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In the third installment in the Magic or Madness trilogy, the people Reason Cansino loves most are all in danger. Reason’s mother, Sarafina, has disappeared from the mental hospital in Sydney with Reason’s evil grandfather, Jason Blake. Jay-Tee, the closest thing Reason has to a best friend, has used all of her magic and faces death at any moment. Only Reason can find the In the third installment in the Magic or Madness trilogy, the people Reason Cansino loves most are all in danger. Reason’s mother, Sarafina, has disappeared from the mental hospital in Sydney with Reason’s evil grandfather, Jason Blake. Jay-Tee, the closest thing Reason has to a best friend, has used all of her magic and faces death at any moment. Only Reason can find the answers within her family’s magic to save everyone who matters most to her. Magic’s Child is a satisfying and thrilling conclusion to a breakout trilogy that launched to multiple starred reviews and earned spots on the 2006 BBYA final list, as well as the Locus 2005 Recommended Reading List.


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In the third installment in the Magic or Madness trilogy, the people Reason Cansino loves most are all in danger. Reason’s mother, Sarafina, has disappeared from the mental hospital in Sydney with Reason’s evil grandfather, Jason Blake. Jay-Tee, the closest thing Reason has to a best friend, has used all of her magic and faces death at any moment. Only Reason can find the In the third installment in the Magic or Madness trilogy, the people Reason Cansino loves most are all in danger. Reason’s mother, Sarafina, has disappeared from the mental hospital in Sydney with Reason’s evil grandfather, Jason Blake. Jay-Tee, the closest thing Reason has to a best friend, has used all of her magic and faces death at any moment. Only Reason can find the answers within her family’s magic to save everyone who matters most to her. Magic’s Child is a satisfying and thrilling conclusion to a breakout trilogy that launched to multiple starred reviews and earned spots on the 2006 BBYA final list, as well as the Locus 2005 Recommended Reading List.

30 review for Magic's Child

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    After having read all three in this series, I really think it would have served the story better if this had just been one longer book. I don't think the plot lines were strong enough on their own. And because the author has to do some recap material, some chapters felt very repetitive. Overall, the series was enjoyable; I had a really hard time putting them down. A few things bugged me though: Where had this Cansino guy been during the first story? How did Jason Blake know about Cansino? I want After having read all three in this series, I really think it would have served the story better if this had just been one longer book. I don't think the plot lines were strong enough on their own. And because the author has to do some recap material, some chapters felt very repetitive. Overall, the series was enjoyable; I had a really hard time putting them down. A few things bugged me though: Where had this Cansino guy been during the first story? How did Jason Blake know about Cansino? I wanted some more back story on the old man to help clarify his role. The story went from "oh magic is real, how do I use it" to "Cansino magic v. regular magic v. no magic" but how was this Cansino magic even created?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Neelz

    Not a bad conclusion to the trilogy. A complex ending. All the narrators in Magic or Madness are unreliable; was there a happy ending? It's hard to say. Did Reason make the right decision? Also hard to say. An interesting departure from the usual young adult fantasy. Not a bad conclusion to the trilogy. A complex ending. All the narrators in Magic or Madness are unreliable; was there a happy ending? It's hard to say. Did Reason make the right decision? Also hard to say. An interesting departure from the usual young adult fantasy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wardrip

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com At the start of this wonderful conclusion to a great fantasy trilogy, Reason Cansino is a lot of things most fifteen year olds aren't. She's magic. She's pregnant. And she may or may not be entirely human. In this continuation of Reason's story, she is falling more and more deeply into the strange, ancient, and inhuman power given to her by Raul Cansino. She is becoming more and more scarily powerful--but she's giving up her humanity (and maybe that Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com At the start of this wonderful conclusion to a great fantasy trilogy, Reason Cansino is a lot of things most fifteen year olds aren't. She's magic. She's pregnant. And she may or may not be entirely human. In this continuation of Reason's story, she is falling more and more deeply into the strange, ancient, and inhuman power given to her by Raul Cansino. She is becoming more and more scarily powerful--but she's giving up her humanity (and maybe that of her unborn child) for that power. She won't die young like so many magic-wielders who use their powers unwisely, and neither will she go crazy and end up in the loony-bin with her mother. But is giving up her humanity worth it? MAGIC'S CHILD is strictly a continuation of an already begun story. It is not a story within itself, really, and, as such, should only be picked up by those who have read the first two parts of the trilogy (MAGIC OR MADNESS and MAGIC LESSONS). If you haven't read those, well, they're highly recommended, as well! Justine Larbalestier's third installment in the MAGIC OR MADNESS trilogy is a good conclusion to the story, one that will have readers racing through it as fast as possible. It was a little bit open-ended for my taste, but not in a terrible cliffhanger way. It was either a less than fabulous last chapter or a fabulous way to leave the door open for another book set in this universe; who knows? Either way, the characters, dialogue, and style of MAGIC'S CHILD are all great, it's well worth reading, and I'm looking forward to reading more from Justine Larbalestier.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kate Gordon

