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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
In a world dependent on magic, Mierta the warlock struggles to fight off impending disaster in The Rite of Wands by Mackenzie Flohr. As a 12-year-old, Mierta passes the test and receives his wand. As he grows, he fights to keep the visions from his Rite ceremony from becoming reality, hoping to save the kingdom and avoid a horrible fate. As the son of the king’s personal physician, Mierta has access to all kinds of spells and potions that he hopes will serve him in his quest. Meanwhile, another boy comes to serve in the court of the King of Vandolay as soothsayer and advisor. Orlynd must be careful of the treachery all around him while trying to do the right thing for the king and the people at the mercy of the rulers. As time progresses (roughly 20 years), tensions begin to rise and it seems that the powers of evil may have the upper hand. Ancient prophecies are coming to pass and the once peaceful land is in turmoil. The question at the cliff-hanger ending is how the two most powerful young men of the kingdom will express their abilities and what will the outcome be?
Mackenzie Flohr has created a magical world that fascinates and excites the reader with brilliant descriptions of spells, action and suspense. The Rite of Wands is a great book for advanced MG and YA readers who like action and can appreciate the subtleties of human emotions like greed, the hunger for power and the depths of tragic loss. The young characters are realistic in that they are sure of themselves most of the time, but still have questions and issues with growing up, like any pre-teen/teenager does. The Rite of Wands by Mackenzie Flohr is certainly a great beginning to what promises to be an interesting and thrilling series where the magical and ordinary combine in a medieval setting complete with kings, queens and knights, along with the struggling peasants who are at the mercy of those around them.