Iffy Magic by S.E. Page – book review

"Iffy Magic" by S.E. Page.
“Iffy Magic” by S.E. Page.
Iffy Magic (full title, Iffy Magic: Confessions of a Faux Fairy Godmother) follows the story of Primrose Goodwing, a pixie who can’t seem to figure out how to do any magic that is permanent. All of her spells end at midnight on the day they are cast. Coming from a long line of successful fairy godmothers, she is a bit of a disappointment to her family.

So, doing what any fairy in her position would do, she steals the family heirloom magic wand and uses an unorthodox method to get to the Mortal Vale (where humans live). She plans to find a damsel in distress and make all her wishes come true, just like in all the fairy tales. Of course, things don’t turn out anything like she wished.

With dashes of Cinderella, sprinkles of The Little Mermaid, and a lot of creative imagination, Iffy Magic presents a story that is both familiar and new at the same time. Instead of a evil step-sisters, Ember (Prim’s chosen “damsel in distress”) has one evil step-sister and an arrogant fop of a step-brother. While the evil step-sister (Alouetta) is pretty standard for such a role, the step-brother (Ambrose) is more of an enigma. He clearly thinks highly of himself, but he also has a serious side that sometimes reminded me of Percy from the 1982 film, The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The villain is not specifically named until near the end of the book. Prior to that, “The Spider” weaves a web of intrigue and control over the entire kingdom where Ember lives. Page is very good at mixing together false and real clues about “The Spider” in such as way as to make them very difficult to tell apart.

I loved the magic system used in Iffy Magic. This is yet another author taught by Brandon Sanderson who really caught the vision of how to make an interesting, workable, and clearly-defined magic system. It is consistent, and it required very little direct explanation for the reader to understand. Page wove it well into the story.

The climax and resolution of the story were good, though I thought the resolution did not flow as well as the rest of it. It was similar to the extended version of The Return of the King, where there are multiple endings, and then one more, and then one more. After the climax, it felt a touch too long to get to the end of the story. Even with that, it was still interesting and kept me turning pages.

I am definitely looking forward to more works from this author. She tells a delightful story that is accessible to everyone while also having enough depth for readers of all ages. I strongly recommend Iffy Magic.

Release Date: August 3, 2016 (USA)
ISBNs: 1535280557 (9781535280556)
Publisher: self
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point zero stars
Family Friendliness: 100%


Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (brief mention)
Language: 1 (brief, minor)
Sexuality: 0
Violence: 2 (scary imagery, magical battles, extreme peril, death)

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