Monday, September 06, 2004

Andre Norton's "Magic" books

A few weeks ago I looked up and read/reread Andre Norton's -x- Magic books to see if they were suitable to recommend to my youngest daughter. All four of them revolve around one or more children growing and maturing through magical adventures.

  • Octogon Magic shows a girl learning proportion and courage through reliving events from the lives of unfortunates who found magical refuge in the Octagon House. This is well-integrated, and I think the best of the lot.
  • Fur Magic has a fearful boy cast back into a beaver before the Indian Time of Change, and forced to defeat the Changer. This is a pleasant emersion in a blended American Indian mythology, but the repeated supernatural "knowing what to do next" stretches believability a bit far.
  • Dragon Magic follows four troubled boys who become aides to heroes of history and myth. Some of the adventures are very fine, but the adventures don't always blend smoothly with the real life lessons.
  • Steel Magic has three children put right troubles in a magical land by their ability to wield iron. This one is perfunctory and dull. Skip it. Norton sometimes succumbed to the temptation to crank out formula books. Pretend she didn't write it.

For my daughter: Octagon Magic. She's not so interested in boy's adventures.

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