Copyright: 2007

Age: Junior High+


In a world of competing good and evil wizards, a queen is assassinated for her throne. Her infant princess, Jenna, is rescued and adopted by the loving and chaotic wizard Heap family. When she is discovered ten years later, it's up to the Heaps, Marcia the Extraordinary Wizard, and a lost and unwilling Young Army boy to help her escape.

Sexuality: 3

A man is said to have hovered outside the ladies washroom when he was courting.
A ghost falls on a woman's pillow when she is in bed. (No sexuality implied.)
It is uncertain whether a queen was married to her child's father or not. We see no mention of a king at all. The father never stayed around. He is referred to as "the queen's consort."
A woman and girl take cold wet clothes off of a boy and redress him. (No sexuality implied.)
A woman thinks that a married man and another woman, who is not his wife, have eloped. She thinks the man committed adultery years ago because his youngest daughter looks nothing like his wife. (She is wrong on all accounts.)
A boy lays with his head in a girl's lap while he is recovering. (No sexuality implied.)
A girl pulls a boy towards her to warn him.
A creature excrets a slime all over its head when excited in an almost sexual way.
A boy holds a girl's hand.
Young witches visit teenage boys.

Violence: 5

Witches are said to steal things, including children.
A midwife announces that a newborn baby is dead. (He turns out much later to not be. Instead she claimed he was and stole him from his family.)
Certain trees are said to be carnivorous.
A woman assassin plans to kill a 10-year-old girl. She has a special silver pistol and bullet for the occasion. A hunter ends up trying to use the bullet on the girl as well.
A bullet is said to pass straight through a man's heart into the wall, killing him.
A bullet is deflected back into an assassin's leg.
A ghost is said to have a hole in his chest and blood stains. (He is a kindly ghost and not at all scary in the book.)
A boy nearly dies from freezing out in the cold.
A woman hits a boy.
A woman sends a magic thunderclap to knock another woman assassin to the floor. We only find out a while later that the woman did not die. "Thunderclaps" are used a couple times to cause harm or injury.
A girl is threatened with a gun to her head.
A man, woman, girl, dog, and two boys fall twenty-one floors in a rubbish chute.
Many people fear a scary hunter who is said to hear the beating heart of his cornered prey. The hunter threatens to burn a woman's inn to the ground, locking her inside. He does so, and it is many, many chapters later that we hear the woman escaped unscathed. The reader is left stunned about the brutality of the woman's supposed death for most of the book.
A woman kicks a man.
A boy wants to hit a girl.
A man breaks his pinkie when he slams his hand down in anger.
A woman uses magic to make a man dive into freezing cold water. (He is unhurt.)
A man jumps from a tower. It appears he did not die, but he instead goes into the "abyss" (Hell?) and comes back again many years later. Later he appears to finally be killed when his ship sinks but he takes on the body of a younger boy, leaving his skin an empty shell drained of life. (The boy is later brought back to life with dark magic.)
A creature called a "magog" is described as gross and foul-smelling with a trail of slime.
An enchanted insect stabs a man in the neck.
A girl assumes that drowned rabbits that are floating upside down are sunbathing.
Sailors are thrown overboard in a ship because they can swim. (They are unhurt.)
A man tells two magogs to kill a woman.
It is mentioned that a man likes to hear the last scream of his human victims.
A woman almost dies in a jail cell, but a ghost keeps her alive.
An animal creature, called a bogart, is shot by a hunter. His fur is bleeding and matted with blood and he leaves a trail of blood. A woman saves him and nurses him back to health. Her apron is stained with blood and the cloth she uses as well.
A magog sucks enchanted insects dry and then crunches them, eating them.
Many enchanted insects drown.
A boy gets cut on the arm by accident.
A boy kicks another boy's shins and punches him in the stomach.
A baby and a woman are drugged, with no permanent ill effects.
It is mentioned that a large snake is thinking about eating children and goats. (He does not.)
A rat is kept for six weeks in a cage without food.
A woman, in a jail cell, rests on the human bones of previous inmates.
A man wants to boil a dead rat for a skeleton.
Magog creature's larvae are said to burrow in animals and burst out, consuming the rest of the animal from the inside out.
A man is buried in snow for hours. (He is unhurt.)
Witches eat wolverines and squirrels.
It seems to be implied that a nun was killed by being bricked up in a wall.
Boys in an army chant about feeding wizards to a cat.
A story is mentioned about a witch who was about to be killed and eaten by wolverines. (She is rescued.)
A boy falls down a hole. (He is uninjured.)
A boy thinks about how is best friend fell overboard on a ship in a raid and no one stopped to pick him up.
People eat a rabbit ear. An animal mentions that he doesn't like eating rats because their little bones get stuck in the teeth.
A lynx torments a rabbit for hours before trying to break its neck. (The rabbit is rescued and nursed back to health.)
Boys are left to survive in a forest. It is mentioned that many die in wolverine traps left by witches.
A dark wizard offers a man as a sacrifice.
A man almost drowns in mud by being pulled down by "brownie" fingers.
A boy makes pies out of cats and dogs.
A woman assassin is knocked out of a window into a river and is never heard from again.