    While I enjoyed this series overall, ultimately I found it problematic. *SPOILER* The sudden and sweeping decision that magic is "evil" felt like a cop-out; Larbalestier missed a great opportunity to explore a moral grey area - something that would made both the story and the characters more complex. I also wish there had been some discussion of the issue teen pregnancy; it's understandable, in context, that the women in her family have tended to have children early. However, the whole thing was While I enjoyed this series overall, ultimately I found it problematic. *SPOILER* The sudden and sweeping decision that magic is "evil" felt like a cop-out; Larbalestier missed a great opportunity to explore a moral grey area - something that would made both the story and the characters more complex. I also wish there had been some discussion of the issue teen pregnancy; it's understandable, in context, that the women in her family have tended to have children early. However, the whole thing was a bit creepy and another missed opportunity. There was never any discussion or even a thought as to how Reason would take care of a child, go to school, live her life, etc. Again - an interesting premise in the series overall, but some serious missed opportunities to make this a more interesting story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicky

    I don't know if I've been expecting more out of this series than I should've. But Liar had everything I wanted, and I was using that to judge Larbalestier's work as a whole... It was just my thing, I guess, and this trilogy wasn't, at least not to anything like the same degree. It was fun to read, and the moral ambiguity and the unreliability of nearly everyone does make it more complex than I'd really considered. We're told what people think magic is: we never get an objective answer. We never I don't know if I've been expecting more out of this series than I should've. But Liar had everything I wanted, and I was using that to judge Larbalestier's work as a whole... It was just my thing, I guess, and this trilogy wasn't, at least not to anything like the same degree. It was fun to read, and the moral ambiguity and the unreliability of nearly everyone does make it more complex than I'd really considered. We're told what people think magic is: we never get an objective answer. We never really know who has done right. I still feel like this whole trilogy went by too fast, without getting its hooks into me. I didn't get engaged with Reason's transformation -- it didn't have the sense of drama, of desperation, of things coming unravelled, that I think it was meant to. And the end of this book just ravelled up everything so neatly, all in one, with so few jagged edges. Everything's okay. Of course Reason isn't upset that Danny doesn't really want her. Of course everyone gets healed. Of course there's one dad here at the end who isn't a total deadbeat... Liar left me with a sense of unease, which I liked. There's a bit of that here, but I just didn't feel as jerked about and emotionally engaged, I guess. I'd definitely read this trilogy first, before Liar, if I wanted to get into Larbalestier's work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    While I zipped through this last novel in the Magic or Madness series in about a day and a half, for some reason I didn't think it had the oomph of the previous two. Maybe it's because the stupid DC Public Library system forced me to wait for this book for more than a year after it was published, and I'd therefore forgotten a whole lot of what had transpired, but for whatever reason, I didn't love this one as much. It's still awfully good, mind you, and it wraps everything up very tidily, with j While I zipped through this last novel in the Magic or Madness series in about a day and a half, for some reason I didn't think it had the oomph of the previous two. Maybe it's because the stupid DC Public Library system forced me to wait for this book for more than a year after it was published, and I'd therefore forgotten a whole lot of what had transpired, but for whatever reason, I didn't love this one as much. It's still awfully good, mind you, and it wraps everything up very tidily, with just the teeniest bit of room for more books in the series, which is nice.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    Disappointing ending to this fun series, a little too rushed feeling and add in a weird touch of religion?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ameena

