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Margaret Mahy

A thrilling and epic masterpiece from one of the giants of children’s literature, Margaret Mahy’s latest novel is a definitive piece of fantasy fiction, destined to become a future classic.

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A legend is born.

Heriot has always known that he was different with his terrifying dreams and psychic powers. Ripped from his family farm, he is forced to serve as the King’s magician in the capital city of Diamond.

Isolated and lonely, his only friends are the ‘mad prince’ Dysart and Cayley, a mysterious wild city child. But their friendship is about to be tested to the limit when chilling violence and ambition threatens to crush Diamond and its King.

Heriot’s psychic abilities hide a deeper power that has the strength to bring Diamond’s enemies to their knees. But will he be able to control this power without becoming a monster himself?

‘Margaret Mahy is outstanding in the richness of her ideas and in her great story-telling ability. She has a fresh and vivid imagination, which speaks directly to the imagination of the child and an ability to use language to increase the force of her imagery to great effect.’ Twentieth Century Children’s Writers

‘The queen of children’s fiction…her plots are complex, her language is both rich and precise.’ Independent on Sunday

‘A prolific and versatile writer.’ The Times

‘Few writers can match Mahy in her ability to exploit the exuberant possibilities of the playfulness of words.’ Irish Times

‘Mahy displays a deep understanding of the emotions and conflicts of growing up.’ Independent on Sunday

‘Sympathetic, unsentimental, effortlessly funny.’ Jan Mark, TES

Critic Reviews

Mahy's prose remains bright, compact and razor-sharp. She has a keen eye for the details, tiny quirks that make her places and characters seem deep and alive, and the images she conjures up jump off the page with astounding clarity. A few scenes (and there are some that are superbly staged!) I'll be remembering for a long while to come.

The Bookbag
Critic Reviews

'Justly described as the queen of children's fiction, Margaret Mahy - now 73 - is still the most arresting guide to the upside-down world awaiting any child starting their journey towards becoming a teenager. Rather than describing this process realistically, she uses fantasy to get across what adolescence is really about, transcending the limitations of the here and now into something timeless and without national boundaries ... as Heriot, the young wizard, learns how to survive his adverseries, the narrative steadies before extending into a memorable climax.

Nicholas Tucker, The Independent
Critic Reviews

Mahy is an accomplished writer for young people and this latest fantasy offering does not disappoint ... Control of power and knowledge to learn about its use are driving forces in the book. It’s possible to become totally immersed in the reach-out-and-touch world that Mahy creates. Even the ideas that seem most remote from our sense of logic are entirely convincing and credible and the political motivations that drives the characters makes it possible to engage fully, if not always to respond immediately to this exceptionally lyrical piece of writing.

Books for Keeps
Critic Reviews

You won't see any wands or flying brooms in this book! This hero's magic is more spiritual, wild and untamed, than the potions of the Harry Potter series. The book deals with adult content and language without being inapproriate. Its description-laden language paints vast spiritual landscapes that enhance the adventure. This is an interesting interpretation of the magical genre from the award-winning New Zealand author and definitely one worth persevering with.

Gemma Roberts, Irish News
Critic Reviews

'[An] exceptionally lyrical piece of writing'

Books for Keeps
Critic Reviews

This masterful piece of storytelling conjures up a fantasy world which is compelling, mysterious and wildly imaginative.


Margaret Mahy is the author of over 100 children’s stories and groundbreaking novels for young adults. She has won numerous awards and prizes for her writing, including the Carnegie Medal for The Changeover and The Haunting, and the Hans Christian Anderson Award. Margaret lives in New Zealand.

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