A Quarter of Magic by Zoe Tyson
Review by Jasper de Joode
In a World born out of magic lives 14 year old Miloney Merren. In his World humans are ruled by an immortal species of creature. And the creatures have one major rule. A human must never have magic. Unfortunately for Milo, he does… And it’s getting out of control. Will he be able to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to help his family and friends?
“When magic becomes dangerous, you need to remember one thing. It will either define you or kill you.”
A Quarter of Magic begins in a classroom with Milo, the main protagonist of the story. Directly from there is a nice play into the blurb with a further introduction to the immortal creatures – and current rulers – the Terramangs. They have ultimate power over the humans of the Water Quarter, one of the 4 Quarters of Magic present in Milo’s world. These Terramangs rule over the humans and decide everything. Their biggest fear however is magic. When one of the classmates of Milo is discovered, an exile follows. However the place of exile is not known to anyone. But as was to be expected, Milo also gets caught in the act of using magic and he too is exiled. This exiling was a nice idea but it felt lacking a wholeness somehow. As Milo is preparing to be exiled he has two hours free to spend, why not search for a way out like running away and fleeing? That would be the most logical thing to do. In these last two hours there was a nice twist. As I was already getting familiar with Milo and his surroundings, he gets into a talk with his aunt. She explains about the past and the current imbalance of the Water Quarter. This imbalance can be fixed by a multi-gifted person, and with only Milo just breaking into his magic skill I was hoping that it wouldn’t go like most children’s stories in that Milo would be the hero, multi-gifted, super- mage. And I was glad that it didn’t instead Zoe Tyson creates a quest for Milo to undertake and this was carried out well and made the story, for me, quite enjoyable, veering from the stereotype.
In end Milo is still exiled, and here the story takes on a new and very interesting pace. Milo meets up with several other exiles, Abigail, Helico, Eli, Vylett and Iza. However, they are not only from his own world but from others as well. A chain of events leads eventually to the escape of Milo and his friend from Orlost, the place where all the exiles are send to. From this point on their quest really starts. I will not elaborate too much more about their endeavours but they are in for an adventurous journey that takes them to many more different worlds.
Every character from Milo’s party was given their own voice and a brief history. I found this to my liking, there was a nice distribution over every character with the actions they displayed. An added bonus was that everyone had their own special gift, Milo could move objects with his mind and Helico can turn invisible for example. This gave a uniqueness to each character, and together with their personality and small background gave me a good grip on them. On a certain occasion, when they met Audrina at the Memory Ball, the emotions were neatly displayed. The people they meet during their quest are just as interesting as themselves ,especially Oswald, and when Milo saw him “blurring” I just knew there was more to him than simply met the eye.
The writing style was very good, I just flew from page to page. The pacing overall was great, in certain scenes there was a nice climax and in other scenes revelations that gave more insights into how everything happened in the first place. A nice twist on A Quarter of Magic was the plot line. I came to think that the Terramangs were the sole evil do-ers, and to a certain degree they are. But in the end there is a big revealing of how the imbalance came to pass, which was interesting.
As already mentioned, the characters are nice and the writing style as well but looking over everything it does feel a bit linear and simple. The concept of A Quarter of Magic did work, and it proved to be a good read, but it just missed that certain spark to make it into something special and stand out. I hope that in the follow up novels Zoe Tyson can make the story that much more special.
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