    I liked the first part in this series. Magic or madness, didn’t read second part reading the reviews but realized didn’t really miss anything major I think after reading the third part. This series went downhill very very fast. What a disappointment. Reason character was very flat. It didn’t develop but how could it? The story is what based over a week? Except for the epilogue. Two characters are trying to find sarafina for the whole book and Tom and jaytee and busy falling in love or dancing or I liked the first part in this series. Magic or madness, didn’t read second part reading the reviews but realized didn’t really miss anything major I think after reading the third part. This series went downhill very very fast. What a disappointment. Reason character was very flat. It didn’t develop but how could it? The story is what based over a week? Except for the epilogue. Two characters are trying to find sarafina for the whole book and Tom and jaytee and busy falling in love or dancing or kissing or whatever waiting for meres phone call? Who thing of cansino world and magic being evil and shortening the life’s of weirdest needed a lot more clarification in a good way not in the weird, rambling unrelated and frankly stupid way the writer describes Not-relevant stuff. What was the purpose of the little girl and his brother getting so much time? What about the foot ball players outside their house wherever that was. DON’T waste your time on this! Move on to something better! I would be very careful to even try to read something else from this author!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This was a very fun and interesting series! My math-y brain really appreciated the Fibonacci stuff, and it was fun to read a series set primarily in Australia (because that doesn't come up that often!). I don't know that I was ever, like, blown away during this series, but it fully kept my attention and was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Which sounds like damning with false praise, but honestly I promise it's not!! It was very enjoyable and really a great series for younger readers but it just did This was a very fun and interesting series! My math-y brain really appreciated the Fibonacci stuff, and it was fun to read a series set primarily in Australia (because that doesn't come up that often!). I don't know that I was ever, like, blown away during this series, but it fully kept my attention and was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Which sounds like damning with false praise, but honestly I promise it's not!! It was very enjoyable and really a great series for younger readers but it just didn't completely grab me and refuse to let me go. It was like floating down a lazy river versus going white water rafting: incredibly enjoyable, but not, like, exhilarating. Maybe that made sense, maybe it didn't??? IDK man, I'm not a WORD MAGICIAN or anything.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kira Nerys

    Recently--finally--found this used and completed my collection. I'd forgotten what a huge cliffhanger the end of the 2nd book was, how much books 2 and 3 seem like two halves of a whole. When I read this the first time I was around Reason's age, and I remember being disturbed. I remember the characters not living up to my expectations. Reading it now, as an adult, I see it differently: I see how real they are, all these flawed humans in difficult circumstances. It's still not a happy book, but t Recently--finally--found this used and completed my collection. I'd forgotten what a huge cliffhanger the end of the 2nd book was, how much books 2 and 3 seem like two halves of a whole. When I read this the first time I was around Reason's age, and I remember being disturbed. I remember the characters not living up to my expectations. Reading it now, as an adult, I see it differently: I see how real they are, all these flawed humans in difficult circumstances. It's still not a happy book, but that's not what I'm looking for anymore. I do love the magic system of this series, particularly as Reason sees it in this book. The balance of positive things and negative things, even if those are subjective, gives the book plenty of momentum. Jay-Tee's character arc I enjoyed most.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn't like this one nearly as much as the first two; I particularly disliked the ending and Reason deciding that magic was evil. I really hoped that she would be able to figure out a way to keep magic, but not die from it. I also REALLY didn't like the baby. Ok yes, Reason's mother had her as a young teen, but really? Reason had to perpetuate that for why? So there could be another magic user in the family? Nah...not a good enough reason for yet another teenage pregnancy, especially to someone I didn't like this one nearly as much as the first two; I particularly disliked the ending and Reason deciding that magic was evil. I really hoped that she would be able to figure out a way to keep magic, but not die from it. I also REALLY didn't like the baby. Ok yes, Reason's mother had her as a young teen, but really? Reason had to perpetuate that for why? So there could be another magic user in the family? Nah...not a good enough reason for yet another teenage pregnancy, especially to someone as unworldly as Reason.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A satisfactory ending to an odd series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This book left me feeling jet lagged and underwhelmed. I am glad to have a conclusion to the story, but it didn't feel genuine. This book left me feeling jet lagged and underwhelmed. I am glad to have a conclusion to the story, but it didn't feel genuine.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Valance

