a matter of magic + giveaway

Alyce at At Home with Books is hosting a weekly feature where she highlights one of her favorite reads from the past and encourages others to do so as well.

Patricia C. Wrede has written some seriously lovely fantasy novels, and I believe she qualifies as one of the pioneers of the YA fantasy movement. Of course, I might be biased. I quite honestly adore everything she’s ever written. In college I forced a friend to read the Mairelon the Magician and Magician’s Ward books, because she said she’d liked Dealing with Dragons. That conversation started because I’d posted ‘None of this nonsense, please,’ above my dorm room door. Those were the words that Morwen the witch had painted on her house, if you’ll recall (and if you haven’t read Dealing With Dragons, Lord preserve us! I’ll mail you a copy if you win the contest. HUSH – yes, there’s a contest! Wait for it.).

I don’t remember her reaction being quite as enthusiastic as I’d hoped for, but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm, and I’ve tried to get them into the hands of many a young person since, and even a few not-so-young persons as well. The problem with Mairelon and Magician’s Ward (and her title Snow White and Rose Red, for that matter) is that they haven’t been in print continuously. And when they are in print, they sometimes have ugly covers. It pains me to say it, but it’s true. So when I learned that Mairelon and Magician’s Ward were being reprinted TOGETHER, in a beautiful new package called A Matter of Magic, I was understandably elated.

When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.

Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right. Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and Magician’s Ward, two fast-paced novels filled with mystery and romance, set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England."

Both of these stories follow Kim, a cross-dressing feisty street-dweller in an alternate-history England. That’s a mouthful, eh? So what’s alternate about it? Why, magic, of course! Kim has a tendency to get into scrapes, and her adventures (and those of Mairelon), are fun, fast-paced, a touch mysterious and always entertaining. Previously both titles were marketed to middle grade boys, but I can vouch that there’s enough there to make the teenage girl contingent swoon a bit as well.

Recommended for fans of Marissa Doyle’s Bewitching Season and Betraying Season, Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, and any of Wrede’s other titles. There’s the same strand of humor and adventure and liveliness that runs through the rest of her works. Definitely for fun, and definitely for YOU (Yes, you. Don’t try to hide.).


It turns out it’s your lucky day – I’m giving away THREE copies of A Matter of Magic!

To enter:

Leave a comment on this post telling me which time period you’d add magic to (and if you’d visit it, of course!).

Please include your email address or another method of contact. Giveaway is open internationally. Comments will close on July 2 at 11:59pm EST, and I will notify the randomly selected winners via email.

Good luck!


Milka said...

I would add magic to the timeperiod we are living now so I could have magic in my life every day!


Alyce said...

I haven't read Dealing With Dragons before, or the Magician books. I love it when books get reprinted in nicer covers.

I would add magic to Victorian England so that I could wear pretty dresses and practice magic (as long as that magic included things that would make my life as comfortable as it is in modern day). :) And while we're at it, how about a reality where women had equal rights and more power in that era as well (if it's an alternate reality I figure I might as well make it a good one).

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Jenny said...

I actually shrieked out loud when I saw they were reprinting these books. I love Patricia C. Wrede, and the Mairelon books are two that I love particularly.

I'd add magic to fin-de-siecle England, and I would totally go there! I would meet Oscar Wilde and impress him with my magic skillz.

Jenny said...

Hell, I'm sorry, I forgot my email address: bastet57 AT gmail DOT com.

debbie said...

I would add magic, and visit, america in the 1910's. Alot was happening at that time period. I would love to have seen it. Magic would have been really interesting to add to it.

Dani. said...

Normally I would say the victorian age because i am absolutely in love with it! but then I got the idea, what is there was magic in the 80's? sooooooooooo weird it just might be awesome!


Charlotte said...

I've never read either Mairelon or Magician's Ward, but I know I should! I've somehow over looked Wrede-- I just realized how lovely a book Sorcery and Cecelia was...and even though there's a copy of Dealing with Dragons in the house, I haven't read that yet either!

So do please enter me. Thanks!

charlotteslibrary @ gmail dot com

Charlotte said...

gosh--forgot to add magic to a time period...um...perhaps Elizabeth England...lots of good stuff happening then.

Unknown said...

I would love some magic added to this time period! Perhaps a little cleaning magic *winks*

Otherwise send me to a magical Rome!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Leslie said...

I would add magic to the 60's and 70's. Imagine how that would change the cold war. Plus, so many awesome musicians. I'd definitely visit.

Kristen M. said...

I still haven't read any more Wrede after Sorcery and Cecelia so I'm in on this one!

I would probably also choose Victorian times to add magic to. I like the magic/fancy clothes combination!


Christa said...

I saw someone mention Rome to a similar prompt on another blog a few months ago & ever since I've loved the idea! Though I'm still partial to having some Magic during the American Civil War... wouldn't that be interesting? What if it was also about was Magic Supplies/Resources?

Thanks for the giveaway. I loved Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest series. : ) I do need to get my hands on her other books, too. (For being such a fan I actually didn't know she wrote much more until a few months ago... How in the world did THAT happen?!? I blame Reading-Time-Stealing college, lol.)

ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

Kristen said...

During the time of the Russian REvolution! :)

dragonzgoil at gmail dot com

Ryan said...

Thank you! I've been hearing about these books for a while but never read them so I'm chomping at the bit to enter the giveaway.

By the way I've never read Dealing with Dragons either but if I win you don't have to send it to me (unless you really want to :-)

I would add magic to fedual Japan. I've always been fascinated by the culutre and the how caste worked in that area and would be intrigued to see how magic would change it.


Memory said...

