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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In The Third Kind of Magic (Crow Magic, Book 1) by Elizabeth Forest, 12-year-old Suli Wing wants to apprentice as a wise woman. When she accidentally used magic on a girl who bullied her brother, her grandmother sent her to another village to train with a family member, Tala Wing. The often impatient Suli is frustrated with Tala, who most of the time prefers Suli to think instead of waiting for answers to be given to her. When Tala finally begins to explain more about advanced magic to Suli, a witch kidnaps her. Now, it’s up to Suli to get Tala back, but she needs to learn about the third kind of magic before facing the witch. Little does Suli know that she’s about to discover more about her family history and the fine line between being a wise woman and a witch.
Forest has created fascinating world building here. The system of magic in The Third Kind of Magic－Seeing, Healing, Voice－are unique to me, particularly the history of the Sigur folk and their shape shifting ability. It’s also avian oriented, which will definitely attract readers who are also bird lovers. These concepts are imaginative and intricate, making the story much more intriguing with its fast-paced plot. The characters’ struggles and flaws reflect on an important message; people fear what they don't understand and they judge the things they fear. Young Suli detests witches, but wants to become as powerful as them to protect her family. As a mentor, Tala is doing her best to teach Suli about the difference between magic and witchcraft to change her judgment and learn the old ways of their family. I gravitated to the well-defined and memorable Tala instantly and I liked the twist in the plot regarding the witch. Overall, this magical, coming-of-age fantasy tale is a solid read and explore its themes and concepts deftly to keep young readers interested.