Author: Sarah Prineas
Series: The Magic Thief (Book 4)
Publication: HarperCollins (September 16, 2014)
Description: The Magic Thief: Home, the fourth book in the acclaimed Magic Thief series (also including The Magic Thief, The Magic Thief: Lost, The Magic Thief: Found, finds new wizard Conn back where he started—accused of being a thief.
Despite successfully securing a balance between the competing magics of Wellmet, Conn is not happy. Duchess Rowan has promoted him to ducal magister, but the other wizards see him only as a thief. But something sinister is brewing, as magicians' locus stones are being stolen and magical spells are going awry. As Conn faces old enemies and powerful magical forces, is he strong enough to save the city he calls home?
Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl's Moving Castle, praised this middle grade fantasy series filled with magic and wonder, saying of the first, "I couldn't put it down. Wonderful, exciting stuff."
My Thoughts: In HOME, Conn is back in Wellmet and has a number of problems. He is a very powerful wizard but, being only about twelve years old and not very tolerant of what he sees as stupidity, most of the other wizards really, really dislike him.
His best friend Rowan is, at sixteen, the new Duchess of Wellmet and his cousin Embre is the Underlord who runs the Twilight part of the city. Rowan wants to "reward" Conn for his efforts to save and protect Wellmet by making him the Ducal Magister. Conn doesn't want the job and especially doesn't want to live in the Dawn Palace and be watched over.
Additionally, someone is stealing the locus stones of the other magisters and most believe that Conn is the one responsible. Conn knows that he didn't do it and sets the problem aside to deal with the problem he believes is more important. The two magics that now inhabit Wellmet aren't working together and it is throwing off all the spells cast by any magicians. If Conn can't get the magics to work together, they could destroy the city.
And, just because things can never be easy for Conn, an old enemy has returned who wants to defeat both the Duchess and the Underlord and take over the city himself. He doesn't realize that his plans could cause the destruction of the city he wants to rule.
A big part of this story has Conn deciding what he wants to be and do. He doesn't fit back into the gutterboy lifestyle and he certainly doesn't want the Ducal Magister lifestyle. Once he gets a minute without a crisis he is going to have to decide what he does want.
This is an excellent and entertaining addition to the Magic Thief series. Middle graders will love the action, the danger, the friendships, and the dragon. They will also enjoy getting to know Conn. The coded messages (key at the back of the book) will also intrigue readers.
This series is a "must buy" for both my elementary and my middle school media centers. I can't wait to share it with my students.
I looked around the room again. It felt like Rowan and Nevery and even Benet were trying to put me into a box that I didn't really fit into. I could feel the walls of the box pressing against me, turning me sort of square-shaped, and I didn't like it.I got this eARC through Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.