Book Review

The Magician’s Daughter

The Magician’s Daughter

  • Author: H.G. Parry
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publication Date: February 21, 2023
  • Publisher: Redhook

Thank you to Redhook and Angela Man for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: mention of torture, murder, PTSD

From the author of The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep and the Shadow Histories duology comes a lush fairy-tale inspired novel about a young woman, a dark secret, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Off the coast of Ireland sits a legendary island hidden by magic. A place of ruins and ancient trees, sea-salt air and fairy lore, Hy-Brasil is the only home Biddy has ever known. Washed up on its shore as a baby, Biddy lives a quiet life with her guardian, the mercurial magician Rowan. A life she finds increasingly stifling.

One night, Rowan fails to return from his mysterious travels. To find him, Biddy must venture into the outside world for the first time. But Rowan has powerful enemies—forces who have hoarded the world’s magic and have set their sights on the magician’s many secrets.

Biddy may be the key to stopping them. Yet the closer she gets to answers, the more she questions everything she’s ever believed about Rowan, her past, and the nature of magic itself.

This is an intriguing combination of fantasy, fairytales, and historical fiction, and does a really good job of combining all three into a seamless story. It was a bit slow moving in the beginning of the story, but once it picked up steam, things started moving quickly and kept a nice pace that grabbed my attention and didn’t let go.

While Biddy has grown up on the isolated and relatively safe magical island of Hy-Brasil with only Rowan and Hutch the rabbit familiar for company, she’s reached the age where her beautiful home is starting to feel as though it isn’t enough for her. She dreams of seeing more of the world, meeting new people, and having her own adventures rather than just reading about them in books. But Rowan keeps telling her that the outside world isn’t safe for her just yet.

But when Rowan doesn’t return from the mainland one night as promised, it creates some major problems for their happy little trio. The dangerous enemies that Rowan has made within the magical world are after his secrets and will stop at nothing to get them, and Biddy finds herself caught up in the action. But they all find themselves in danger, and this is where the story gets really good, and I couldn’t put it down at all.

While it’s very much a story centering on a found family and a mystery, it’s also a coming-of-age story for Biddy. Once she reaches the world outside Hy-Brasil and meets more people, she starts to question everything that she thought was true about herself, her life, her world, and even magic. I loved seeing her overwhelmingly sweet, kind, and hopeful nature come through, no matter what kind of situation she was placed into. She’s exposed to some pretty ugly situations that people go through, yet instead of letting darkness consume her, she brings her light to them. And it’s the people around her that fostered that light, allowing her to trust her instincts to guide her and them. 

This story is a great one, and while I had my doubts in the beginning when it was slow, I’m glad that I stuck with it because it definitely paid off. It was a really enjoyable book, and I loved the creative take on magic that the author used. In addition, the way that animals played a major role in the story was great, and it’s clear that the author is an animal lover, so this aspect was especially appealing to me. Finally, the fact that even people who aren’t mages can still benefit and use magic was a fun and unique idea, and I really had a great time reading this book.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 10

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