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Library Journal★ 11/15/2013
After seven volumes of "The Unwritten," the Eisner-nominated series about the entwined lives of fictional fantasy hero Tommy Taylor and his real-life counterpart, Carey reveals here the story behind the story: Tommy's origin. Son of the most powerful mage in Albion, the infant Tommy survives the shipwreck that kills his parents and lives his youth at the Tulkinghorn Magical Academy—where he wishes to study magic but can only be a servant because he has no spark of magic within him. There's an argument that this tale, which within its own fandom has Harry Potter-scale popularity, should have remained unwritten for fear that it could never live up to such billing. But Carey quashes such fears brilliantly with a narrative that, while decidedly Potteresque, is exciting and compelling in its own ways. Carey also reveals the metastory behind the metastory, showing Tommy's coldly manipulative creator, author Wilson Taylor, plotting to bring reality and fiction together when his son Tom is born on the day the first Tommy Taylor book is published. VERDICT An indispensable volume for fans of this highly acclaimed series. A recommended stand-alone as a way into the series for new readers.—S.R.