Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic Series #2)

( 30 )

Overview

Eff is riding west, away from the safety of the frontier city she's always known....

Eff could be a powerful magician if she wanted to. Except she's not sure she wants that kind of responsibility. Everyone keeps waiting for her to do something amazing--or to fail in a spectacular way. Worse, her twin brother, Lan, a powerful double seventh son, is jealous of all the attention she's been getting.
Even as Eff protests that she's just an ordinary ...

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Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic Series #2)

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Overview

Eff is riding west, away from the safety of the frontier city she's always known....

Eff could be a powerful magician if she wanted to. Except she's not sure she wants that kind of responsibility. Everyone keeps waiting for her to do something amazing--or to fail in a spectacular way. Worse, her twin brother, Lan, a powerful double seventh son, is jealous of all the attention she's been getting.
Even as Eff protests that she's just an ordinary girl, she's asked to travel past the Barrier Spell with one of the new professors at her father's school. The land west of the Barrier is full of dangers, both magical and wild. Eff will need to use all her strength--magical and otherwise--to come safely back home.
With wit, magic, and a touch of good pioneer sense, Patricia C. Wrede once again weaves a fantastic tale of the very wild west.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A sequel to Thirteenth Child, this adventure is set in an alternate 19th-century America where prehistoric mammals and dangerous magical creatures coexist. Eighteen-year-old Eff Rothmer is still getting used to the idea that she has managed to save a good part of the frontier from deadly magical mirror bugs. Unwilling to accompany her twin brother, Lan, to a university back east, she yearns to cross the Great Barrier Spell to the frontier. ("I didn't think the Settlement Office would hire a girl fresh out of upper school with no experience and no great knack for magic to be a circuit magician," she thinks.) Soon, however, Eff once again heads west as part of a scientific expedition, where she discovers bizarre phenomena and hitherto unknown creatures, some of which will put the settlers in deadly peril. Eff's narrative voice is warm and colloquial, and Wrede's descriptions of an imaginary American continent are taut and scrupulously detailed. Strong secondary characters, compelling use of magical elements, and a pensive portrayal of how serious scientists and magicians might ply their trade result in a layered historical fantasy. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Stephanie L. Petruso
In an alternate 19th-century United States, Eff Rothmer is finally at peace with being the "unlucky" thirteenth child, but she is still unsure about what she wants to do with her life. As her twin brother and best friend head East for college, Eff decides to continue honing her magic and wait for an opportunity to go scouting out West. That opportunity comes more quickly than expected and Eff finds herself traveling in an expedition to record new species of plants and animals in the unexplored frontier. It is dangerous work and both Eff's inner strength and her magical ability are tested. As Eff and her team head further into the wilderness, they stumble upon evidence that some terrible creature is turning living animals to stone. Eff's willingness and ability to use different types of magic together becomes essential to their survival. Across the Great Barrier is Wrede's follow-up to The Thirteenth Child (Scholastic, 2009/VOYA October 2009) in her Frontier Magic series. Though her magical world is interesting, the story moves slowly, and never elicits the wonderment that JK Rowling and Phillip Pullman's worlds do so effortlessly. Wrede has loyal fans who loved her previous series The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, so most libraries will want to carry this one, too, although it is unlikely to be in high demand for readers unfamiliar with Wrede. Reviewer: Stephanie L. Petruso
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Devotees of Wrede's "Frontier Magic" series will be delighted to pick up the adventures of Eff Rothmer where The Thirteenth Child left off. The Rothmer family has moved west in this alternate America already past its own War of Secession and deep into frontier building. Eff, perceived to be the unlucky thirteenth child, is separated from her twin, Lan, the fortunate seventh son of a seventh son, as he pursues college in the East. Eff is less sure of her destiny, vacillating between a job at a wildlife preserve, assisting Professor Torgeson at the local college, or following her siblings west into the settlements. Fate takes a hand when Professor Torgeson plans a western expedition and takes Eff as an assistant, only to find that western creatures have started migrating east and there is evidence that something magical is turning creatures and humans into stone. Eff is a winning heroine, realistically weighing the options of late adolescence as she comes to terms with the fact that her education did not end in school and tries to fill in the gaps on her own. Her dithering can get trying and slows the middle of the book to a plodding pace. When Lan is reintroduced, battered by his experience of having an important spell go horribly awry, the pair move forward more energetically. Eff and Lan's combined magic is the real energy of the book. A short-lived romantic opportunity for Eff is quickly dispatched in favor of her own pursuit of personal accomplishment exploring and using the full power of her genetic magic. If readers can work through the book's slow pace, there is a story both magical and environmental to be told. The pursuit will be worth the effort, especially for readers looking for a magical female role model. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—In The Thirteenth Child (Scholastic, 2009), Eff came of age and defied everyone's low expectations by saving the town of Mill River with an amazing feat of magic. Now she is 18. Some folks want her to do great things…others hope she will fail miserably and prove that the Mill River incident was just a fluke. And Eff? Her greatest wish is to explore the wild world beyond the Great Barrier, a magical wall that protects against the most dangerous magical creatures. Eff gets her wish when she is selected to accompany a scientific expedition into the wilderness. Her story continues in the measured pace of the first book, but fantasy lovers willing to take the time will find Wrede's alternative world of the Wild West richly rewarding. Across the Great Barrier can be read as a stand-alone, though readers already familiar with the characters and previous events are the most likely audience.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
From the Publisher

Praise for Thirteenth Child:

“I plunged in and couldn't put it down until I finished. It's a fascinating adventure in an America where an 'unlucky' thirteenth child finds her own magic on a frontier where the dragons and the mammoths play.” – Tamora Pierce

[star] “Effortless…The culminating adventure of this volume ties up Eff's coming-of-age with a frontier-style bow while leaving her poised for more adventures–many more, readers will hope.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Fantasy readers looking for a great new series to get wrapped up into will appreciate and enjoy Wrede's cast of characters and all the implications magic holds with them.”
– www.teenreads.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545033435
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: Frontier Magic Series , #2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 842,580
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Patricia C. Wrede is the universally acclaimed author of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series, including Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, Calling on Dragons, and Talking to Dragons, as well as other novels, including Mairelon the Magician, The Magician's Ward, and, with Caroline Stevermer, Sorcery and Cecelia, The Grand Tour, and The Mislaid Magician. She lives in Minnesota.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Great character

    Continuing on with the story from the thirteenth child hope a third book comes out soon!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    I love this book and it's prequel the Thirteenth Child. I love t

    I love this book and it's prequel the Thirteenth Child. I love the way the author incorporated magic into American history. I'd recommend this book series to anyone who loves fantasy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book

    This was a great book with an intriguing plot and excellent details. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Dont waste your money

    Too slow and bad plot dont waste your money or time on this suckish book

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Fantastic read

    The book is truly remarkable with its vivid language and excellent character development. I found it difficult to put the book down and there was never a dull or boring moment. Fans of this trilogy are sure to fall in love with Eff all over again as she struggles and grows in this unforgettable coming-of-age story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    S. M.

    BEWARE!!! This is a book that will take your breath away! Aweasome book! Five stars!

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    Posted September 12, 2012

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