Title: The Language of Spells
Author: Garret Weyr
Illustrator: Katie Harnett
Pub Date: June 26, 2018
Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.
Definitely an adorable cozy read. Part of my love for it comes from mature conflicts and real life social issues, which makes it fun for everyone and not just for kids. And let’s face it: the best kids lit is fun for parents too.
The Language of Spells was perfectly fantastical. The setting is our history, from early 20th century to WWII. The setting comes right off the page playing off your knowledge of the eras while painting something truly unique.
And the magic system, important to all fantasies far and wide, was wonderfully complex where it could have been over simplified.
Maggie and Grisha’s friendship is so adorable. The dragons represent all marginalized groups and not just one in particular (which I was worried about given the setting in WWII). Weyr doesn’t dumb down history for children, he tells a new story in a familiar setting.
The writing, overall, is a little bland but the story is well worth the read.