The Wizard's Diary

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
169 Pages
Reviewed on 08/01/2021
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Author Biography

I have always loved fantasy books, movies, and RPGs but not necessarily the stories themselves. I’m not interested in teen angst and romance or overly gratuitous imagery. I love a good story that transcends these things. Although my work is usually categorized as Young Adult, it is not about teen romance. It is focused on family, friendships, loss, and, of course, magic! The characters in my books face real-world political and social issues in a fantasy setting and experience the joys and pains of love and life.

ROBERT J. BRADSHAW is an author, father, and award-winning classical music composer with a passion for storytelling. He can be found online at Best known for his celebrated work in concert halls around the world, Bradshaw is also an avid photographer and videographer. His creative pursuits collectively inspired The Wizard’s Diary book series.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Risah Salazar for Readers' Favorite

Aarghathlain, or Aargh for short, is a proud wizard who enjoys talking to trees. After all, what is there left to do anyway? There is only one spell, and it is for talking to trees. Trees tell stories of people, families, dwellings, generation after generation. Sometimes it’s hard for wizards like him to get the information they seek because trees can be so talkative with all the wisdom they’ve collected in their lifespan. But after doing this for a long time, Aargh has the patience and skill to get the job done. Just when he thinks there is nothing left to learn, a little girl surprises him and turns his world upside down. Delve into Robert J. Bradshaw’s The Wizard’s Diary, a fantastic fantasy of pure love and magic, and discover how Aargh humbly turns from a ‘Spire Historian and Keeper of General Generations’ to ‘Novice, Student of the World, and Keeper of the Precious Child.’

The tale unfolds slowly, with necessary flashbacks to complement the current scene, so at first, it isn't apparent what is going on, but the revelations are worth the wait. The Wizard’s Diary is a mysterious adventure filled with action and a child-like perspective. With its twists and turns, the story never gets boring. Robert J. Bradshaw emphasizes how the aforementioned child-like perspective is essential in viewing the world. Becoming an adult is hard, but going back to the ways of a child can make a huge difference, especially in self-actualization. The Wizard’s Diary presents right and wrong in an innovative new light. Aside from the plot and the morals, the characters are equally well-written. Some are funny and likable, some are dark and deceptive, but all of them have fantastic development. They are simple, but there’s more to them underneath their wizard’s robes. Bradshaw has crafted a compelling story about forming special bonds with others and the self.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Dear reader, this might come as a shock, but you should know that magic does not exist in the world. As any wizard worth his salt can tell you, there is only “One True Spell” and nothing else. The wizards can talk to the ancient trees and follow their roots to unravel the future. Aarghathlain, aka Aargh, is such a wizard. His short stature belies his enormous potential, or so he would like you to believe. Aargh and his familiar, Wrudge the rat, make quite a successful pair. However, following a botched job at the Marble House and a narrow escape, they stumble upon a little girl. This chance encounter will be the end of the world as Aargh knew it. The Wizard’s Diary by Robert J. Bradshaw narrates Aargh's life-changing quest from that moment on.

Aargh’s adventure was so full of surprising twists that the story became innovative and unpredictable at every turn. I loved the humor author Robert J. Bradshaw incorporated while describing Aargh and Wrudge’s numerous escapades. The use of dark humor in The Thin Man’s story or his “Book of Blunders” provided a sharp contrast. As the story progressed, Bradshaw gradually revealed the backstories that shaped the characters’ decisions and, ultimately, the outcome. Aargh’s startling discoveries turn his life upside down, yet his quest makes him realize the hidden truths of life. Aargh and Wrudge’s friendship plays a pivotal role in the story, as do The Thin Man’s redeeming qualities. With a plot full of love, trust, betrayal, death, and new beginnings, The Wizard’s Diary is a refreshing and unique fantasy tale.

Trisha Dawn

Robert J. Bradshaw’s The Wizard's Diary features the remarkable adventures of a kind wizard named Aarghathlain. After narrowly escaping a predicament during his work at the Marble House, Aarghlathlain and his familiar, Wrudge, started making their way to Lower Middling Street after thinking they had safely escaped from the unpleasant situation that morning. However, Aarghathlain suddenly found himself running again, this time to save a little girl gripped by the nape of her neck. Little did Aarghathlain know that after saving this precious little girl, he would soon find out the world is far more magical than he thought. As evil rises, trouble begins to brew. Will Aarghathlain, the greatest wizard of the age, be able to save everyone?

The Wizard’s Diary by Robert J. Bradshaw is an engrossing and heartwarming story. I couldn’t help but feel attached to some characters in particular as I read, especially Wrudge, who holds a special place in my heart. The rat familiar did everything to help his best friend, Aarghlathlain. The bravery that they both showed in the face of peril is truly admirable and it moved me. The little girl is another character that left an impression on me. She seemed mysterious to me and I worried she would bring difficulty into Aarghlathlain’s life. Despite my initial wariness of her character, she instantly caught my heart because of her lovable personality and the courage she showed later on in the story. The plot was so remarkable that it made me tear up when I realized I was, slowly but surely, about to reach the end. At that point, I couldn’t help but feel curious about what happens next to Aarghathlain, the greatest wizard of the age. The Wizard's Diary is a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading! Well done!