Marshmallow reviews Half Magic by Edward Eager

This week Marshmallow reviews a 1954 classic, Half Magic by Edward Eager, the first book in his Tales of Magic series.

Marshmallow reviews Half Magic by Edward Eager.
Marshmallow reviews Half Magic by Edward Eager.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about magical charms, and adventure stories about a handful of siblings, then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): The four siblings Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha are expecting to have a very boring summer. That is until they find the charm. The charm that works by halves. If you made a wish while touching the charm, then half of your wish would come true. So in order to get your whole wish you would have to say it in this fashion. Let’s say you wish is to have a dog appear then you would say that you wanted two dogs to appear because if you wished that one dog would appear then one half of a dog would appear. (You probably wouldn’t want to have half of a dog.)

Wishing for two times some things is a cinch, but other doubled wishes only cause twice as much trouble. What is half of twice a talking cat? Or to be half-again twice not-here? And how do you double your most heartfelt wish, the one you care about so much that it has to be perfect?

The children decide that they will take turns to use the charm. It turns out that other people have knowledge of the charm that grants wishes and they happen to want the charm. In a desert, which they travel to on Mark’s wish — he wants a desert island but the charmed coin takes them to a desert –. a man tries to abduct Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha. When he realizes that they have the charm, he says that they stole it from his people. 

On Katharine’s turn to make a wish, they travel into the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They help stop Morgan Le Fay, an evil sorceress in this retelling of the myth, from kidnapping and killing the Knights of the Round Table.

Marshmallow is pointing toward one of her favorite parts of the book, where Jane makes a foolish decision. Here Jane is wishing that she belonged to a different family.
Marshmallow is pointing toward one of her favorite parts of the book, where Jane makes a foolish decision. Here Jane is wishing that she belonged to a different family.

They have some problems though, before they figure out how to use the charm. For instance, Martha wishes that she was not at the place she was and since she didn’t say it the way you need to, she became half there and half not there. The children eventually learn how to use it, and in the end, they have a very exciting summer, not at all the one they thought lay ahead.

Marshmallow’s Review: Half Magic is a classic and I think a great read for all ages. Written in 1954, it successfully entertained children for many years and probably will do the same for many to come. I enjoyed Half Magic very much and look forward to reading more about these characters in Edward Eager’s other novels.

Marshmallow’s rating: 100% 

Marshmallow rates Half Magic by Edward Eager 100%. And she adds: "May the Fourth Be With You!"
Marshmallow rates Half Magic by Edward Eager 100%. And she adds: “May the Fourth Be With You!”

Marshmallow’s first review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling

Marshmallow loved reading the seven books in the Harry Potter series. Below she shares her thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling.

Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling.
Marshmallow reviews Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books about magic and adventure then this might be the book for you.

Marshmallow’s summary (with spoilers): While dealing with family issues and an unwanted family legacy that comes with being Harry Potter’s youngest son, it does not help that Albus Severus Potter gets placed in Slytherin, the house opposing the one that his parents were placed in. The world seems to go upside down. But on the Hogwarts Express Albus makes a friend, Scorpius Malfoy. His parents discourage the idea of being friends with Draco Malfoy’s son. (Draco was a bully and a nuisance at school while Harry was there.)

When he catches his father lying to Amos Diggory about a time turner that Harry says the Ministry of Magic does not have, Albus decides that if his father can’t be a hero, then he will.

While listening to Amos plead for a time turner to save his beloved son Cedric Diggory, Albus meets Delphini (Delphi) Diggory, Cedric’s cousin. [Flashback to Book 4: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Cedric Diggory entered the Triwizard Tournament, a competition between Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbaton. There is supposed to be one champion from every school and they have to be 17 years old to enter their names into the Goblet of Fire. But someone older than 17 enters Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire and the champions are Harry and Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts, Victor Krum for Durmstrang, and Fleur Delacour for Beauxbatons. In the last of the three trials, Cedric is killed by Wormtail (a servant of Lord Voldemort), who was ordered to “kill the spare”. Then Harry finds out that Barty Crouch Jr., the son of Barty Crouch, disguised as Professor Mad-Eye Moody, put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire.]  

Harry lies to Amos, and says that the Ministry of Magic does not have any time turners, so he cannot help him. Albus decides that if his father can’t be a hero, then he will. So he steals a time turner with Scorpius and Delphi to try to save Cedric Diggory before death catches up to them. They decide that Delphi should stay behind. But then they mess up and Albus ceases to exist because they kill Harry and without him Voldemort returns.

Scorpius, Snape (who is still alive in this alternate world), and Ron and Hermione (who are rebels trying to kill Voldemort) try to fix the world and do. But when they return Cedric is still dead. They try to save Cedric one last time with Delphi. But Delphi had no intention to save Cedric Diggory for she was waiting to save her father, Tom Marvolo Riddle, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named — only the bravest (and in Book 7, the most reckless) called him Lord Voldemort. But Albus and Scorpius don’t know her intentions until they see the Augurey on her neck and the murder of Craig Bowker Jr. When the time turner is smashed to dozens of pieces all hope is lost. Will they be able to save the Wizarding World from the new prophecy?

“When spares are spared, and time is turned, when unseen children murder their fathers: Then will the Dark Lord return.”         

Marshmallow’s review: I think that this book would be great for people who enjoyed reading the first seven Harry Potter books. Though this is written in the form of a screenplay (I read the Special Rehearsal Edition Script), it has a great plot. And all throughout, the real villain in this story had been hiding in the shadows waiting to strike. J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne twist and turn this beautifully written story and a moral for all, “Sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.”

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%. 

Marshmallow rates Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling 100%.
Marshmallow rates Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling 100%.