Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

Imagine an America settled by colonists and pioneers who all know how to use magic! Magic is necessary to protect the settlers against powerful animals such as woolly rhinos, mammoths, and steam dragons. Patricia Wrede has created this amazing and original fantasy world for the first book in her new series Frontier Magic.

Eff Rothmer has a twin brother, Lan, who is the seventh son of a seventh son - destined to be a truly powerful magician. Unfortunately she is also the thirteenth child of her family and she suffers from the superstition that she is a jinx or perhaps something worse. Eff is relieved when her family moves West, when her father accepts a position as a professor of magic at a new college near the frontier. Eff loves the excitement of moving closer to the great magical barrier created by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, which keeps out all the truly dangerous magical creatures. She makes a good friend in William. And she adores her new magic teacher Miss Ochiba, who teaches non-traditional magic. Unfortunately there are real dangers out on the frontier. And Eff worries that she is a danger to others since her magic seems so unreliable.

I really like the cover illustration for this book. It reminds me of the black paper silhouettes that people used to make.

To read the first chapter of Thirteenth Child, click on the book title link above.