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The Princess Mage
Maggie L. Wood
Sumach Press, 250 pages

The Princess Mage
Maggie L. Wood
Maggie L. Wood was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, spent most of her time at the beach and still managed to read a truckload of books (albeit comic ones). She has been a bookseller for over ten years and her reading levels have gone from truckloads to boatloads (and from comic books to YA and middle grade and even sometimes the odd adult book). Currently she writes YA and middle grade fantasy fiction, works part-time in a bookstore and resides in London, Ontario with her husband and teenage daughter.

Maggie L. Wood Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sherwood Smith

This YA fantasy is a sequel to Maggie L. Wood's The Princess Pawn, in which Willow, a seemingly ordinary teenager struggling with the difficulties of ninth grade, finds herself swept to the world of Mistolear. The good? She's a princess. The bad? Mistolear is under threat. The good? Magic is real. The bad? The kingdom is under magical threat, which soon develops into a battle of wits between Willow and a wicked elf teen who has very powerful magic. She has discovered the family she has never known, and a very cute young lord named Brand. She has got to learn to get along with the new family -- and with Brand, who is totally not like Earth guys, no matter how cute he is. All this while she's dealing with magical powers, and that wicked elf boy. Her solution takes everyone by surprise.

In this second book, The Princess Mage, Willow is still trying to cope with her old-fashioned and determined grandmother, with her mischievous little brother -- whose magic potential is a big problem -- with her mother being struck down by a suspicious illness, and most absorbingly, with Sir Brand, her boyfriend. Relationships for teens are tough enough without the added hassles of being a princess, a mage still struggling to master magic, and a girl with Earth attitudes. Or should that be Attitude? Her grandmother certainly thinks so -- and sometimes, it seems, so does Brand.

But before they can resolve anything, a message comes from the Elf Council of Clarion, which exists in another dimension, and Willow is going to have to shift to the elves' world, which is as full of magical beauty as it is of danger. The long-living elves seem to live for the Game, in which the weapons are magical as well as physical, and the markers live beings. Willow ends up with Brand along. She doesn't know if that's good or bad (and neither does he, despite his determination to do his knightly deed and protect her) when they find themselves swept into the Game by the suave elf Jarlath, who has it in for Willow after her success during her previous visit to Clarion. Brand and Willow get put into a cage... but Dacia and Theon, Jarlath's teenage children, don't really like their father's plans for the two human teenagers.

The story is briskly entertaining until this point, but when the four teens have to embark on their quest, The Princess Mage takes off like a comet. Maggie L. Wood is really good at teenage banter and emotions. It's impossible to predict what these teens will do while trying to deal with the dangers of the goblin world at the same time as they're trying to cope with the intensity of attraction and competition. Sinister threats, creepy atmosphere, delightful goblin characters, interesting personalities, and above all the teens make this a page-turner. Willow is the kind of heroine to win fans among preteens and teens alike.

Wood gives enough resolution to be satisfying, while leaving some very tantalizing threads to entice the reader to want the third book -- soon!

Copyright © 2006 Sherwood Smith

Sherwood Smith is a writer by vocation and reader by avocation. Her webpage is at

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