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Snow Spider (Magician Trilogy Series #1)
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Snow Spider (Magician Trilogy Series #1)

4.7 14
by Nimmo

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Jenny Nimmo's award-winning SNOW SPIDER TRILOGY is back as an exciting Orchard Books fantasy series!

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


Jenny Nimmo's award-winning SNOW SPIDER TRILOGY is back as an exciting Orchard Books fantasy series!

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!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PW Starred
Nimmo (the Charlie Bone novels) launches the Magician Trilogy with this enchanting tale, first released in England in 1986. On his ninth birthday, Gwyn's delightfully eccentric grandmother gives him five gifts: a piece of seaweed, a tin whistle, a metal brooch, a small, broken horse and the yellow scarf that his older sister had been wearing the day she mysteriously disappeared four years earlier. His grandmother instructs him to "give them to the wind" to discover if he is a magician, like his ancestors. The boy first releases the brooch, hoping that the wind will bring him something "to fill the emptiness" that descended on his home when his sister vanished. The brooch turns into a glowing white spider, who weaves intricate webs. One of the webs contains the image of a girl who strongly resembles his sister–except she is "fragile and so silver-pale that she might have been made of gossamer." When the girl in the web temporarily materializes, she brings a peace to Gwyn's family that has long been missing. Nimmo demonstrates how unique gifts can set a child apart; Gwyn's magic causes a rift between him and his best friend and brings the class bully's wrath upon him. Swiftly paced and cleverly plotted, Nimmo's novel fluidly fuses fantasy, suspense and drama. Ages 8-12. (Sept
For the first time in five years, Gwyn's mother marks his birthday with a party in their Welsh farmhouse. His father is unable to celebrate, for he sees it as the anniversary of the night when Gwyn's sister Bethan's mysteriously disappeared. A convergence of events brings about changes: Gwyn learns that is a wizard; his grandmother gives him collection of apparently useless but soon-to-be magical objects; and a waif of a girl joins their family for a time. Nimmo weaves elements of Welsh folklore into a story that combines magical elements with a realistic modern setting. For a somewhat younger audience than Nimmo's Charlie Bone series, the Magician Trilogy promises a child-sized adventure story with likable characters that are deftly, succinctly portrayed. Offer this accessible fantasy to the many young readers requesting books that are “at least 100 pages” (but preferably not much more). –Carolyn Phelan

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.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
The Magician Trlogy , #1
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 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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The Snow Spider: The Snow Spider Series, Book 1 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
luv-thane More than 1 year ago
I am 31 yrs old. I read this book many years ago &amp; haven't been able to find it since! One of my most favorite stories! PLEASE make this available for the nook!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beckham415 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first it starts out sort of boring then it becomes magical definetly reccomended :)!