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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
The Gallery of Wonders (Magora Book 1) by Marc Remus is a fantasy novel that centers around 11-year-old Holly O’Flanigan. Holly lives with her foster family, the Smoralls, who are uncaring to the point of being abusive towards her. Her only true relationship is with her grandfather, Nikolas O’Flanigan, who has always inspired rumours around town because of his strange and eccentric ways. In reality, as we come to discover, magic is in the air. When a fire ravages the town, Holly is devastated by her grandfather’s death as she looks up to him and wants to be an artist like he was. But to her surprise, soon after, she discovers an unusual, “magical” canvas and paintbrush left to her by her grandfather, which leads to a whole new world. In this world, Holly, along with her friends, can bring anything to life by painting it. As Holly enters this new world, enrolls in an art school, and helps to solve a mystery about stolen paintings, she also learns to love herself and find herself in the process. In that sense, this is a beautiful coming-into-your-own story.
The Gallery of Wonders (Magora Book 1) by Marc Remus is a nicely written fantasy novel. Its theme of magic and creating life through art and painting is unique and appealing. I could almost imagine the vivid colors, brushstrokes, and paintings brought to life as I was reading this book. More importantly, this is a book about courage and about finding oneself through adversity. Holly’s character is well drawn and is universally appealing. The supporting cast of characters and plot make this an exciting and fun read. I would recommend this book for children and teenagers alike.