Review: Guardians of Magic

Written and Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books
Publication Date: 19th September 2019

This is an absolute magical treasury of a story which I utterly adored, from the wonderfully delightful characters to the interweaving of fairy tales into the fabric of the story.  The illustrations are truly stunning and completely captivated me as I journeyed through this richly-drawn world, meeting the most fantastic characters, and becoming caught up in their lives and stories.

Following a wish upon the legendary cloud horses, each of the Guardians of Magic finds a magical item which has been specially made for them in order to help them protect the magic of Thrynne from those who seek to destroy it.

The Guardians, Zam, Phoebe and Bathsheba live in different towns in Thrynne, each of which has its own problems, from mafia-like rats to tree-destroying Tin men to giant-slaying princesses …

Each of the Guardians becomes displaced from their home for different reasons linked to their magical items and happenings in their towns, but I won’t delve into this any more for fear of spoilers.  Eventually, they find refuge and a home in the Tumbledowns – a place which collects people who don’t fit in elsewhere – where they come together to hatch a plan to protect the ancient magic …

I adored all three Guardians who are extremely likeable, brave, resourceful and determined to protect the magic of the Forever Tree.  I loved that they wished on cloud horses:  the granting of their wishes leads them on an action-packed, magical adventure which unites them in friendship and a shared path as Guardians of Magic

The homage to fairy tales throughout this gorgeous story is just brilliant.  I loved how familiar characters took on lives outside their tales, and were often represented in a completely different light to what a reader might imagine. 

The heart of this story relays important messages related to the need to protect the natural environment from destruction, to fight against prejudice based on preconceived notions, and the importance of finding a place where we can belong.

The Cloud Horses are the creation of dreams – I can’t wait to see where their adventures with the Guardians leads them next.  Oh, and don’t we all want our own cloud horse … just a little more wishing and believing in magic should do it!

This is a superbly enchanting and heart-warming adventure which is perfect for readers of 8+.  I’m very much looking forward to introducing it to my class who I know will be just as entranced by the characters and adventure as I was.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for sending me an e-ARC in return for my honest opinion. I loved it so much that I have also bought a hardback copy for myself.

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