Published by: Black Opal Books
S.P. Brown’s middle-grade novel, Fallen Wizard is a brisk fantasy adventure. Peter Michaels just wants to play baseball. Unfortunately for Peter, strange things are always happening to him. He’s learned to live with it with the guidance of understanding parents and his sister, Lena, who never lets him forget just how normal life can be with a bickering sibling around. It all changes for Peter when the Azalea bush in his front yard starts moving on its own. There he discovers a fallen wizard, one seemingly on the verge of death. Peter is a sensitive kid and listens to the old wizard when he says he needs help.
And so it begins, no not just another boy wizard tale, this novel is unique in its approach. Peter and his two friends Stumpy and Raven become embroiled in a world they never knew existed. What they encounter and how they manage to survive makes this book highly imaginative and uniquely original.
The character of Peter’s inner dialogue is written like many “I don’t want to be a wizard” novels, but Peter is as concerned with his lost chance to make the all-star team and for his family than becoming the next air wizard. The wonderful part of his character is how Brown writes him as confused and scared inside but presenting a brave front to the strangeness of the circumstances he finds himself in.
The minor characters of Stumpy and Raven are also brilliantly developed. Raven is the only girl in the group, pretty, sassy, and smart, she provides the logic to their dilemna. Stumpy is the loyal but reluctant side-kick. The three of them have a daunting task in solving the mysteries they uncover and getting back home alive. Surprises await Stumpy and Raven in the end as well.
This is a perfect summer read for you to enjoy with your children or as a read alone. It is fast-paced and engaging. It stole this reader’s Saturday. Oh, did I fail to mention it also stole my heart.
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