    Ransom must choose whether to renounce her magic to save her baby.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stella Cravo

    The first book of the series is so good! I really don't understand what went wrong but I didn't like the middle nor the ending of this story. The first book of the series is so good! I really don't understand what went wrong but I didn't like the middle nor the ending of this story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    RebekahD

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I love the way the author put this book together. I liked how Reason explained that she was magic's child, and magic was the greedy one. I love the way the author put this book together. I liked how Reason explained that she was magic's child, and magic was the greedy one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jaemi

    The Magic or Madness trilogy was a really fun one to follow, as the stories are told from multiple points of view and all the characters are so different and full of life. Reason Cansino had an unusual childhood. Always on the run form her grandmother, Esmeralda, she and Sarafina (her mother) never stayed in one place too long. They also never settled anywhere "normal." So while Reason has an innate talent for Math, that about covers her schooling. The other main rule of her life has been that ma The Magic or Madness trilogy was a really fun one to follow, as the stories are told from multiple points of view and all the characters are so different and full of life. Reason Cansino had an unusual childhood. Always on the run form her grandmother, Esmeralda, she and Sarafina (her mother) never stayed in one place too long. They also never settled anywhere "normal." So while Reason has an innate talent for Math, that about covers her schooling. The other main rule of her life has been that magic doesn't exist. Except that it does, and her mother's refusal to use hers has driven her mad. Which leads to the series' beginning: Reason is sent to live with Esmeralda, as Sarafina had been committed to Kalder Park. Over the span of two weeks, Reason's life changes in more ways than most could hope to handle. Not only does she lose her mother, move in with someone she's been bred to hate and fear, and learn that magic is real and she has it, she makes two new friends, barely escapes destruction, inherits a creepy ancestor's magic, and, oh yeah, gets pregnant to boot. Which is where we pick up in Magic's Child. Thanks to her family's magical status, Esmeralda could tell pretty much immediately that Reason had conceived a child. And both can tell, thanks to her ancestor's intervention, that said child is changed by her new magic as much as she is. From essentially normal girl, to bald and glowing in a matter of days, being pregnant is almost the least of Reason's problems. But she still feels she should head to New York to explain to the father. She catches Danny on his way out, set to catch a plain to Australia, as it so happens. But she can't bring herself to tell him why she's come. Instead, the conversation takes a rather dire turn, as Danny explains that what happened shouldn't have, that she's too young, and he's not really fit for commitment. Add into this painful mix the visit from the social worker which didn't go so well, and the upcoming academic test no one had told her about, and you wouldn't be surprised that suddenly Reason seems to spend a lot of time chundering. Realizing it's actually caused by her magical changes doesn't make her feel any better--and does. In the world of Raoul Cansino, everything is space and light. Pure magic. The human needs and feelings aren't there. Which is a blessing and a curse, for someone who has more stress than she can handle, but friends and family she deeply cares about. And this is the ultimate struggle. To let go or hold on. Save her mother, her friends, or let them be, to fail or live as life would have it. To give in to this new world to the point she can't come back, or to shut out the magic and remain in a world that now feels heavy and dull. This was a really great book; by far the best of the three. One of the best endings to a series I've read in awhile.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    I have taken my time with series. I started it in college as a required reading (the first book) and found myself intrigued by the idea of you can either use your magic and die young, or you can not use it and go mad. I felt I just had to find out what happened to Reason, her family and friends. I was delighted with the second book and I absolutely loved this last book in the series. I think the author did a wonderful job wrapping up all the loose ends of the storyline and I walked away with a s I have taken my time with series. I started it in college as a required reading (the first book) and found myself intrigued by the idea of you can either use your magic and die young, or you can not use it and go mad. I felt I just had to find out what happened to Reason, her family and friends. I was delighted with the second book and I absolutely loved this last book in the series. I think the author did a wonderful job wrapping up all the loose ends of the storyline and I walked away with a sense of finality. This is what I want with a trilogy and I can honestly say that I would be more than happy to re-read this series again in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Doris

