Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: August 1, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Frontier Magic series
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the third and final book in the Frontier Magic series by Wrede. This has been a great series, it is very deliberately paced but I really enjoy the characters and world. This book is a very satisfying conclusion to the series.
When the threat of the Medusa lizards became apparent in the last book it is decided that someone needs to go on an expedition to explore the Far West and figure out what is driving the Medusa lizards into the settlements. Eff, Lan, William, Professor Torgeson, Wash, and Professor Ochiba are all asked to participate in the expedition. They are hoping to discover new magical creatures, learn more about the magical creatures they already know about, and hopefully find the cause for all of these magical animals migrating east.
As with previous books in the series the pacing is a bit slow and the story takes a bit to get started. This is more a day to day telling of the events in Eff’s life than a complex epic story. I do really enjoy watching Professor Torgeson and Eff as they catalogue a ton of new magical animals and discuss new theories. I like the scientific aspect of their travels (even if most of it is the made up science of magic).
I enjoyed this reimagined Wild West. I love that for the most part the people work together without bias. There are women professors, a woman Army Sergeant, and many races and skin colors all working together. It’s a world I would love to visit.
Eff has grown a lot from the first book. She is more confident in her skills. Her main contribution is her ability to look at all types of magic and use them together. She just has a very different way of looking at things from everyone else. This is the first book where she has to also seriously deal with some romantic issues.
Lan has also changed quite a bit throughout the series. He is no longer just concerned about power, but wants to learn new things and figure out how to do something great.
All of the other characters are wonderful, interesting, and engaging to read about. Their journey through the Far West is a good one. The plot is well done and brings together a number of elements from the previous two books nicely.
I had two complaints with this book. The first is it takes absolutely forever to get to the expedition to the Far West in the book. The second is that when they discover the problems they are able to bandage it but not actually fix it. This made the ending feel a bit rushed and incomplete. There is an Epilogue that did a good job of tying up some of these unresolved issues, but again it just felt very dense and rushed. It was odd considering the deliberate pace of the rest of the book.
Overall I enjoyed the way this wrapped up this series and I enjoyed this series overall. This is one of the few series where I kept thinking I would love to visit this world and travel with these characters! I enjoyed the world, the engaging characters, and the fascinating magical animals. My only complaint really is pacing…it takes forever to get the story moving and then the ending is incredibly rushed.