Marabel and the Book of Fate ★★☆☆☆

marabelandthebookoffate.jpgIn Magikos, life is dictated by the Book of Fate’s ancient predictions, including the birth of a royal Chosen One who will save the realm. Princess Marabel has grown up in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco, who everyone assumes is the true Chosen One. While Marco is adored and given every opportunity, Marabel is overlooked and has to practice her sword fighting in secret.

But on the night of their thirteenth birthday, Marco is kidnapped by an evil queen, and Marabel runs to his rescue. Outside the castle walls for the first time, accompanied by her best friend and a very smug unicorn, Marabel embarks on a daring mission that brings her face-to-face with fairies, trolls, giants–and the possibility that all is not as it seems in Magikos.

I was really turned off by the pacing. So much of what happens after Marco, Marabel’s brother, is kidnapped only serves to move Marabel toward the next plot point rather than showing us her character. Her claustrophobic maid conveniently has a key to break her out of confinement and knows a secret way out of the castle.

A path, it is worth noting, that Marabel, the princess, has no knowledge of.

On their way out they meet a unicorn who talks and also has information to provide them as they flee the castle in hopes of rescuing Marco. The opening would have been more successful had Marabel made her own choices and found this information without it falling in her lap.

She has so much potential to be an adorable and relatable character but she’s only painted as a tropey second child. Her brother is The Chosen One and no one pays attention to her. Even the castle guards ignore her when she tells them she saw someone suspicious walk into her brother’s birthday celebration.

So much of the opening forces us to pity her rather than showing me reasons to be sympathetic on my own and the amount of time we spend being told to pity her slows the opening down immensely.

Publication Date: February 6th, 2018
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By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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