Midnight Magic by Avi, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic

4.5 61
by Avi
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions


Reintroducing a magical, bestselling medieval mystery from a Newbery-winning author! The release coincides with Avi's exciting new companion to this book, MURDER AT MIDNIGHT.

Night after night, a ghost appears in the royal castle of Pergamontio, terrifying the princess. Mangus the Magician doesn't believe in ghosts, but that doesn't stop him from

Overview


Reintroducing a magical, bestselling medieval mystery from a Newbery-winning author! The release coincides with Avi's exciting new companion to this book, MURDER AT MIDNIGHT.

Night after night, a ghost appears in the royal castle of Pergamontio, terrifying the princess. Mangus the Magician doesn't believe in ghosts, but that doesn't stop him from being charged with finding this one. The King demands that Mangus free his daughter from the torment of the ghost. . . otherwise, the magician will pay with his life. Mangus's only hope is his faithful, street-smart servant boy, Fabrizio, who must solve the mystery of the ghost using logic and reason -- and a bit of magic of his own.
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“With snappy dialogue, nonstop action, and lavishly embroidered period backdrops, this will please Avi's fans and may well win over some new ones.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A medieval mystery that will keep readers guessing to the very end.” –Booklist

“The pages fly with intrigue and action.” –Horn Book

Horn Book Magazine
What better place for some midnight magic than a dank, medieval castle replete with hidden doorways, secret passages, and a daunting spiral staircase? In the summer of 1491 a servant boy named Fabrizio and his master, a retired magician, are urgently summond to this castello in the Italian kingdom of Pergamontio. Young princess Teresina has witnessed a frightening apparition, which she claims is the ghost of her murdered brother. While Mangu the Magician attempts to solve the mysery through reason and deduction, his twelve-year-old servant roams the castle halls, where he eventually sees the ghost himself. Fabrizio, who is not above using a little sleight-of-hand to secure an advantage, befriends Teresina and learns that the ten-year-old princess will soon be betrothed to her father's adviser, Cont Scarazoni. Although Teresina shows Fabrizio the secret chambers of the castle, she does not share all the secrets she knows. Indeed, most of the characters in the novel withhold information from one another, and Fabrizio is left in the dark both literally and figuratively when, at the book's climax, he must race through the castle's pitch-black corridors and help Mangus conjure up an illusion that may save the monarchy. Readers who can get past the misleadingly romantic cover illustration will discover an old-fashioned story that emphasizes plot over characterization. Brave orphan boys, feisty princesses, and villainous royal advisers are all familiar, timeworn roles, and the character never emerge as unique individuals here a flaw further magnified by their arch, often melodramatic dialogue. However, Avi uses some literary sleight-of-hand to make the pages fly with intrigue and action.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Taut and suspenseful, this vivid mystery set in an imaginary kingdom of Renaissance Italy is vintage Avi. The story starts with a bang as an unmarked coach arrives one stormy night at the home of Mangus the magician, who is under house arrest for his knowledge of the dark arts. Mangus, as readers quickly learn, is no wizard but a former entertainer, and he in fact scoffs at the notion of magic. He protests vigorously when he is summoned to the castle (along with his 12-year-old servant, Fabrizio) and ordered to help free the princess from her visions of a terrifying ghost. All is not as it seems, however, as the pair discover a court intrigue involving a missing prince, a murder, hidden passageways and the king's Machiavellian adviser, Count Scarazoni. Weaving in the age-old clash between superstition and reason, Avi creates a sort of 15th-century Holmes and Watson in the characters of Mangus and Fabrizio, who continually trade aphorisms (" `Fabrizio, if you buy with ignorance, you will be paid with the same coin.' `But, Master, you know what people say, False gold often buys more than iron' "). With snappy dialogue, nonstop action and lavishly embroidered period backdrops, this will please Avi's fans and may well win over some new ones. Ages 10-14. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
ALAN Review
In fifteenth-century Pergamontio, twelve-year-old Fabrizio plays with some tarot cards against the advice of his master, Mangus the Magician. Mangus is trying to get out of magic and devote himself to being a good Christian. However, Fabrizio and Mangus are soon involved in a request by King Claudio to free his daughter, ten-year-old Princess Teresina, of a ghost who visits her. The Princess suspects it is her murdered brother, heir to the throne of their father, King Claudio. Lurking in the shadows, though, is Count Scarazoni--who also wants to be king. So, young Fabrizio and Mangus must use magic to thwart Count Scarazoni, free the Princess, and save the throne. Early adolescents will revel in this story filled with secret passages, mysterious mishaps, and eerie moments. Chapters ending in cliff hangers and a parade of characters with strange names embellish a story where truth is revealed and good prevails. A fun read for younger readers. Genre: Ghost/Adventure. 1999, Scholastic Press, Ages 9 to 12, $15.99. Reviewer: Anne Sherrill
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Midnight Magic stars a variety of characters--clever Fabrizio, apprentice to Mangus (a magician who professes not to believe in magic), Teresian, a mischievous princess who convinces all of her ghostly visions, a conniving Count Scarazoni (the King's closest advisor who hopes to marry Teresiana and take over the kingdom), and a kitchen boy who is in disguise. Interspersed are the verbal duels between Mangus and Fabrizio--"Fabrizio, if you buy with ignorance, you will be paid with the same coin." "Master, false gold often buys more than iron." "Fabrizio, a fool is paid in folly." "Master, if a foolish man makes a map, let him journey alone." Don't you love it? The characters leap off the page engaging in non-stop action. It's melodrama at its best. Harry Potter would give this book a "thumbs up."
KLIATT
To quote the review of the hardcover edition in KLIATT, September 1999: The action is set in 1491, in the Kingdom of Pergamontio, as the first sentence states. It has to do with a magician and his young servant, Fabrizio, who are summoned to the castle of the king to discover a ghost that is haunting the young princess. Soon the two are caught up in an elaborate intrigue, with an evil count, a brave queen, a princess who loves the dramatic gesture, a cowardly king, a missing prince, and so on. The castle, of course, has numerous hidden passageways, even a secret way out of the dungeon, where Fabrizio is sent at one point in the adventure. There seem to be spies everywhere, so Fabrizio and the old magician, who is named Mangus, have to use all their intelligence to stay alive and know whom to trust. Avi lightens up the spookiness with Fabrizio's wit (he is always spouting sayings that, as Mangus says, are a strange mixture of wisdom and foolishness) and the general high spirit of adventure. Also, all ends happily. This is reading for the pure fun of it. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 1999, Scholastic, 249p., $4.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Claire Rosser; KLIATT , November 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439242196
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
121,014
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Avi's work spans nearly every genre and has received nearly every major prize, including the Newbery Medal for CRISPIN: THE CROSS OF LEAD and Newbery Honors for NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH and THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE. Avi lives in Denver, Colorado. You can visit him online at www.avi-writer.com.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 23, 1937
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
University of Wisconsin; M.A. in Library Science from Columbia University, 1964
Website:
http://www.avi-writer.com

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >