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Crescent Blues Book ViewsStarscape (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-765-34245-6

The back cover declares the book suitable for "ages 10 and up," and I certainly qualify for the "up." I loved the fantasy, saw it as a delightful tour-de-force, and I think the book multi-leveled enough for the declaration to be true. There's something for everyone: a bit of magic, a bit of history, lots of derring-do and literary allusions, a grand quest to restore balance to the world and a small amount of romance. While not exactly a page-turner, A College of Magics, includes much to be savored and pondered -- and even several happenings that merit a smile.

Book: caroline stevermer, a college of magic
Set in the early 20th century in an alternate world not terribly unlike our own, Stevermer's fantasy delineates the trials and tribulations of one Faris Nallaneen. Faris, 17 and too young to claim her title of Duchess of Galazon, arrives at Greenlaw College of Magic at the insistence of her uncle -- for her benefit, he insists. Faris believes her schooling is nothing more than a ploy to get rid of her so her uncle can rule the dukedom. True? (Please, don't expect me to answer that.)

Since Greenlaw students major in magic, the course of study can have serious consequences, especially when Faris runs afoul of a really nasty classmate, Menary of Aravill. Fortunately, Faris acquires a new best friend, Jane, who not only knows magic but also knows where to find help when help would come in handy.

The tale takes some interesting twists and turns, introduces some wee-fashioned characters and does more than a credible job of delivering surprise piled upon top of surprise. I don't suppose I need to say, "I enjoyed it very much." Easy reading at its best, A College of Magics would make a great summer read for any fantasy lover -- particularly those of the female gender.

Patricia Lucas White

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