Language: 4

A baby pees. A corridor is said to smell of cat pee.
Without there being any reference to God in the entire book, someone says, "God help the little one."
Someone calls a family "Wizard rabble" and a group of people "vermin."
"Scum" is used four times.
"Blasted!" is used twice.
"Old gasbag"
"For goodness' sake."
"Idiot" is used three times.
"Fool" is used seven times.
"Stupid girl," "stupid dog," "stupid birdbrain," and "stupid beetlehead"
"Revolting little rat."
"Goodness' sake."
"Beetle brain"
"Duck poo"
"Load of drivel"

Christian Principles: None

Magyk seems very juvenile in many ways, but it's important to note some of the more subtle fantasy elements that leave the reader in yet another world without a God.

There are interactions with witches who seem ominous. It is mentioned that they steal things, including children. A group of boys "turn wild" and live in the forest with these witches.

The wizards in the book are trained in magic and their eyes turn green when they are exposed to it. One of the wizards can sense a human heartbeat. Another is said to have disappeared and become a tree. Yet others are called "shapeshifters." The "Extraordinary Wizard," as well as the dark wizard have "powers" that make the critic cringe, as they are abilities that should be only attributed to the Sovereign God. For example, they can control the wind and the waves on their boats. Yet another can bring a dead boy, sucked dry, his body taken over by a dark magician, back to life. It is said she must use "dark magic" to do this, insinuating that bringing someone back to life is of Hades? This goes against everything we know about God, who is the only author of life. Also, they are able to turn objects into other things. They claim not to use magic to endanger lives, but this seems like an arbitrary rule considering all they do use it for.

Ghosts are prevalent throughout the book, seeming to insinuate that there is no heaven or hell. A ghost almost seems to like being dead more than alive as he can breathe, walk, hover, fly, and interact with his friends. The only difference is that he is restricted to only being able to go to places he had been to in his lifetime.

Inanimate objects that are magical also have personalities (ex. mirrors, the stove, and the staircase). A woman wears an amulet that makes her the Extraordinary Wizard. Another woman calls the moon her "sister" and can see the future in it. A group of wizards change the memories and entire past of a man. There is mention of crossing fingers and bad luck as well as of an enchanted dragon. Common insects are turned into defenders. There is mention of charms, potions, and hexes.

A young man elopes, not telling his parents about his girlfriend, and then betrays his family to further his own ambitions.

Substance abuse: There is mention of witches' brew that makes you forget your troubles (appears to be alcoholic) as well as many people drink beer. A nun ghost, especially, is said to never leave a pub and is very fond of beer.

Scripture Verses for Discussion:
Acts 3:15, Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Heberws 9:27, Isaiah 8:19, Leviticus 19:26, 20:6, Matthew 8:23-28, Acts 19:19, 2 Corinthians 11:14

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