Young Adult Literature


Midnight Magic
by Avi


From Booklist
Avi continues to write across genres, this time offering a medieval mystery that will keep readers guessing to the very end. Fabrizio, the servant boy of the magician Mangus, gets embroiled in palace intrigue when Mangus is called to the castle to ascertain whether 10-year-old Princess Teresina has truly seen a ghost as she claims. Count Scarazoni, the king's closest advisor and Teresina's intended, wants the ghost to be a fiction. Teresina wants the king and others to believe that the ghost is that of her missing brother. Both the unwilling Mangus and the meddling Fabrizio become entangled in a conspiracy that could lead to their deaths. Avi provides as many twists and turns as there are secret corridors and hidden rooms in Teresina's massive palace. Most of the time these bends in the plot heighten the tension, once even providing some heart-stopping action. However, especially at the book's conclusion, some of the explanations of previous actions get a bit convoluted, and kids may have to read the ending more than once before everything makes sense. They may not mind too much, though, because the combination of magic and mystery is pretty irresistible. Ilene Cooper