Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Length: 9 hours and 25 minutes (352 pages)
Publisher: Audible, Inc.
Release Date: June 10, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Frontier Magic series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the Frontier Magic trilogy by Wrede. I enjoyed it. It moves at the same deliberate pace that the first book did. I really enjoy the characters and the interesting concept of the Great Magic Barrier and a magical creature infested frontier.
I listened to this on audiobook and I have really been enjoying the audiobooks for this series. The narrator does an excellent job with character voices and emotions. The narrator sounds exactly like I imagine Eff really would sound. I definitely recommend these audiobooks if you like listening to audiobooks.
Eff is struggling with what she wants to do after school. She ends up getting the opportunity to ride across the great barrier with Professor Torgeson. Professor Torgeson wants Eff’s help in cataloguing and assessing the plants and wildlife in the Settlements. They would like to figure out how everything is recovering after the trouble with the mirror bugs in the first book. They would also like to prevent another disaster like that from occurring.
I enjoyed this second book in the Frontier Magic series. It moves at a pace similar to the first book, which is to say deliberate and a bit slower than I normally like my books. However I enjoyed the mystery and adventuring as Eff and crew try to figure out the newest threat that is threatening the Settlements out beyond the Great Barrier.
I really enjoy Eff as a character. She is very down-to-earth and really is trying to figure out who she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life. She has decided to do what she wants to do rather than try to live up to the expectations of her brother Lan and those around her. She is still struggling with her magic, but learns a lot about her magic in this book too and that was fun to watch. I love that Eff has to work at things to succeed at them and that she is trying to make a life for herself that follows what is important to her.
Professor Torgeson was a wonderful addition to the story as well. She is a female professor that has strong dedication to the science she wants to learn and doesn’t take trouble from anyone. She is funny, witty, and very plucky. She is a good role model for Eff, and her and Eff work really well as a team.
We also spend a lot of time with circuit magician Wash Morris. He is a character I really loved from the first book and I enjoyed watching him guide Eff and Professor Torgeson through the dangerous settlements. I was a bit disappointed that William and Lan are absent, off at school, for most of the story. Lan does come back into the story for the last third or so of the book. I hope the the third book William, Lan, and Eff get to go adventuring together.
I like the different schools of magic and the interesting magical beasts that are discovered. I also enjoyed the scientific way that the character go about studying the magical Frontier animals and plants. You never know what weird magical creature you are going to be hearing about.
I love the Western setting blended with the magic…it is unique and interesting to read about. I really haven’t read a lot of fantasy novels with a Western tone to them. I also enjoyed how elements from the first book and this book are coming together to hint at a much larger problem with magic out in the Far West. I am excited to see how all these little elements come together in the final book of this series.
Overall a very enjoyable read. The book does move at a pretty slow and deliberate pace, and there is a lot of day to day stuff going on in here. Still, I really love the world, the characters, and the way the mystery behind the magic is slowly unraveling. I can’t wait to see where this story goes in the third book in the series, The Far West. Recommended to those who are interested in a unique fantasy tale with a Western flavor to it.