The Magician’s Workshop (The Magician’s Workshop Volume 1) by Christopher Hansen & J.R. Fehr
Published: November 8th, 2016 by Wondertale
Rating: 3/5 stars – it was okay
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Synopsis: Everyone in the islands of O’Ceea has a magical ability: whatever they imagine can be brought into existence. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.
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.
This was a book I received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I thought it sounded pretty interesting, so I accepted the review copy. I still think it’s an interesting story. It just wasn’t really for me.
So this book follows several young teenagers in the weeks and days leading up to their Color Ceremony. In this world, everyone can use magic. Their way of using magic is through projections. You can pretty much project anything. For example, you could have a simple cake and project the taste of chocolate onto it. Now, your cake will taste like chocolate. Or you could make something smell like roses, or garbage. Or you could project an animal, or person. Which sounds pretty epic, right? Everyone can project! But not everyone is allowed to. Only magicians who have a Color pulled out of them can perform magic whenever they want. And if you don’t get a Color, but still earn enough chips at the ceremony with your skills, you can join a specific Guild and perform the kind of projections in line with said Guild.
It all sounds amazing. But don’t ask me any details about the way the projections work, okay? Because I can’t give you any. I know there is something called Kingdom, which makes a projection stronger. The more Kingdom you put into it, the stronger it gets. There are other aspects too, but I can’t recall them. There’s also something called The Grand Projection, which is kind of like a theater piece by the Magicians from the Workshop, entirely with projections. It happens once a year, and everyone looks forward to it.
That’s all I know. I don’t know what having a Color pulled out of you means. I only know that most people want it to happen. I just am left with so many questions after reading this, and not just about the magic system.
This is where my biggest issue with the book lies. I know absolutely nothing about the world. Where was the world building here? I know these people live on islands, and that there are numbered regions. I could also tell the main characters lived on different islands/in different regions. That’s literally all I know. I find it so hard to get into a fantasy story when I can’t envision the world or the way it came to be.
When I received this book for review, I read that the authors had several characters they really wanted to include in the story, and that was the reason they decided to split this up in volumes. And I get that. I was excited. I tend to love multiple POV stories!
But not when there are like 5 or 6 POVs in a story of only 250 pages. I can’t keep up with who is who. I don’t have any time to get invested in their stories. The only ones I really grew to like were Kai and Cody. I feel like the synopsis is kind of misleading with regards to Layauna? Because it makes it seem like she’s a true main character, but she’s only in like 2 chapters. Maybe she is a main character in the series overall. But definitely not in this one.
I feel like I’m making this sound really bad. It’s not. I still quite enjoyed the read, and I think it’s a fun middle grade fantasy. There were several characters I did like, and whose journeys I was interested in. I just wanted more.
I think the authors have a great imagination, and the idea for these books is wonderful. I enjoyed the idea of projections. I really enjoyed how one of the teenagers was different because he preferred actual experiences instead of projections. It made me think about how much “normal” things we take for granted.
I think this was a fun and quick read. But I can’t give it more than 3 stars, because I am just left with so many questions about the world and magic system. To clarify: 3 stars is not a bad rating in my opinion. It means I enjoyed the read.