Like Pratchett and Gaiman, Kimberly Pauley has created a wild, madcap fantasy, full of adventure and hilarity with the 'Accidental Wizard'. There are no-nonsense gnomes, pretty hags, useless oracles and a huge cast of wacky wizards. What more could you want?
Twig is Ripplemintz the wizard's young apprentice. But it isn't all that grand yet and Twig's huge family can be a little irritating. Until one day Ripplemintz lets loose an impressively energetic spell. As Twig rushes to catch it he inadvertently gets caught in its spell, propelling him to suddenly become the world's greatest ever wizard. But it's not as wonderful as it might first seem…
'The Accidental Wizard' is a lot of fun, bursting with just the right balance of peril and silliness. In some ways it reminded me of when I read Terry Pratchett as a child, reading the 'Colour of Magic' or 'The Carpet People'. The story is a firecracker: it's so unpredictable and inventive that it never gets boring. One moment our central characters are reduced to being mice, the next they're flying though the sky on the back of a huge magpie. Supporting characters are eccentric and ridiculous too - and a joy to read. I loved the stubborn gnome, the doddery Ripplemintz and the sort-of incapable oracle. The finale as a competition between the wizards and hags is hugely enjoyable, and the kind of thing that I can imagine being in some animated film. But there are also lovely messages and a warm, mushy centre to the proceedings. Children will love all of this. In my class there are a number of pupils who begged to get their hands on my copy when I told them about it. Perhaps they will write a review soon too!
A fantastic escapist fantasy - one to make you chuckle and flick the pages in sheer delight! Thank you to Kimberly Pauley and Sara Grant for my signed copy.