars
I’m a children’s writer myself (a less classy, more mainstream one than Piers Torday) and would like to offer FOUR REASONS why – with The Lost Magician – Mr Torday might be elected King of all Storytellers…
1)     The track record…  Torday announced himself with the mighty Guardian Prize winning Wild trilogy, and this has earned him the collaboration of the finest team available – editor, agent, artist.  Just look again at the cover of The Lost Magician:  a boy, up a twisted tree, stares wondrously at a distant mountain – have you ever seen an image that’s more bewitching, more suggestuve of the enchantment awaiting inside the pages?
2)     The characterisation…  My previous favourite was The Last Wild’s harvest mouse – small, but heroic, and very fond of dancing.    My favourite here is the lugubrious unicorn.  (There’re shades of Marvin from Hitch-hikers Guide…)   This is a clever, depressed unicorn, who’s really more interested in Maths.  ‘‘There’s no need to take that kind of tone,’  said the unicorn.’  Torday’s invention is always delightful, but noticeable too is the empathy, with which he feels his characters’ journeys.  Early on in The Lost Magician, Larry is exploring where he shouldn’t, and ‘a floorboard creaked so accusingly that he almost went straight back down the stairs again.’  I love that ‘accusingly’:  it captures the paranoia we feel, when we’re nervous, and everything, even floorboards, have turned against us.
3)     The lovely sonorous prose.  It seems appropriate to be reading this during a rumble of concerts saluting the centenary of the Great War.   Torday’s writing has a grand Classical rhythm,  suggestive of the gorgeous first sentence of Pullman’s Book of Dust, but suggestive too of Holst or Elgar.  You feel compelled to read it aloud:  ‘Her words fell like fresh snow across the new page.  And they brought with them a wintry hush, as every single Read and Unread stopped what they were doing, broke off their conversations, paused in their repairs or nursing of injuries and turned toward the four Readers.’
4)     The ambition…  Torday is frank about his intention – to reimagine Narnia from a modern perspective, so he updates the characterisation:  Larry is probably gay,  Evie is traumatised,  Simon hates reading because he’s dyslexic…  But he updates, too, the themes.  Good and Evil are not viewed as Christian / unchristian.  It’s still ‘kindness and compassion’ versus ‘ignorance and selfishness’,  but Torday essays a different dialectic:  his world is a war between Reads - lovers of stories -  and Unreads  - lovers of facts -  in a battle that will summon the Never Reads – the ignorant, who never read at all.   You can’t help notice that The King of the Never Reads is a Trumpy figure.  He is vindictive and destructive.  His goaty hooves trample the mud.  You find yourself thinking how Brexit came about, as its proponents boasted their hatred of Experts. When you put the book down, you find yourself thinking:  but is this right – that it’s a love of facts that are destroying a love of reading;  isn’t it phones and technology that are destroying it, by removing our peace?  But the point is you find yourself contemplating grand themes of cosmic battle.  And while reading you can’t help but admire the superb scene where the Trump-king is found in a tower in a storm-crossed plane.   ‘Finally, the steps stopped at the entrance to a grand, vaulted hall…’  Try saying that aloud!  You’re certainly lead on, aren’t you?  You’re ushered into the imagination of the king of all tellers…
 
9th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Lost Magician 9781786540515
5 stars
Four siblings (2 girls, 2 boys) having survived the Blitz are sent to live at an English Country House. One of them, through a library door, finds the magical world of Folio where he meets a not so human creature. His other siblings initially do not believe him, so one goes through the door after him and makes a pact with an evil queen. In this world a war is going on between the reads, un-reads and Never-reads, between fact, fiction and fairytales... The Lost Magician is not just a Modern day Narnia (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) this book, with its themes of knowledge and imagination celebrates the power and love of reading and how books and libraries are needed in the world.

This is a stunning book, full of magic and fantasy, written with charm and passion, a modern classic that will be read and re-read for many years to come.
This book for me ticks many boxes so I award it 5⭐️
28th October '18
I read it to Boyreader aged 10 aged 10
The Lost Magician 9781786540515
5 stars
Max was given this book for his birthday and we started reading it together each night.  The chapters end on cliffhangers and we both wanted to carry on but we managed to hold out and savour each chapter.  
The battle between good and evil is taken to a new level in this book- it becomes a battle between fiction and non fiction and ultimately the non reader versus the reader.  The pages of the books become the battleground and we were left bereft in places.  Pages fluttering in the wind, ink running through battle scenes and characters fighting for their stories.  
This is a true adventure story with a hint of magic and mystery interwoven together. The children are sent away after the war to an old manor house and are free to roam.  The younger children stumble upon a library that holds a magical secret.  They learn of the previous owner who created the library and learn of his mysterious disappearance.  Within the pages of the story are government file excerpts that keep the reader guessing as to the real reason the children have been sent there. 
The sense of imagination running throughout the book keeps you entertained and glued to the story.  Piers Torday has created a book to be shared and read by the masses.  
I felt that I wanted to protect every library around the world and to ensure stories are shared with children and grown ups every day.  
Read this book- it is a wonder to look at and read.
4th April '19
I read it to Lego boy aged 10 aged 10 & to Train boy aged 7 aged 7
The Lost Magician 9781786540515
5 stars
We picked up this book from the library as we really liked the cover art and story blurb, and we are really glad we did because it was really good!

Set in the aftermath of the war, the story follows four children evacuated from London while their parents find a new house (their old house was bombed out). Sent to a mysterious mansion in the golden summer countryside, the children are warned by the professor looking after them never to venture to the top floor. Yes of course they venture to the top floor! Where a mysterious door sometimes appears and is sometimes absent. The door when it allows the children to find it leads to a library of every story ever written, the unreads (factual books and new information to be discovered, and the never reads. On opening a book in the library, the children are sucked into the world of Folio, where they meet a whole host of characters from stories you'll recognise yourself! Although there is a war going on in Folio, which the children inevitably get tangled up in, leading the children on a fast paced and exciting adventure.

We really liked this book, fantastically creative, imaginatively visual and a page turner. Sometimes, the distinction between the reads, unreads and never reads was a little difficult to follow, but it didn't detract from the enjoyment of the book. The book broadly parodies the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and would be great for fans of CS Lewis.
13th February '19
Jbwise read it themselves aged 10 aged 10
The Lost Magician 9781786540515
5 stars
The Lost Magician is a great book, I especially loved the battle scene at the end, it was very dramatic and enjoyable! I love this author, he writes amazing books and each one is better than the last!
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About Piers Torday

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. His mos...

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