The Magician’s Apprentice by Kate Banks
I loved this story because Baz takes on many roles in each of his apprenticeships, first to a weaver and then to a magician. He learns both crafts, but truly experiences his best apprenticeship when he learns what is important in life. “Poetry in prose” is the apt description of this thought-provoking and insightful story. Kate Banks has taken her own point of view about what is important in life and put it into words through her characters, Baz and a magician and a plethora of lesser characters they meet on their journey together. They all influence Baz’s journey to self-realization. Baz first begins his journey by leaving home to become apprenticed to a master rug weaver. His two brothers have already left home to meet their own destinies, and Baz knows he must go. Along his journey, he meets cruelty and compassion, confusion and clarity, and finally, peace and harmony.
After the magician trades a mysterious sword for Baz, they travel to the desert and then to the mountains. Baz meets people who help him learn life’s most important lessons and eventually works his way back home to his family, which he never spiritually left. The author seems to be saying that all elements of life are somehow interconnected, all chance meetings are deliberate in the whole scheme of things, and peace and knowledge can be attained just by opening our eyes to our life journey, to nature and to trials and tribulations along the way. Banks has created a masterpiece for readers who like to think about all possibilities, who are open to change, and readers will find a certain peace to carry with them after reading this book. The characters are believable, the plot is creative, and multiple life lessons are sure to soothe the souls of all who venture inside the pages of this book. This is a great book for teens who have pondered their role in life. Once immersed in the book, the reader can help but join Baz throughout his amazing and transformational journey.
My favorite quote from the Magician’s Apprentice – “You must let go of your resistance. What is the worst thing that can happen?”
Happy Reading to you!
Mrs. Librarian Lady
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Sunday, July 10, 2011
This week I am very excited to talk about one of my favorite sub-genres which is apocalyptic/dystopic science fiction. I don't know why, but I have always been a sucker for a good future gone bad story. I tend to stay away from the zombie apocalyptic stories, but last spring I found myself drawn to Carrie Ryan's series that started with The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Usually zombies make me run the other way, but I stuck with it and read all three in the series. I have to say that I really liked the series and will continue to read anything that Ms. Ryan releases. Lately, I have found that there are some really good books out there that focus on the plight of our future and what will happen to all of mankind. Sometimes these books make think to myself, what would it be like if life was really like this? I think these kinds of books are really good for keeping young adult readers on their toes and many of the books have really exciting and thoughtful storylines. I definitley love a twisting and turning futuristic plot that leaves you wanting more when the book is done!
"In a world gone mad, where humans are treated as slaves, and the planet is now ruled by intelligent apes, Galen, Virdon and Burke must find a way to return to Earth in their own time, or be doomed to spend their lives on the run from the murderous apes…" Planet of the Apes, 1975
I hope you enjoy my apocalyptic/dystopic sci fi picks this week!
Love to read,
Mrs. Librarian Lady
Set in a dystopian future, Matched tells the story of Cassia, a seventeen year old girl who is about to be matched with her future husband. During her Match Banquet, Cassia is matched with her best friend, Xander which is a rare outcome that hardly ever happens in the Society. However, Cassia is very relieved because Xander is her best friend. While viewing her Matched files of Xander, Cassia sees her handsome neighbor Ky's face. She knows she is supposed to be matched with Xander, but in her mind she begins to question who is really her true match. A Society official has told her not to worry about Ky and that it was a mistake, or rather a trick that someone played on her. Cassia lives in a world where people are watched at all times and individuality is not allowed. What will Cassia do when she realizes that her heart is going to lead her on a journey of love and she must break the rules of the Society?
I love love loved this book! It was an amazing rendition of a world gone bad where higher up officials take a person’s life and identity away by using control. The main character Cassia was wonderfully engaging and I really connected with her plight of having to choose between doing what is right according to the Society, or doing what her heart told her was right in choosing her soul mate. Condie did a fantastic job portraying a dystopiian socieity where everyone was basically brainwashed and did what they were told. The story was a bit familiar and reminded me of Lois Lowry's The Giver, but that is ok, because Condie went the extra mile and filled this novel up with excellent characters and a truly corrupt and distorted view of the Society in control. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good romance with a fateful twist.
Gone by Michael Grant (Harper Teen, 2008)
The kids of Perdido Beach suddenly find themselves alone as each adult in their community poofs out of sight right before their very eyes. It’s as if everyone over the age 14 has disappeared without a trace. Sam is an everyday average kid who likes to surf with his best friend Quinn, but now those days are over. Immediate chaos has broken out because children are fending for themselves and they don’t know what to do. Most of the kids want Sam to lead them because he was a hero when he was younger and saved a school bus from crashing over a cliff. Sam is really reluctant to take over the role as leader because he knows it is a great responsibility. Now his secret crush Astrid the smart girl has come to him for help in finding her autistic brother and Sam is set on helping her. Caine and Diana from Coates Academy roll into town and start to set down some rules and suddenly the bullies find that this is their chance to do some damage. Secretly Sam hides a supernatural power that could kill everyone if he lets the fire escape from his hands. Strangely enough, Sam’s not the only one with supernatural powers. As things heat up there will be fights to the death, talking coyotes, an evil darkness, and creepy evil arms that will keep you turning the pages on this one. I will continue to read this incredible apocalyptic series, or maybe as you read you might find it may not even be apocalyptic but that evil has tipped the balance and is messing with your mind!