The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell
  

The Wizards of Once

Written by Cressida Cowell
Part of the The Wizards of Once Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the 2018 Blue Peter Awards - Best Story | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2017

Best-selling Cressida Cowell launches her new series with a title that will delight all fans of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Set deep in an enchanting forest, this is a charming story full of Cowell’s trade mark humour and total command of mystery and magic and how it fits seamlessly into everyday life. From two opposing tribes – the Warriors and the Wizards – come two opposing characters, Xar, a young Wizard boy who has no command of magic and will fight anyone he can in order to get it, and Wish, a Warrior girl who is imbued with all kinds of magic that she should never have had access to. Xar and Wish should never meet and never become friends. But they do and together they brave the hidden dungeons in Warrior Fort to uncover a great mystery. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for October 2017

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen

Egyptomania by Emma Giuliani and Carole Saturno

Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig

The Greatest Magician in the World by Matt Edmondson

Synopsis

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon comes an exciting high-adventure series - set in an ancient, magical time, full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites. This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure...Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests. Until the Warriors came...Xar is a Wizard boy who has no Magic, and will do anything to get it. Wish is a Warrior girl, but she owns a banned Magical Object, and she will do anything to conceal it. In this whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must forget their differences if they're going to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort. Where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring...

Reviews

This book will delight and engage readers of fantasy both young and old. School Library Connection

Cowell's latest work offers a fully realized fantasy world abounding with witches, sprites, killer plants, and talking ravens. Her scrappy teenage protagonists are wonderfully flawed and almost scarily realistic in their bravery, selfishness, and desire to please their parents yet not surrender their individuality. The omniscient narrator's voice is pitch-perfect, sounding appropriately young without ever talking down to the target audience. Readers will fall in love with the imaginative worldbuilding and humorous dialogue and asides....A delightful magical romp. Kirkus Reviews

World-conquering The Guardian

About the Author

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. The name of the island is a secret, but it was such a small island it wasn’t really big enough to have a name at all. There were no roads or shops or electricity on the island, just one house and a storm-blown wilderness of sea-birds and heather.

Every year, Cressida’s family spent four weeks of the summer, and two weeks of the spring, on the island. The family had to catch their own fish to eat. The house was lit by candle-light, and there was no telephone or television, so Cressida spent her time drawing and writing stories.

In the evening, Cressida’s father read the children tales of the Vikings, who had invaded this island Archipelago over half a millennium before, of the quarrelsome Tribes who fought and tricked each other, and of legendary dragons who were supposed to live in the caves in the cliffs. This was how Cressida herself first began to write stories about Vikings and dragons, back when she was eight or nine years old. Many years later, she turned her original childhood ideas into the book How to Train Your Dragon, featuring Hiccup the reluctant Viking, and his equally reluctant dragon, Toothless.

When Cressida wasn’t on the island, she was going to school at Marlborough College in Wiltshire where she met and became close friends with Lauren Child, a fellow author/illustrator and the creator of TV’s Charlie and Lola. Cressida and Lauren remain close friends. Indeed Lauren is godmother to Cressida’s daughter Clemmie.

After school, Cressida obtained a BA in English Literature from Oxford University, a BA in Graphic Design from St Martin’s and an MA in Narrative Illustration from Brighton.
Cressida wrote and illustrated her first picture book, Little Bo Peep’s Library Book, for Hodder Children’s Books in 1998. Her first novel for eight to twelve year olds, How to Train Your Dragon, was published to popular and critical acclaim in 2003: ‘The next big thing in children’s literature,’ wrote The Independent on Sunday. ‘Irresistibly funny, exciting and endearing,’ said The Times.

How to Train Your Dragon has now been published in over thirty languages. Film rights were sold to DreamWorks Animation in 2003 for a substantial sum and the filmed version was released into cinemas in March 2010. The 3D animated film from the studio that created Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, was directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois (the directors of Lilo and Stich) and produced by Bonnie Arnold (who produced Toy Story).

Cressida Cowell is the head judge of the Wicked Young Writers Award and provided these top tips to budding writers:

* My top writing tip would be to read lots, to give you a feel for the way different stories can be told. Also practise writing as much as you can – write, and re-write – don’t worry if you don’t finish a story, as long as you are practising, that’s what matters. Also don’t worry if your stories aren’t very long: I didn’t start out writing books as long as the ones I write now.

* You can still do research when you are creating your own fantasy world. Kids often think that ideas get beamed into an author’s head, or that when you write fantasy you can’t do background reading, but many ideas in The Wizards of Once were sparked by books I read about the history of magic, and magical creatures.

* You can be inspired by your own experiences. Ideas I had about Vikings and dragons during summer holidays when I was 9 years old became 12 books, and a film and TV series. I had a slightly unusual childhood (I spent my summers on an uninhabited Scottish Island), but the world we all live in is full of extraordinary, wonderful idea for stories. You only have to watch an episode of Blue Planet to see that’s true.

* I always begin my stories with a map of my imaginary place. Lots of other authors have done the same – Robert Louis Stevenson drew a map of Treasure Island before starting to write. This is a really easy way of thinking about characters and setting.

* Often kids say to be that they aren’t very good at writing, but I know that’s not true – what they’re struggling with is the mechanics of getting the words onto paper. If you can make up a game in the playground, or you tell your friends stories, you can be an author! Get an adult to write or type for you, if you need to.

* Keep an ideas notebook so you can scribble down ideas and drawings. This doesn’t need to be neat, and no one should be correcting it for spelling, because spelling doesn’t matter. I kept an sketchbook for The Wizards of Once for about 5 years.

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
384 pages

Author

Cressida Cowell
More books by Cressida Cowell

Author's Website

http://www.cressidacowell.c...

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Publisher

Hodder Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group

Publication date

19th September 2017

ISBN

9781444936704

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