The Snow Spider (Magician Trilogy Series #1)

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On Gwyn's 9th birthday, his grandmother tells him he may be a magician, like his Welsh ancestors. She gives him five gifts to help him--a brooch, a piece of dried seaweed, a tin whistle, a scarf, and a broken toy horse. One blustery day, unsure what to do with his newfound magic, Gwyn throws the brooch to the wind and receives a silvery snow spider in return. Will he be able to use this special spider to bring his missing sister, Bethan, home? The Snow Spider spins an icy, sparkly web of mystical intrigue that ...
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Overview

On Gwyn's 9th birthday, his grandmother tells him he may be a magician, like his Welsh ancestors. She gives him five gifts to help him--a brooch, a piece of dried seaweed, a tin whistle, a scarf, and a broken toy horse. One blustery day, unsure what to do with his newfound magic, Gwyn throws the brooch to the wind and receives a silvery snow spider in return. Will he be able to use this special spider to bring his missing sister, Bethan, home? The Snow Spider spins an icy, sparkly web of mystical intrigue that sets the stage for the next two books in this outstanding trilogy!

Gifts from Gwyn's grandmother on his tenth birthday open up a whole new world to him, as he discovers he has magical powers that help him heal the breach with his father that has existed ever since his sister's mysterious disappearance four years before.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One night, Gwyn asked his sister Bethan to go up the mountain and rescue his ewe; she was never seen again. Now he is 10, still blamed by his father for Bethan's disappearance, and wonders if his grandmother's hints that he is a magician could possibly be true. If he is, he wants to use his powers to get Bethan back. A girl, in fact, arrives in the village, so similar in her ways to Bethan that her presence acts as a salve on the family's wounds. And Gwyn, with the overeagerness of an apprentice, unleashes the darker side of his magic. Nimmo's story, set in the Welsh countryside, contains elements of SF and fantasy, but it's firmly grounded in very real themes of blame and responsibility. She displays a mastery of family nuancesthe little rituals that can keep a family whole or tear it apart if those same gestures are ignored or forgotten. Ages 10-up. (July)
Publishers Weekly
There is nothing like a hearty brogue to drop a listener into a faraway land, in this case Wales in olden times. Keating's wonderfully rich voice does just that. Though this first volume of a trilogy takes place in present-day Wales, the past is alive, especially when nine-year-old Gwyn realizes that he may have the powers of his namesake, a magician from centuries ago. At the center of this adventure, Gwyn sets out on a journey to find his sister, who disappeared on a nearby mountain, without a trace, on the day Gwyn turned five. Keating's reading of the tale is flawless. He easily ranges from the boy's excitement and anticipation to the wavery voice of his eccentric grandmother, Nain. It is Nain who gives Gwyn five gifts for his ninth birthday, each a small object that he must "give to the wind" in order to receive strange and magical things in return. The first and most helpful is the snow spider, Arianwen, who spins webs that allow Gywn to peer into other worlds. Keating spins the tale in a similar way; his mastery may well convince readers that this fictional world is real. Ages 9-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
Harry Potter fans have reason to rejoice. A new, young magician has arrived from the UK with exciting adventures, which involve an amazing silver spider named "Arianwen" who spins silvery, magical cities and flying ships. Our young magician, Gwyn, lives a lonely life in Wales with his sad parents who lost their beloved daughter, Bethan, years earlier on Gwyn's birthday. Gwyn's father barely notices him because of the grief he's been carrying through the years, and each of Gwyn's birthdays is sadder than the last. On Gwyn's ninth birthday, however, Gwyn's grandmother, Nain, brings him five unusual gifts: a piece of seaweed, a yellow scarf, a tin whistle, a twisted metal brooch, and a small broken horse. These gifts will determine whether or not Gwyn has the magical touch believed to be his destiny passed down from his magical ancestors, Math, Lord of Gwynedd, Gwydion, and Gilfaethwy. The ways in which Gwyn discovers his gifts are clever and unusual. There are some exciting outdoor scenes and very inventive fantasy adventures that take place. Gwyn tells his mortal friends about his excitement about being a magician, but they shun him. As his grandmother warned him, the lonely boy becomes lonelier. Thanks to Arianwen, Gywn and his family's deepest desires are revealed through a visit from a strange, pale, young girl named Eirlys (her name means "snowdrop" in Welsh). With his magical powers, Gwyn is able to face the school bully, find his lost sister, bring his family back together, and is ultimately reunited with his friends. This beautifully written book moves quickly through its nine chapters. The only difficulty young readers may have with the story is identifying the characters withtheir names. The final chapter, "Return," may be a bit too frightening for 7- to 8-year-old readers. Those nine years of age and older will enjoy the exciting conclusion and wait anxiously for the second in the "Emlyn's Moon" trilogy. From "The Magician Trilogy," a series first published in England in 1986, which has been out of print for more than five years.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 Gwyn's birthday is the anniversary of his sister's unexplained disappearance. Nain, Gwyn's grandmother, presents him with a collection of strange items including a brooch which eventually turns into a silver spider. Nain, either mad or a witch, looks for special powers of the ancestral magicians to be found again in Gwyn and tries to convince him that the magicians of the old Welsh legends are reborn in him. As the snow spider spins webs that reveal another world, Gwyn comes to understand that he is a magician, and he yearns for his heart's desire, the return of his sister. A new classmate enters his life and is befriended by his family. She is surely Bethan, the sister who had been taken to the other world seen in the web. The occurances of arcane and bizarre wonders increase extravagantly, almost out of control. But the reality of Gwyn, his parents, and the Welsh setting give this fantasy equilibrium and an appealing warmth. The pace is brisk and captivating. A good choice to lead into ``The Dark Is Rising'' series (Macmillan) by Susan Cooper. Lucy Hawley, Wescott School Library, Northbrook, Ill.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Jenny Nimmo begins The Magician Trilogy with a fantasy (Dutton, 1987) that is grounded in real family issues. Welsh lad Gwyn is blamed by his father for his sister Bethan's long ago disappearance into the mountains. Gwyn's mum overcompensates and Gwyn feels the burden of sorrow and guilt. On his ninth birthday, Gwyn's eccentric grandma Nain gives him a number of mysterious objects. Every seven generations a witch is born to the family and Nain thinks Gwyn is one. The boy decides that if he's a witch he will use his power to get Bethan back. An icy snow spider named Arianwen spins a web that looks just like Bethan; the next day, a strange classmate is befriended by his family. She is like Bethan, but in a weird way. As so often happens in fantasies, in finding his heart's desire, Gwyn sets loose a terrible supernatural force that must be defeated if family wounds are to be healed. John Keating ably narrates, pronouncing the difficult Welsh names and conveying Gwyn's sense of wonder and earnestness. The narration is paced well and builds in excitement along with the tale. A good choice for youngsters not quite ready for Harry Potter as well as for reluctant readers.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

