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Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite
Magora: The Golden Maple Tree by talented author Marc Remus is the second book in the Magora children’s fantasy series and is, quite frankly, utterly magical. Twelve-year-old Holly O’Flanigan alternates between ‘the real world’ of Donkleywood, where she lives in a mansion with her foster parents, the Smoralls, and the alternate magical world of Magora, via a very special fantasy painting that had been created by her Grandpa Nikolas. In Magora, Holly and her three friends - Rufus, Brian and Amanda - had attended Cliffony, Academy of the Arts, where they had learned to paint with the help of magic. Now Holly and her friends are heading back for their second year at Cliffony – but the only problem is that Holly’s friend, Ileana, is very sick. She is suffering from a disease that dissolves her blood and the only cure for her illness lies in the leaves of the Golden Maple Tree. Holly and her friends set out on a quest to find the mystical maple tree, but things become very complicated when Rufus is kidnapped.
As mentioned earlier, this book is the second in the Magora series and should be read in order to fully appreciate the turn of events and to learn the back stories for each of the characters. Reading the books out of sequence doesn’t mean you won’t understand the story – it may simply take you a little longer to figure out the who, what, where, when and whys. Remus’ story is charming and full of vibrant imagery, much like a beautifully painted canvas. From interesting creatures/beings called Hisslers and Chandrills to funny and creative names like Villa Nonesuch, Papplewick Street and Wrinkle Dimple Skin Care Shop, each adds an element of creativity that will fuel the imaginations of its readers as they excitedly follow Holly and her friends on their quest to find the mystical Golden Maple Tree that will save their friend. The pages of the story are chock full of adventure, excitement and wonderment. If you liked the wizarding world of Harry Potter, you’ll love the magical world of Magora in all her vibrant splendor. Marc Remus, like J.K. Rowling, gives his readers a wonderful and magical place to escape!