The Magician’s Workshop by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr Book Review

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Of all the genres out there Young Adult (YA) is one of my favourites. As a 22 year old, I’m not that far from its target audience. Some define YA’s demographic as stretching even to early twenties.

The long list of what I have read is sprinkled with YA titles such as The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games, The Perks of being a Wallflower and Twilight. I’m probably not invested in YA as much as fantasy, but I tend to really enjoy reading them.

YA authors do very well at creating whole new worlds with very relatable characters and Hansen and Fehr are no exception. I wonder if I’ll still enjoy YA as much when I’m older and therefore further from the characters, but we’ll just have to wait and see!

I was approached to review The Magician’s Workshop and I knew right away that I’d like it. When I read the blurb I was 100% sure.

Layauna desperately wants to create beautiful things with her magical powers, but all she can seem to do is make horrible, savage monsters. For years she has tried to hide her creations, but when her power is at last discovered by a great magician, she realizes that what she’s tried to hide might actually be of tremendous value.

 

Kai just wants to use his powers to have fun and play with his friends. Unfortunately, nearly everyone on his island sees him as a bad influence, so he’s forced to meet them in secret. When one of the creatures they create gets out of control and starts flinging fireballs at their town, Kai is tempted to believe that he is as nefarious as people say. However, his prospects change when two mysterious visitors arrive, praising his ability and making extraordinary promises about his future.

 

Follow the adventures of Kai, Layauna, and a boatload of other characters as they struggle to grow up well in this fantastical world.

It’s set in the fictional world of O’Ceea where people can make or ‘project’ whatever they want. You can project flavours onto food to make it taste better, you can project clothes, animals, decorations. Whatever you want. The magician’s of the titular workshop also make Grand Projections of stories to entertain the people of O’Ceea.

The idea of projections really piqued my interest. I wanted to know how humans would behave in a world where you can create whatever you want. It was interesting to read how disconnected with the real world they had become through having this power. In O’Ceea, touching each other had become taboo and people would send touch projections.

The book came with a preface written by Hansen and Fehr. I liked that it gave a little background as to where the story came from and where it’s going, which is something you don’t often get. I think it was important for the authors to let you know that you’re reading only the start of the story. At this time, writing this feels like reviewing the eggs and flour rather than reviewing the whole cake. I’ve read the start of an excellent story and I can’t wait to read Volume 2.

However, the only thing I didn’t like had nothing to do with the story, more the structure of it. There were several characters who each got their own set of chapters. The first character we meet is a girl called Layauna who struggles to control her magic and can only make horrific beasts. I really liked her character and was eager to read more of her. At the end of her chapter, she is whisked away by her Grandfather, but we don’t meet her again till chapter 13, by that point I had almost forgotten who she was or where she had come from.

I liked the variety of characters. All of the characters were different and very interesting. There was someone for everyone. There were male and female characters of various personalities so it’s relatable for so many people. I’m more drawn to the strong female characters so Kalaya and Layauna were very attractive to me.

If YA magical fantasy is your thing, then The Magician’s Workshop is a must read.

You can explore the Magician’s Workshop a little more and buy both volumes on oceea.com

Featured Photo Credit: Magic Forest by Matthias Ripp via Flickr 

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