Saturday, October 6, 2012
by Patricia C. Wrede
Early Teens +
Eff was doomed the moment she was born. She is a thirteenth child, classically unlucky and trouble from the start. In high contrast is her twin brother, Lan, who is the seventh son of a seventh son: incredibly lucky and gifted in magic. Lucky for Eff, Lan sticks up for her, and all her brothers and sisters like her just fine.
When their family moves out West for her father's work, Eff starts learning more about herself, and if she really is the trouble she is supposed to be. She makes friends, goes to school, learns different styles of magic and meets interesting people. Eff has to deal with being the twin to a double-seventh son, and figure out how her own magic works.
While not quite the normal setting for Wrede's works, this fictional, historical American setting is very vivid and fun. Readers have a partly familiar setting, but lots of new things to discover within it. Recognizable historical characters get tweaked to fit the different setting: Benjamin Franklin is another seventh son of a seventh son, plus a great magician. This setting gives a great life and background to the story.
Eff was a very engaging character to read about. The reader gets to follow her from being a little child, all the way to her late teens. She has concerns that many teens could identify with, even if the teens aren't magicians! Her voice stays true throughout the book: even as she grows older, her voice remains the same. Though at times there isn't tons of action, the book moves along at a good pace.
Overall, I enjoyed this book! This book is the beginning of a trilogy with Across the Great Barrier and The Far West being the next two books. I will definitely be getting them and reading them as soon as I can! While it has a female character, I think boys would like this as well. I would recommend this to young teens and older.