HB
This atmospheric fantasy starts with a boy, Gwyn, receiving five unusual gifts from his grandmother, Nain, on his ninth birthday. Thus begins a quest to find out whether he has inherited the gift of magic that returns once in every seven generations to his family and to discover what happened to his sister, who vanished mysteriously four years earlier. This new production is a worthy successor to a previous 1988 recording, as Keating's deep, rich voice, rolling musically over the Welsh words and phrases, effortlessly unravels the intricately descriptive sentences. Fans of Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising sequence and Nimmo's own Charlie Bone will find themselves swept up instantly in this first volume (winner of the Smarties Prize) of the series. KRISTI ELLE JEMTEGAARD

HORN BOOK - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2006

(NOTE - This is a review of the AUDIO, not the BOOK)
Read by John Keating.
(Intermediate)This atmospheric fantasy starts with a boy, Gwyn, receiving five unusual gifts from his grandmother, Nain, on his ninth birthday. Thus begins a quest to find out whether he has inherited the gift of magic that returns once in every seven generations to his family and to discover what happened to his sister, who vanished mysteriously four years earlier. This new production is a worthy successor to a previous 1988 recording, as Keating's deep, rich voice, rolling musically over the Welsh words and phrases, effortlessly unravels the intricately descriptive sentences. Fans of Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising sequence and Nimmo's own Charlie Bone will find themselves swept up instantly in this first volume (winner of the Smarties Prize) of the series. KRISTI ELLE JEMTEGAARD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745105901
  • Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference
  • Publication date: 10/1/1987
  • Series: Magician Trilogy Series , #1
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author


Jenny Nimmo is the author of the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling Children of the Red King series as well as GRIFFIN'S CASTLE, THE DRAGON'S CHILD, and the award-winning Magician Trilogy, all published by Orchard Books. Several of her books have been awarded and shortlisted for the Smarties Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award, and the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Books Award. She lives with her husband in an old mill in Wales.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2004

    snow spider

    I think it is wonderfully creative to use a spider as a pretty main character in the story.I love how the spider just fits into the book the way it does.it is difficult to understand how the spider fits in at the begining but becomes easier to see later on in the book I love how time is shown in the book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I am 31 yrs old. I read this book many years ago & haven't b

    I am 31 yrs old. I read this book many years ago & haven't been able to find it since! One of my most favorite stories! PLEASE make this available for the nook!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2008

    The Snow Spider

    This book is very good. If you like books about magic you will love snow spider. It is about a kid and a grandmother that have powers.

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

    Posted February 4, 2008

    The Snow Spider

    Gwens grandma says he might be a magician. But when he gives things to the wind strange things start to happen. Including the mysterious Snow Spider appearing, and a strange girl who looks like Gwens sister who disapeared a while ago. But when an evil spirit breaks free it's up to the mysterious Snow Spider and Gwen to save the day. An excellent book for anybody who enjoys a magical adventure.

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

    Posted December 6, 2007

    I am a Book Lover

    Jenny Nimmo has done it again. I have read the current Charlie Bone books and just loved them. This book is so good I read it in an hour.

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

    Posted October 4, 2007

    Wonderful!

    This was an excellent book and the fact that it is on CD for road trips is even better. I can't wait to get the rest of this series

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

    Posted June 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    At first it starts out sort of boring then it becomes magical definetly reccomended :)!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Great new series

    Jenny Nimmo has done it again. I have read the current Charlie Bone books and just loved them. This book is so good I read it in an hour.

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

    Posted February 19, 2007

    You should read this book!

    If your into mystery and magic you will be hooked on this book you will never put this down and the good thing is there are two more books.

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

    Posted September 20, 2006

    Excellent Start To New, Exciting Series!

    I have really enjoyed Nimmo's work and looked forward anxiously to this new novel. Without fail, she has spun yet another tale of magic and wonder, one that had me hooked immediately!

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

    Posted August 29, 2006

    ...

    I really liked this book. It shows a lot of creativity and thought has been put into it by the way everything happens. I really enjoyed reading this book - i could hardly out it down at night.

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

    Posted November 2, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2009

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