Middle Grade Review: The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Xar is a wizard with no magic and Wish is a very un-warrior like warrior. Through a series of events, these two must team up to bring the wizards and warriors together, to help fight the, thought to be extinct, witches.

I have never read any of the How to Train Your Dragons books so this was my first experience with Cressida Cowell. This is the exact type of nonsensical, fun middle grade that I enjoy reading. The story was fun and the characters were lovable. What more can you want from a middle grade?

Xar is the wizard king’s son and he has no magic. He is also, somewhat, of a troublemaker. All he wants is for his magic to come so that he can make his father proud.

Wish is the warrior queens’s daughter. Warriors are suppose to be strong, fierce and well put together. Wish, on the other hand, has wild hair, an eye patch, and isn’t much into doing “regular warrior things.” Wish feels that she is a big disappointment to her mother, even though Wish loves her mother dearly.

I really didn’t see a lot of character growth in Xar. He was still acting the same way in the end. This could be because this was a first in a series, but still I feel like it was a missed opportunity. I also feel like the big reveal about Wish wasn’t well explained very well. Xar and Wish’s reluctant friendship was one of my favorite parts. Also, the supporting cast of characters were great. I especially loved Bodkin, Wish’s assistant bodyguard. Bodkin was hilarious and a worrier and he was always fainting. The perfect type of nonsensical that I love in my middle grade.

Overall, I do recommend this book for older middle grade readers, mostly due to the length of the novel. I think that this book set up the next book in the series well, and I’m interested to see the direction of the following books.

Much Love,

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