Monday, June 14, 2010

The Magician of Hoad

By Margaret Mahy
Rating: 3 stars

Heriot Tarbas has always been a little odd and after he has a vision one day, word spreads about him all the way to the king's ears and Heriot is tapped to become, potentially, the next Magician of Hoad.  It isn't what Heriot has ever wanted, but once in the city of Diamond, he finds a friend in the youngest prince, Dysart, and discovers he does have a magical talent.  However, Heriot can tell that the way he serves the king and makes illusions is not quite what he should be doing.  He has one other friend named Cayley, a rough young boy who is obsessed with becoming a strong fighter.  But the game is afoot in Hoad, for the king has worked long and hard for peace between the countries, which makes the Hero a useless character.  Prince Betony, heir to the throne, is bored by the every day wonders of the world and longs to become a god and shake up the kingdom.  And when the Hero and the prince decide to join forces, trouble is brewing.  Can a reluctant magician solve the crisis? The plot is slow-moving, but fantasy readers may enjoy the interesting characters and undercurrents of the land of Hoad.