Title: The Magician's Workshop
Author: Christopher Hensen and J.R Fehr
Series: The Magician's Workshop #1
Genre: YA, fantasy, coming of age, magic
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 awarded the title of magician and given fame, power, riches, and glory. Journey with 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.
I received a free copy for an honest review
This book was an overall a very well written fantasy book, that is very appropriate for middle schoolers or some lower schoolers. There are mild romances, and the book is mainly focused on a specific plot on multiple characters. And this is one of those books that involved many different perspectives; 7 in total (Layauna, Kai, Talia, Jade, Kaso, Kalaya, and Weston). Some of these characters don't even know the other characters, so I am assuming that they would meet somewhere in the second book.
Although the writing was a little bit young and 'child friendly', I didn't find it annoying (unlike some other books) because the plot-line was well written and the world-building is organized, understandable and interesting. And since I haven't read young writings like these in a while I was expecting myself to be bored by it, and that didn't happen. The characters have good narratives and they are realistic which helps them to be relatable, and I find myself connecting to every single one of them despite all the different POVs. In fact, one of the reasons I am not a big fan of multiple perspectives is because it can be confusing at times and often authors failed to connect or engaged with the readers because of the constant switching. Didn't see this problem here. A good book can make a reader feel attach to the characters despite the differences, and I feel like that's what the author did. I am also impressed by how the author managed to give all these characters different tones through the writing, since another possible flaw a writer can make in different POVs is the failure to give these characters distinct tones, different attitudes or general feelings so the readers can identify them. It is hard, since without different voices and sounds it'll be almost impossible, and if it's not achieved readers sometimes wouldn't even realize the perspectives have switched because the tones are exactly the same despite the different characters (trust me, that's possible. It has happened to me for a few times). Take Kai and Kalaya for an example. I can literally feel the age difference between them. I can feel the childishness within Kai when I was reading his perspectives, and then I feel a different feminine maturity when I was reading Kalaya's POV.
I also really enjoyed the plot-line and the world-building. The whole idea of 'colors', 'tests', 'and projections' is very original, and I've never read something like this before.
Even though this book only has mild romance (between Kalaya and her boyfriend, Jaremon), I still suggest this to all my readers (including those who live for romance, like me). A great book and it earn itself four strong stars.