The Wizard of Dark Street

Shawn Thomas Odyssey. Egmont USA, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-60684-143-3
Set in 1877, in a liminal world that divides and protects the Land of Faerie from the Land of Man (New York City), Odyssey's nimble debut novel introduces pragmatic 12-year-old Oona Crate, first in line to be her wizard uncle's apprentice. She is human, but has the gift of "natural magic." Due to Oona's accidental misuse of this gift, which resulted in her family's death, she has an aversion to all things magic, instead setting her sights on becoming a detective. Meanwhile, her desperate uncle advertises for an apprentice, which draws a motley crew, including a young witch and an enigmatic blind actor. Everyone becomes a suspect when lavish gowns are stolen from Madam Iree's shop, and Oona's uncle vanishes, following an assault with a magical object. Oona journeys into Dark Street's labyrinthine domains to solve the mystery, while struggling to reconcile her remorse and distrust of magic with her loyalty to her uncle. Odyssey's lyrical descriptions ("It was a place as ancient as the wind, where candlestick trees replaced light posts, and street clocks told jokes as well as time") and consummate world-building result in a wonderfully fresh fantasy-detective story. Ages 8–12. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2011
Release date: 07/01/2011
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-60684-277-5
Paperback - 346 pages - 978-1-60684-386-4
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