    first read July 14, 2009 This book was very interesting at first, but just got weird towards the end. I was reminded somewhat of other books, but this left without a good closing. Not recommended for the age group for which it is intended. Especially irritating is the use of Aussie slang which is not obvious and is never explained (although some of the very obvious is explained in a glossary at the end). ---------- update 2014 reread------------ 3rd in series This YA book started off with a great sto first read July 14, 2009 This book was very interesting at first, but just got weird towards the end. I was reminded somewhat of other books, but this left without a good closing. Not recommended for the age group for which it is intended. Especially irritating is the use of Aussie slang which is not obvious and is never explained (although some of the very obvious is explained in a glossary at the end). ---------- update 2014 reread------------ 3rd in series This YA book started off with a great story, using the current issue as a means to build the character image and history of their time together. Not having read the previous books, I saw that this 3rd book succeeded where others have failed: the author did a wonderful job bringing in the events from the previous 2 books in the series without making it sound boring or lame. There was obviously quite a bit that happened in the past, and that is understandable. No one works with a tabula rasa, so we need to accept that our characters did not just appear. The characters themselves were well drawn, and for the most part were truly believable. I saw the denial of the younger magic users of the eventual result of too much magic use: like all teens, they believe they are indestructible. I also saw the true life parallel in the desire to save their family, and restore the life they had, or wished they had. The only real issue I had was with the character “Danny”. Although he was a repeat character from previous books, we did not get enough of a feel for him for the eventual resolution (view spoiler)[ (it did not feel like him - he was too selfish to just jump in like that; it didn't feel ‘real’ for him to jump in and want to help raise the baby after he made his perspective on getting involved very clear) (hide spoiler)] .

