Publisher's Note:  

Henry Leach the Eighth and his sister, Brianna, have survived a faulty spell, defeated a wicked spellcaster, and saved the world . . . but their greatest accomplishment might be convincing Grand Wand Master Coralis to take them on as official apprentices.

For the first time in centuries, the reclusive Wand Master has opened the doors to his castle and invited a new generation of Wandmakers to learn the secrets of the craft. But danger lurks around every corner in a world of magic, curses, and fantastical beasts. And the greatest threat of all may come from within the Wandmakers' own ranks.

Perfect for fans of Harry Potter and Charlie Bone, the Wandmaker series puts a humorous spin on magical coming-of-age stories.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic

Wandmaker's Apprentice

by Ed Masessa

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Overall Review:  

Wandmaker’s Apprentice by Ed Masessa is the second book of a series, the first being Wandmaker. (I seem to be really good at picking up the second book before I’ve read the first one.) That being said, there is a bit of reference pertaining to the first novel, so I would definitely recommend reading Wandmaker before picking up Wandmaker’s Apprentice.

It is a coming-of-age story about six children gathered together by a Grand Wand Master, to become new Wandmakers in an age when Wandmakers are all but extinct. The training is just in time, as a big bad Wandmaker-gone-wrong has initiated a plan to destroy the world.

This book features a diverse cast of characters – Native American, Ecuadorian, and Irish, to name a few – and packs a lot of teenage humor, crazy magic, and unexpected time-travel elements.

I'll admit, I was not blown away by the story. I couldn't get invested in the characters, and when it looked like someone had died near the end, I wasn't all the sad about it. The story felt a little bogged down in the middle, which made it difficult for me to keep reading, and then the ending felt quite abrupt. There was a lot of other action going on, with other characters getting attacked by monstrous creatures and trying to survive, but the actual battle with the bad guy was surprisingly, and rather disappointingly, abrupt. However, the novels should appeal to fans of the Charlie Bone series.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None 

Violence/Gore: Many instances of violence, including but not limited to: implication of arranged deaths; characters are frequently attacked/trapped by sentient vegetation and malformed animals; a character gets pulled into a magical whirlpool; report of a shapeshifting accident; a girl tries to attack a boy and is frozen by a spell; reports of past violence; characters sometimes share past violence in their lives including being attacked by giant centipedes, being cast out of a village, being bullied; characters are tasked with surviving in the wilderness; characters fight off wolves; characters watch monstrous avians attack a falcon; characters use magic to reduce monsters to ash and/or destroying them in a whirlwind; characters occasionally verbally and physically fight with each other; a character is said to have taken someone’s eyes; characters sometimes recall/relate past violent events; a character is said to enjoy being tortured; a character cuts his fingers on a knife; a character relates wanting to kill someone once; a character is imprisoned; a character tells how certain evil creatures were created; a character is startled and falls onto his backside; characters get a glimpse of a trapped relative; characters are trapped in a town; a character accidentally kills one of his pets; characters report water being poisoned; characters report an attack with some description of casualties; a character manipulates an animal to death; characters occasionally discuss strategies for defeating an evil person; a character is slowly possessed by an arcane artifact; a character bangs his head; a train derails and carries two passengers over a ravine (some description of injuries); characters are imprisoned by a madman; characters track their friends’ bloody trail; a character literally peels off his skin (may be disturbing for some readers); characters hear an animal being tortured; characters are occasionally bound/captured; a character is bitten by a rat; monstrous creatures attack each other; characters smear themselves in animal blood; a character falls down a ravine and injures herself; characters find and release an enormous bird; a character shoots an animal in the chest with a blow dart; a character falls and breaks his wrist; in an extended scene, characters are attacked by spells and malformed beasts, with some description of injuries and violence; characters cause a powerful explosion; a character is knocked out; a character faces off a madman; a character sends prisoners into death-like states; a character suffers pain-induced convulsions; characters sometimes have nightmares/disturbing visions.

Sex/NudityA girl and a boy go for a walk, holding hands; a character thinks about a girl; characters joke about hormones; a male character is jealous of another boy flirting with a girl; a male character leans agains a female character; a female character holds a male character in her arms (not sexual); a female character hints that she and another female character are more than just besties; a female character is possessive of a male character; a female character kisses a male.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a friend, impending war, child abandonment, possession, murder, torture, madness.

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Reviewed By Katrina
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