In The Magi, by Kevin Turner, Elijah Hawk thought the worst thing he was going to have to worry about during his last year of junior high was the fact that he wasn’t nearly as buff as he hoped he’d be. His last normal memory involved sitting around the dinner table, swishing his food back and forth across the plate, and worrying about how he would get girls to like him when he was so scrawny.If only that was all Elijah would have to worry about during his 13th year of life. That same night, Elijah’s parents and sister are brutally murdered by a mysterious man with yellow eyes, and Elijah’s life changes in dramatic ways.
At first, he goes to live with his uncle, and while there he finds out some strange things about his family. Nothing concrete yet, but just hints that something other than a random home invasion was to blame for their deaths. When Uncle Stan is “arrested” after giving Elijah mysterious instructions to get out of the house and wait for him in a park, Elijah is taken to a horrible academy for boys in Canada. Thanks to one kind teacher, he manages to get out of that place and ends up among the Magi, a group of people who have learned to control the elements, but choose to use their powers for good. Unfortunately, another sect of people, the Maliphists who can also control elements prefers to destroy everything they can’t control, and they have their sights set on Elijah. Together with his new friends, Elijah must do everything he can to protect those he loves and keep himself safe at the same time.
The Magi was an awesome story, filled with adventure, excitement, and, of course, magic. The system of magic in Turner’s world is different than in others because it is based on the theory that everyone has the potential to use it if they’re willing to learn. The Magi’s ability to control the elements comes from a lifetime of learning everything they can about the world around them, and recognizing that everything is connected.
Elijah’s character is extremely likable right from the start. He’s brave without being arrogant, and kind without being a pushover. The other characters in the book don’t get as much “screen” time (get it, I read the book on the kindle…I’ll shut up now), but Turner gave us enough information to make them easy to relate to, and I’m sure they’ll be fleshed out a lot more in future books, as they all seem to have a major role to play in the coming battle between the Magi and the Maliphists.
The story moved very quickly, even in the beginning. Turner wasted no time getting into the thick of the plot. I really enjoyed it, and I think it ranks up there with some of the big names in Middle Grade to Young Adult fantasy. If you’re still mourning the gap left in your reading schedule by the end of a certain wizard series, The Magi will definitely fill that void. It’s really that good. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventurous tales of magic and bravery. I am excited to see what happens in the second of the five-book series.
You can check out the first five chapters of The Magi on The Magi Series website. It is also available on Amazon and Smashwords for $2.99.
Note- I received a free copy of this book to facilitate my review. My opinions were not in any way influenced by this.