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Young Adult novels are so much better now than I remember them being when I was an actual young adult. I recall reading some S.E. Hinton, but not much else. The "Magic or Madness" series by Justine Larbalestier is one of the best fantasy trilogies I've read; YA or not. All of the books are well-paced, exciting, and feature well-drawn, believable characters. The story focuses on 15-year-old Reason Cansino who discovers very suddenly that magic is real. More than that, she is a magic user. In the w Young Adult novels are so much better now than I remember them being when I was an actual young adult. I recall reading some S.E. Hinton, but not much else. The "Magic or Madness" series by Justine Larbalestier is one of the best fantasy trilogies I've read; YA or not. All of the books are well-paced, exciting, and feature well-drawn, believable characters. The story focuses on 15-year-old Reason Cansino who discovers very suddenly that magic is real. More than that, she is a magic user. In the word of the books, however, magic is a double-edged sword. Use it and it will shorten your life; but if you don't use it, you'll quickly go mad. For the most part, we watch as reason figures out how to use her magic, and how she avoids other magic users who would steal her magic so they could lengthen their own lives. Besides Reason, there's a whole host of supporting characters, some who wield magic, some who don't, but all who lend their support in making this an exciting story. I would pay heed to the Young Adult label and would share this with kids who are at least in their teens, as there are some plot elements that might raise uncomfortable questions from a younger reader. But once your kids (or you) have finished the Harry Potter series, this is a great series to pick up next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    A nice conclusion for the Magic or Madness Trilogy. I don't know if I just read Justine Larbalestier's books too fast, but this one felt rushed at times just like How to Ditch Your Fairy. I think perhaps I'm getting too excited. Maybe that's a good thing! I was pleased with the wrapup that it provided for the trilogy. I was still a bit frustrated with Reason jumping to conclusions without thinking things through or even asking questions. She made a lot of assumptions. I did like the way magic wa A nice conclusion for the Magic or Madness Trilogy. I don't know if I just read Justine Larbalestier's books too fast, but this one felt rushed at times just like How to Ditch Your Fairy. I think perhaps I'm getting too excited. Maybe that's a good thing! I was pleased with the wrapup that it provided for the trilogy. I was still a bit frustrated with Reason jumping to conclusions without thinking things through or even asking questions. She made a lot of assumptions. I did like the way magic was explained, and the last couple of pages was great. While Tom and Jay-Tee were likeable in the first two books, in Magic's Child they were finally endearing. I feel like I got to understand their voices a lot more. Overall, I was glad to finally read it! I looked forever to find it. I think I would have liked it even more if I had been able to read it closer to the time when I read the first two back to back. It was a nice visit back to Justine's world of magic.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    I plowed through the first two books in the trilogy loving the flow of the story. The endings are all clever to give resolutions but still force me on to the next book. This third book left me feeling a little -eh-. Maybe it was the fact that only about two or three days had passed for the characters, it gave me a headache to even think about that. Perhaps I was put out by the pregnant fifteen year old who changes into a magical non human, then back to a human with no mention of the physical eff I plowed through the first two books in the trilogy loving the flow of the story. The endings are all clever to give resolutions but still force me on to the next book. This third book left me feeling a little -eh-. Maybe it was the fact that only about two or three days had passed for the characters, it gave me a headache to even think about that. Perhaps I was put out by the pregnant fifteen year old who changes into a magical non human, then back to a human with no mention of the physical effects on the pregnancy. (other than the part I won't spoil) I know the baby was probably only several cells at the time, but she was treated like a true character from conception. I felt a little -aaargh- about that. I would recommend only reading the first two books in the trilogy. She has a lovely writing voice. As for the third, just know it all works okay, kind of.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Reason must live up to her name for she must deal with the allure of (Cansino) Magic, her lost mother, and the pressure of saving the lives of her friends, Tom and Jay-Tee. In fact, everyone needs to make decisions. Book three gives enough answers while leaving you thinking about some things. I can't say I was pleased by all parts of the ending but I see why Larbalestier made those choices. Overall, the Madness or Magic trilogy is fast-paced and enjoyable. This book had a slightly different vibe Reason must live up to her name for she must deal with the allure of (Cansino) Magic, her lost mother, and the pressure of saving the lives of her friends, Tom and Jay-Tee. In fact, everyone needs to make decisions. Book three gives enough answers while leaving you thinking about some things. I can't say I was pleased by all parts of the ending but I see why Larbalestier made those choices. Overall, the Madness or Magic trilogy is fast-paced and enjoyable. This book had a slightly different vibe than the first two, but I can't quite identify why. The religion and greed made unexpected but good appearances. This third book, especially, benefited from having three narrators; the Tom / Jay-Tee part provided necessary, back-to-reality breaks. The first one remains the best of the three.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    As a conclusion this was terrible. Well not terrible per se, but just bizarre with no real connection to the rest of the series. I mean really what the heck was with Reason going bald and turning golden? This came out of left field and it just got weirder from there. Where had Raul Cansino been during the first story? He shows up, does some weird magic thing to Reason and is killed (book 2). Now Reason is changing in bizarre ways with little or no explanation. I really needed more back story on As a conclusion this was terrible. Well not terrible per se, but just bizarre with no real connection to the rest of the series. I mean really what the heck was with Reason going bald and turning golden? This came out of left field and it just got weirder from there. Where had Raul Cansino been during the first story? He shows up, does some weird magic thing to Reason and is killed (book 2). Now Reason is changing in bizarre ways with little or no explanation. I really needed more back story on Raul to help clarify his role and this strange twist. The whole book took place in like 3 days so we're talking rapid changes and a personality change as well. To me it just seemed that the author lost her focus and we suddenly entered an alternate reality and morphed into some weird religious thing. Very disappointing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    I liked this series! Something about its style was really unique to me, had kind of a candid realism that I liked. I think what I mean by that is that lots of things I didn't expect happened, and also that things didn't always sound pleasant. I personally felt the series got less gripping as it went on, especially after it got all kooky at the end of book 2, but maybe my taste for kooky magic is still developing. But it felt like it lost some urgency the more powerful its characters got. A fantas I liked this series! Something about its style was really unique to me, had kind of a candid realism that I liked. I think what I mean by that is that lots of things I didn't expect happened, and also that things didn't always sound pleasant. I personally felt the series got less gripping as it went on, especially after it got all kooky at the end of book 2, but maybe my taste for kooky magic is still developing. But it felt like it lost some urgency the more powerful its characters got. A fantasy paradox? These books felt good though, in the writing. It feels good when she describes cold weather, and when characters start kissing. I'm excited that Larbalestier is putting all the cool stuff she seems to know into books like these.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    The third (presumably final, but perhaps there will be a subsidiary trilogy that follows?) in the Magic or Madness trilogy. As with much “Young Adult” fiction, the brevity ultimately disappoints: I wasn’t ready to stop reading these characters when book 2 ended, nor am I ready now. Some things in this book that felt ickier than in the previous ones / but maybe I had just forgotten those feelings, I can’t be sure. Tom’s refusal to give up magic really stuck with me. The way he infuses the clothes The third (presumably final, but perhaps there will be a subsidiary trilogy that follows?) in the Magic or Madness trilogy. As with much “Young Adult” fiction, the brevity ultimately disappoints: I wasn’t ready to stop reading these characters when book 2 ended, nor am I ready now. Some things in this book that felt ickier than in the previous ones / but maybe I had just forgotten those feelings, I can’t be sure. Tom’s refusal to give up magic really stuck with me. The way he infuses the clothes he makes is one of my favorite images from the books. Good, most of the storylines came full circle, but ultimately too short. Not enough. (Then again, I pretty much ALWAYS feel that way about kids’ books. Are kids really satisfied by them? Do they not want more? I wish I could remember….)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    Reason stars again in the third book of this trilogy. She has become completely magic, which has been totally awesome because she can do anything, go anywhere, and live for centuries. But the cost is she loses all of her humanity. Not only is she losing her humanity, she is pregnant. Now isn't this a lot of pressure on just a fifteen year old? As Reason is losing herself to the magic, Tom and Jay-Tee must choose to keep their magic and then die at an early age, or ignore it and become insane. In Reason stars again in the third book of this trilogy. She has become completely magic, which has been totally awesome because she can do anything, go anywhere, and live for centuries. But the cost is she loses all of her humanity. Not only is she losing her humanity, she is pregnant. Now isn't this a lot of pressure on just a fifteen year old? As Reason is losing herself to the magic, Tom and Jay-Tee must choose to keep their magic and then die at an early age, or ignore it and become insane. In this book there is mystery, an unexpected romance, and a great adventure for Reason. Check it and see!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fuzzy Gerdes

