Friday, April 3, 2015

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: One witch at a time by Stacy DeKeyser


ABOUT THE BOOK

Magic beans quickly lead to danger in this standalone companion to The Brixen Witch, which Kirkus Reviews called “fresh and satisfying” in a starred review.

When Rudi Bauer sets out for town one morning to trade, he never dreams that Susanna Louisa will sell his family’s cow—for magic beans, no less! But that’s exactly what she does, and the consequences will be disastrous unless Rudi can return the magic beans to their rightful owner, the evil witch of Petz.

The journey to Petz is long and hard, but Rudi and Susanna Louisa soon find a shortcut: a magically sprouted beanstalk leads them straight there...and straight into danger. Because the evil witch of Petz is a terrible giant who has locked away summer and keeps his kingdom a frozen wasteland. And in order to defeat him, Rudi is going to need a little magic of his own.


REVIEW

Poor Rudi, this time he finds himself up to his neck in magical adventures through no fault of his own.  On a trip to a nearby fair to trade for supplies, a neighbor girl trades one of his families precious cows for magic beans.  In a panic, he rushes home to prevent the loss of the cow, but a bean gets planted by Susanna and his grandmother tells him he needs to once again visit the Brixen witch.  This leads him on a journey to a foreign land with giant witch who is angry over the loss of some of his magic.  Reminiscent of Jack and the Beanstalk, the story includes mysterious girls, magic beans, a hen that lays golden eggs, and witches.


I enjoyed the book.  It has just enough adventure to be enjoyable and interesting characters to follow.  Rudi is definitely a reluctant hero, he would rather avoid the trouble that seems to follow him around.  I find this interesting because it seems to me being a hero really is a lot of trouble.  What makes Rudi a true hero is his accepting responsibility even though it is the last thing he wants to do, his internal struggle felt very real. An enjoyable read that works perfectly for the audience, especially for those who don't want the more violent, 500-page fantasies. 

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