πŸ“š13πŸ“š The Wizards of Once: Never and Forever by Cressida Cowell

Xar and Wish have found the ingredients for the Spell-to-get-rid-of-Witches. Now the Kingwitch is calling them to the lake of the lost. But first they must mix the potion in the Cup of Second Chances …

Can they defeat the hungry Tatzelwerm monster and escape with the cup? And will the spell be strong enough to lift the CURSE OF THE WILDWOODS… or will Witches reign FOREVER?

I have been waiting for the paperback of this for a very long time. I read this in 2 hours and 45 minutes on Sunday. The weather was warm, my headache was intense and the football hooligans at the pub across the road were incessantly loud. It was the perfect escape.

I have come to deeply admire the way Cowell writes. A cross between a personal narrator account and a third person adventure.

What originally drew me to the series was the characters. Wish, Xar, Bodkin, and the many others. Reading the finale to their adventures was intense in that I didn’t want it to end but I was not disappointed by the character’s last stands.

Let’s start with Xar.

Xar has blown through many obstacles in the series but it was in this book that I really got a sense that his character had changed for the better. I point this out as his character development had been slow and for a while I thought he’d never improve. I always saw Xar’s father Encanzo and Wish’s mother Sychorax as very bad parenting examples. Much of their parenting tactic negatively impacted on both Xar and Wish.

So, for Xar to even make the changes he did was surprising. A character full of false confidence, and a character desperate for adult approval is a hard thing to overcome.

As for Wish, her confidence bubbled over in this book like an angry firecracker and showed how far she’d come from the shy warrior girl. Knowing what she needed to do, I thought she showed great strength and resilience.

Wish is more observant and cautious than Xar, so her conclusions and actions in this book were more telling and kept the story on track.

From a bodyguard who once fell asleep in the face of danger, Bodkin has come on in leaps and bounds. Becoming a fierce character in his own right. Through this book I saw him travel further away from the secondary character realm to take his place in the main character arena.

Not bad per say, but the two final reveals were so unexpected that I didn’t feel like they fitted with the book or the series. It was like taking a leap into the unknown. I am still not sure I agree with it. However, I still loved the book.

I give this book: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

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