    My only complaint about Magic's Child is that, as the third book in a trilogy, the pacing suffers a little as Justine Larbalestier has to cram in a ton of "remember who this is and what happened" and that some of the moral complexity that her characters are going through might be better explored in a longer work. And despite that catch-up exposition, I really wouldn't recommend this book if you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy. My only complaint about Magic's Child is that, as the third book in a trilogy, the pacing suffers a little as Justine Larbalestier has to cram in a ton of "remember who this is and what happened" and that some of the moral complexity that her characters are going through might be better explored in a longer work. And despite that catch-up exposition, I really wouldn't recommend this book if you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Good finish to this trilogy. Reason learns more about her magic abilities and that she can travel thru the world without using doors and keys. She also learns that she can save those whose magic is almost gone and who are dying, by saving Jay -Tee. The finale comes when Jason Blake kidnaps her mother, Sarafina, and it is up to Reason to save her and the rest of the Cansino family. This leave her, Esmerelda and Sarafina without any magic, when Reason realises that the magic is evil. However, Tom Good finish to this trilogy. Reason learns more about her magic abilities and that she can travel thru the world without using doors and keys. She also learns that she can save those whose magic is almost gone and who are dying, by saving Jay -Tee. The finale comes when Jason Blake kidnaps her mother, Sarafina, and it is up to Reason to save her and the rest of the Cansino family. This leave her, Esmerelda and Sarafina without any magic, when Reason realises that the magic is evil. However, Tom decides to keep his magic so when Reason's baby is born with magic, this sets the scene for a further series of novels in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I liked this entire series - the characters were great and I thought the plot was original and interesting. That being said, I wasn't too crazy about how it ended. In some ways, I thought things were tied up too neatly. In other ways, I didn't like some of the loose ends that were left. Even so, I enjoyed reading this book (and the trilogy) and I would recommend it to fans of teen realistic fantasy fiction. (Yes, I do think I just made that genre up, but it's an accurate description of the books I liked this entire series - the characters were great and I thought the plot was original and interesting. That being said, I wasn't too crazy about how it ended. In some ways, I thought things were tied up too neatly. In other ways, I didn't like some of the loose ends that were left. Even so, I enjoyed reading this book (and the trilogy) and I would recommend it to fans of teen realistic fantasy fiction. (Yes, I do think I just made that genre up, but it's an accurate description of the books.)

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