Book: Wet Magic

Sigh, E. Nesbit has a way with weaving magic in her stories. The manner in which she strings words together to form sentences is magical. Her books are really enjoyable to read, they have just the right amount of humour countered with real tidbits of everyday childhood is just perfect. There’s an innocence to the stories that I can’t find elsewhere.

“And besides, it’s all just nonsense, of course, about magic. It’s just a game we play, isn’t it?”

What starts off as innocent play before a trip to the beach turns out to be much more when the children accidentally cast a magic spell and meet mermaids.  The trip to the beach becomes a real adventure when they find that the mermaid has been captured and they go on a quest to rescue her. Naturally this leads to an invitation to the underground palace, where new adventures and mysteries are to be had. It’s really a ball of fun, and the pace never slackens for a moment. There are a number of different plot lines that eventually converge at the end to form a spectacular climax and ending. It’s one of those books that make me you really happy and satisfied after reading.

In between all the action, there are some lovely one-liners that struck a chord as I read them.

“I’m running from, not to.”

Is one such phrase. It’s so unexpected, yet really shaped the impression I had of the character. I just love how simple lines like these really describe the character and bring out their identity. Better than long rambling passages are able to do.

“Because you wished it, Princess,” he said, “and because I would rather die for you than live without you.”

It’s so amazingly sweet and I really appreciated the love story that was borne in this book. I think it just encapsulates everything that children think about love and romance and what it means, and to some extent what it should mean. It’s not realistic once one grows into adulthood, but at that age, where magic is real and love is sacrifice, this book is just contains all of that in equal and perfect measure.

Add to that a chapter on the book people, and how characters from well-loved books came to life was such the icing on the cake. It really made my day and to be able to recognize the different characters that made an appearance was just amazing.

Wet Magic

This particular edition by Books of Wonder was filled with beautiful illustrations that added to the experience. I love the concept of this particular bookstore and I strongly believe that imagination is so important for children. The afterword by the owner Peter Glassman was just perfect and had such a lovely homage of the book that I had to include it here.

What child hasn’t imagined while playing at the seashore that he or she has befriended a mermaid and been invited to explore their mystical realm? Mermaids seem to cast a spell of enchantment over everyone. With this universal daydream of underwater magic as her backdrop, E. Nesbit wove a tale filled with suspense and humor in her final fantasy novel, Wet Magic.


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