Ooh, that's one gorgeous reprint!

I always seem to enjoy magical stories in Regency-style settings, so I'd love to add magic to the early nineteenth century. Provided, of course, that some gender equality came along with it. :)

xicanti AT gmail.com

Cass said...

Wow what a beautiful cover! I'd go to the 80s! :)


Mystica said...

Thanks for opening it internationally. Much appreciated.


Sullivan McPig said...

Sounds like a great read.

I'd add magic to the colonisation of America. I'd love to read about Native American Indians defending their homes with use of magic.

Sullivan McPig said...

oops, forgot to add: email in profile

Unknown said...

I would add magic to the Victorian Era. It seems like such a wonderful time. And, yes, I would definitely visit!


donnas said...

Its the first I have heard of these books but they sound really good. I would add magic to and visit the Renaissance.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Giada M. said...

I would add magic to Ancient Egypt! I love that timeperiod! Thank you for the interesting post and this great giveaway! :)

Giada M.

fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisa said...

They marketed these to middle school boys? That seems like a mistake to me. No need to enter me in the giveaway--I'm sure there are people that would have a much greater appreciation for the book.

Allison T said...

I would add magic to the future. Then I could cast spells and have high-tech equipment. XD
Allison T

Aporia said...

Have you done a post yet on fantasy and magic movies that you like?

throuthehaze said...

I would add magic to the victorian era.
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

EVA SB said...

I would like to play around with some magic now but I think a mix of magic and the regency period of Englsih history would be fun.


Jenny N. said...

I'd add some magic to New York in the 1930's.



Id love to add magic to this time period we live in now! great contest


Tales of Whimsy said...

Sweeet contest :)
(not an entry)

Shari said...

I would add magic to right now! I know a lot of people who could really use some magic in their lives. People take everything so seriously. Shari

Unknown said...

Wow this book sounds amazing!

Hmm I would really want magic now. Ever since reading Harry Potter live seems like it could be a wee more interesting with some real magic in it ;)

Steve Capell said...

I would add magic to period of time prior to WWII so that mankind would not have suffer all wages of hate and war. Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway.


April (BooksandWine) said...

This sounds super cool! I would totally add magic to the regency era and yessir I would be around for that.

Contact - Twitter, if that's okay - @booksandwine

Peaceful Reader said...

I think the 1960's would be fun with magic. I love the cover of these books and it would look great on my shelf. Reach me at mcmholt [at] gmail [dot] com.

Ruth (Book Focus) said...

A good time with magic? Wow, it's hard to think of one, really. Not when Julius Caesar was around, or Hitler, or Alfred the Great, or Alexander the Great. I'm trying to think of a time when magic would be safe to be around... a time when people weren't generally cruel and history's rulers could have been trusted with magic!

...and of course I can't think of any.

Maybe the beginnings of mankind. I don't know what those were, whether they were Neanderthals or Adam and Eve or something else entirely, but I think whatever people started off humankind probably needed all the help they could get, and would be too primitive to do much wrong with their magic other than drive dinos and dodos to extinction.

And I would totally want to go. Just to visit. That time period doesn't sound at all comfortable, or safe, probably. I like my tap water and car and electric blanket a bit too much to want to actually live in the past!!

Email: kiwibooklover at gmail dot com

Thanks for making this international! :) The book sounds great.

Jacqueline C. said...

I've heard so many great things about her books, especially this one. It's funny that I never heard of her before I heard about this re-release a few months ago.

justpeachy36 said...

Adding magic to the old west could be interesting. Magical cowboys... OH MY!


please enter me in the giveaway.

~The Book Pixie said...

Like Alyce above ^ I would love to add magic to Victorian England! Especially after reading Marissa Doyle's Bewitching Season and Betraying Season. So yes, I would totally visit. I love the idea of those pretty dresses and balls, beautiful stone houses and gardens. Would totally sneak my camera with me. Of course I'd also sneak a bag of modern hygiene stuff as well. But then again, I could always use my magic wand to fix my tooth aches and tell mother nature to stick it where the sun don't shine. :P

True, we didn't have equal rights back then, which sucked, but I'd only be going to visit. Also, though rights weren't equal, women were more viewed and treated as ladies - assuming they weren't destitute but poor people are always treated like crap, even now - rather than being demeaned in music, etc and made to feel like nothing but some hot piece of tail to be spanked. Just sayin'.

I've really been wanting to read this book and I hope I win! Thanks for the contest!


Anonymous said...

I would add magic to the time period when the first Europeans started coming to America. It would be interesting to visit but I don't think I'd want to stay very long.

Page (One Book At A Time) said...

I would add magic to the Elizabethan age! Shakespeare and magic ... heck yeah I would visit!
Great contest.



Unknown said...

I would love to go to the 19th century, people weren't as openminded to magic as tehy are nowadays so it sure would have been challenging and interesting to see :-D

Thank you for this giveaway!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Nomes said...

Oh - this book sounds incredible :)

And the cover = <3

I'd add a little magic to the 1930's - the great depression :) God knows they needed it :)


oh - my email :)


Anonymous said...

I'm a reader of Patricia C. Wrede's works, and really love Mairelon. This version is gorgeous, and I'd love to have a copy. :)

Of course, I'd add magic to current time, provided I get to live in it. But if not, Victorian England is the best.

sandyshin7 [at] gmail [dot] com

Llehn said...

I would add magic maybe say 100 years into the future so it would be nice to see how magic and technology co-exists.

I'm a follower.


Unknown said...

I would add magic in 2012, kind of like a tribute to the Mayan theory.

I'd love to be a part of this contest, thank you!


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