Review: ‘The Wizards of Once’ By Cressida Cowell


‘The Wizards of Once’
By Cressida Cowell
(Book #1 in the Wizards of Once Series) 

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 389
Series: The Wizards of Once (Book #1)
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Booktopia Amazon & Kindle Audible Dymocks QBD


This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure …

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.

Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn’t, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he’s got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.

Xar doesn’t realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.

And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.

Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.

But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring.

My Thoughts

Outright, I really enjoyed this book. I had never read a book by Cressida Cowell but once I saw that she had written ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ I knew I wanted to read this story. I was not disappointed.

The story starts by following Xar (Pronounced Zar) a Wizard with no magical powers (yet). He’s a great character to start with. He is very self confident – regardless of his lack of magic – and is on the hunt to catch a witch to steal magic. We quickly meet is band of followers, magical creatures and adviser Caliburn who is a bird.

We learn about Xar’s plan and how he feels about his brother Looter (who in my opinion is not very nice) before we meet our other main character, Wish. She is a Warrior. Readers learn about the rift between the Witches and Warriors. Wish is a warrior who doesn’t want to be a warrior and enjoys all things magical – including an enchanted spoon which is where we first meet her.

The characters are introduced so well in the story and you make connections with them very quickly which I think is a spectacular characteristic particularly for middle grade novels and children need to be engaged instantly.

The illustrations throughout the book really enhanced the story and allowed you to picture this world that Wish and Xar inhabit. They go along nicely with the descriptions of the world. My particular favourites were the Spelling book, the tree house in which Xar lives and the dungeons in Wish’s Mother’s kingdom.

I was encapsulated in this little world from start to finish, I loved how they made Xar likeable and unlikable at the same time. I also loved Wish, as someone that works at an all girls school I love seeing determined, brave and daring female characters to introduce to the girls.


Plot: 7/10
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 6/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  4.5/5

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Have you read any of Cressida Cowell’s other books?



Review: ‘A Kingdom of Exiles’ By S.B. Nova


‘A Kingdom of Exiles’
By S.B. Nova
Book #1 in the Outcasts Series) 

Publisher: Night Owl
Publish Date: 2017
Pages: 598 (Kindle Edition)
Series: Outcast #1
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Young adult Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Kindle


The brightest of stars are always born on the darkest of nights.
Serena Smith is unusual. 
Growing up in a backwoods village, her life is lonely and dull. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, she’s gifted a magical heirloom only to be snatched by fae and condemned to a lifetime in chains.
Dragged to Aldar, a fae kingdom ruled by a tyrant witch, Serena discovers a forbidden love, and meets fellow outcasts, each with their own dark secrets. 
As the lives of warriors, rebels, and witches clash, they find a shared destiny. For only together, and with Serena’s unique gifts, can they survive long enough to build the flames of a revolution. Only together can they go to war. 

My Thoughts

I jumped into this books after watching Book Sunday‘s video discussing her March wrap up. I was instantly intrigued  in the story. I have only just discovered Fae and Fae novels (I know did I grow up under a rock!) and had read and LOVED the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ series after seeing Imogen rave about them.

I was not disappointed, well not until the end and I discovered that there isn’t a release date or eve  a title for the next novel! I’m addicted.

Serena, our main character is a strong protagonist. We meet her in adverse circumstances, experiencing grief. She is growing up in a village where she doesn’t feel or is treated like she belongs. We follow Serena until our story really begins and she turns 18. She ends away from her village – and trust me reading how that happens will have your emotions going crazy! – and on her way to Alder, against her will.

We meet a flurry of characters after this who I seemed to always have strong feelings about which i was really surprised about and give great credit to the writing.

This book had me totally engaged, I was so mad any time I had to put it down (which was a lot) and just wanted to keep reading what was happening and experiencing this world with Serena.

The world building through out was absolutely spot on. every detail was covered and I didn’t finish it feeling like there were holes in the story.

Overall an amazing read. I really don’t like reading things on my phone or laptop (personal preference) and actively avoid things like kindle BUT I’m so glad that I decided to pick this one up and give it a read. I would say the only negative I have is AVAILABILITY – I cannot find it in physical form anywhere I’ve looked.

My Rating

Plot: 8/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8.5/10
Stars:  5/5

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What are some Fae/Faerie novels or stories you would recommend?



2018 A to Z Reading Challenge

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Its official!!

After getting back into reading during 2017, I have decided to challenge myself even further. For 2018 I am going to undertake my FIRST EVER reading challenge.

The A to Z reading challenge is being hosted by GingerMomReads. If Anyone is interested in joining in the challenge head over to their page for more information.

Throughout the year I will be coming back to this post to update My Reading Alphabet with the books i have completed, each of which will have a review post if you would like any more information about the books i have read.

This is definitely a huge undertaking for myself, but 2018 is going to be the year of #gettingmyshittogether which includes challenging myself.

So the point of this challenge is to read a book with a title that begins with each letter of the alphabet throughout 2018 (important note: ‘The’ doesn’t count – thank goodness)

My Reading Alphabet

A. ‘Artemis’ By Andy Weir

B. ‘Beneath the Sugar Sky’ By Seanan McGuire

C. ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ By Sarah J. Mass

D. ‘Down Among the Sticks and Bones’ By Seanan McGuire

E. ‘Every Heart a Doorway’ By Seanan McGuire


G. ‘Genesis’ By Bernard Beckett

H. ‘House of Hades’ By Rick Riordan

I.‘The Isle of the Lost’ by Melissa De La Cruz


K. ‘A Kingdom of Exiles’ By S.B. Nova

L. ‘The Lost Hero’ By Rick Riordan

M. ‘Marabel and the Book of Fate’ By Tracy Barrett


O. ‘Obsidio’ By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

P. ‘Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian’ By Rick Riordan


R. ‘Renegades’ By Marissa Meyer

S. ‘The Serpent’s Secret’ By sayantani Dasgupta

T. ‘Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle’ By Rick Riordan

U. ‘Unearthed’ By Amie Kaufman and Magan Spooner


W. ‘The Wizards of Once’ by Cressida Cowell


Y. ‘Yes Please’ By Amy Poehler