The Children’s Book Review | May 15, 2019
James Riley lives in Virginia. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the Half Upon a Time, Story Thieves, and Revenge of Magic series.
James Riley’s Selfie with The Revenge of Magic
THE REVENGE OF MAGIC, the first in my new series of seven books, tends to surprise people who’ve read my books before, including me at times. Unlike my series STORY THIEVES or HALF UPON A TIME, REVENGE OF MAGIC takes place entirely in our world, just a version of it where magic returned thirteen years ago, and only kids born since then are able to use it. The government’s been hiding this from everyone, running a secret school on a military base to teach a select group of kids magic, but sometimes secrets get out, no matter how hard we try to keep them hidden … especially when one of those secrets ends up destroying Washington, D.C. in the first two chapters.
James Riley’s Shelfie
Wow, dusty! Someone should clean better. These shelves contain some of my all-time favorite books, from Lloyd Alexander’s CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN series to Kelly Link’s short stories. If you know how meta I can get in STORY THIEVES (a book about fictional characters confronting their authors) you may not be surprised to see books like S and HOUSE OF LEAVES, both of which play with what a book can physically be, or even the ADAPTION screenplay.
I grew up in the 1980s, so Robert Asprin was always a favorite, and was my first foray into humorous fantasy (or fantastical humor?) writing. But as you can see, I’m also a big fan of comics, like HYPERBOLE AND A HALF and SARAH’S SCRIBBLES. Why do I have three copies of HYPERBOLE? Other than that it’s fitting for the title? I bought two paperbacks for friends, and got all three signed by Allie Brosh, only she drew something different in each one, and I wasn’t strong enough to give them up. Sorry, friends, you should have come to the signing (I’m much nicer to my friends when it doesn’t involve books)!
Written by James Riley
Publisher’s Synopsis: When long-dead magical creatures are discovered all around the world, each buried with a book of magic, only children can unlock the dangerous power of the books in this start to a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Story Thieves!
Thirteen years ago, books of magic were discovered in various sites around the world alongside the bones of dragons. Only those born after “Discovery Day” have the power to use the magic.
Now, on a vacation to Washington, DC, Fort Fitzgerald’s father is lost when a giant creature bursts through the earth, attacking the city. Fort is devastated, until an opportunity for justice arrives six months later, when a man named Dr. Opps invites Fort to a government run school, the Oppenheimer School, to learn magic from those same books.
But life’s no easier at the school, where secrets abound. What does Jia, Fort’s tutor, know about the attacks? Why does Rachel, master of destructive magic, think Fort is out to destroy the school? And why is Fort seeing memories of an expelled girl every time he goes to sleep? If Fort doesn’t find out what’s hiding within the Oppenheimer School, more attacks will come, and this time, nothing will stop them!
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Aladdin | March 5, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1481485777
Discover more books like The Revenge of Magic, written by James Riley, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with Magic, Magical Creatures, and Middle Grade Books; and be sure to follow along with our Selfie and a Shelfie series.