Book Reviews of A College of Magics

A College of Magics
A College of Magics
Author: Caroline Stevermer
ISBN-13: 9780765342454
ISBN-10: 0765342456
Publication Date: 10/13/2002
Pages: 480
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 74

3.7 stars, based on 74 ratings
Publisher: Starscape
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

21 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed A College of Magics on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Very good fantasy read. Says it's for 10 and up, but I think it gets a PG-13 rating in places for romantic aspects. Dialogue felt a bit choppy in places, and there are definitely a few in-jokes about Bryn Mawr College, the author's alma mater. Overall, however, these problems do not detract from the general excellence of the plot and characterizations. Also, a nice twist at the end that leaves plenty of room to take the series somewhere meaningful in its sequels.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
An amusing tale about a young woman and her rival attending a school for the magically gifted. Not Harry Potteresque at all, but still a fun little romp all on its own.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I adore this book! It's an excellent, really well-written fantasy novel about a young woman who goes off to college. It features witty dialogue, wonderfully drawn characters, political intrigue, and a clever plot. I was drawn in right away and I couldn't put it down until it was finished. Great story.

This book was set in an alternate universe -- some bits are clearly set in real places, like Paris, and other bits are set in imaginary places, like Galazon and Greenlaw. It's set in the late-nineteenth/early-twentieth century, and it feels authentically Edwardian. Stevermer's writing style convincingly mimics the literary style of that time period. In other words, don't jump into this book expecting fast-paced explosions of action. While there is plenty of action and adventure and daring escapades, the novel takes its time getting there. This is a subtle book. A slow book. A book to savor.

Also, don't be misled by the title into expecting Harry Potter-style antics. The magic taught at Greenlaw -- all the magic in this book, really -- is not showy. This magic is the stuff of metaphysics; it deals in intangibles.

All caveats aside, this book is absolutely wonderful. I love it to death, and I will undoubtedly re-read it many times in the future!
reviewed A College of Magics on + 126 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Though geared more for the feminine reader, there is enough testosterone (from both genders) to hold the interest of all readers.

Around the turn of the twentieth century Faris Nallaneen is within a few years of becoming the rightful duchess of Galazon, when her uncle decides it would be a good idea to attend Greenlaw College, a highly sought after girls school. Faris is sure her uncle is just sending her away so he can plot, undisturbed, a way to take the duchy himself. So she intends to get thrown out at of school as soon as possible. Unfortunately, her uncle has already forseen that possibility, and has taken steps to foil her plans.

Now Faris is committed to complete the unwanted education, and to become a full-fledged 'WITCH' of Greenlaw. But even this will not be easy as there are others who would rather see her fail, or better still -- die.

Mystery, magic, and mayhem mingle with early twentieth century politics to make this an interesting coming-of-age novel. Definitely a good read.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Faris Nallaneen is sent to a magical finishing school, expecting to hate every minute until she can go home again. But she discovers the joy of learning and the delight of friendship. There is plenty of adventure, but I have read the book several times for the joy she shares in growing and learning.
This is NOT just a book for 9-12 year olds.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 371 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The reviews on the back cover compare this book to Harry Potter, but I disagree. It's much more similar to Tamora Pierce's Lioness Quartet. The "college" only takes up the first of the 3 volumes of the book and the heroine doesn't even get a chance to finish her degree, but instead finds out that she must go home and use her powers to mend a "rift" in the standards of magic in her world before a misguided (although not truly evil) classmate can make the rift even worse.
The sequel to this book is A Scholar of Magics but it follows an entirely different set of characters.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 114 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Faris Nallaneen is the heir to the small northern dukedom of Galazon; but until she reaches her majority, her despotic uncle rules with an iron hand. He has banished her to college, to keep her out of the country and out of his way. But little does he reckon on the specialty that is taught at the College of Greennlaw. That specialty is magic...and Faris shall prove to be an apt student indeed!
reviewed A College of Magics on + 32 more book reviews
Great book!
reviewed A College of Magics on + 287 more book reviews
It took me a while to get into this book (it was probably due to my being busy moving, not with any fault of the book), but once I did, I enjoyed the book. I wish I hadn't read it while I was busy with other stuff because I do think that took away some of the enjoyment of the book from me.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 146 more book reviews
Teenage heiress sent to magic school by regent uncle. She goes unwillingly but turns out to have potential.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 44 more book reviews
Faris nallaneen is the heir to the small northern dukedom of Galazon; butt until she reaches her majority, her desptic uncle rules with an iron hand. He has banished her to college, to keep her out of his way. but little does he reckon on the specialty that is taught at the college of Greenlaw. that specialty is magic...and Farris shall prove to be an apt student indeed!
reviewed A College of Magics on + 17 more book reviews
Absolutely enchanting!
reviewed A College of Magics on + 522 more book reviews
Delightful fantasy.
How does a girl learn magic?
At a college for magicians...
reviewed A College of Magics on + 204 more book reviews
I discovered this title on PBS' "Where to start in fantasy" list. If I actually had "started in fantasy" with this book, I never would have returned.

I've never before read a book with "magic" in the title in which so little magic actually happens. In the first third of the book, Faris, the protagonist, and friends are attending a college of witches/magicians where no magic is actually taught and no one is allowed to practice magic. There are vague references throughout to the "structure of the world" and "anchors" and "wardens," but none of these magical elements is ever really elaborated.

Faris is petulant and contrary and not very likeable, while her Greenlaw College friends are so nondescript as to be indistinguishable. Faris is convinced that her uncle/guardian is out to get her, but other than him not having maintained Faris' wardrobe during her childhood, there are no clear reasons to warrant her suspicion that he actually wants to dispose of her.

Finally, Stevermer manages to make her tale's most exciting moments utterly anti-climactic. As a result, though the writing (style) was good, the story was just really uninteresting.

Overall, this book felt like a sketch or an outline that somehow made it's way into a published novel before the author had flushed out any of her ideas.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 19 more book reviews
A very good book. Highly reccomend.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 8 more book reviews
Good book for people into Harry Potter and such.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 81 more book reviews
This book was good, a lot like the Harry Potter books. Except Farris is a girl, and instead of grade school she is in like some kind of college. If you liked Harry you'l probably like this book.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 204 more book reviews
I discovered this title on PBS' "Where to start in fantasy" list. If I actually had "started in fantasy" with this book, I never would have returned.

I've never before read a book with "magic" in the title in which so little magic actually happens. In the first third of the book, Faris, the protagonist, and friends are attending a college of witches/magicians where no magic is actually taught and no one is allowed to practice magic. There are vague references throughout to the "structure of the world" and "anchors" and "wardens," but none of these magical elements is ever really elaborated.

Faris is petulant and contrary and not very likeable, while her Greenlaw College friends are so nondescript as to be indistinguishable. Faris is convinced that her uncle/guardian is out to get her, but other than him not having maintained Faris' wardrobe during her childhood, there are no clear reasons to warrant her suspicion that he actually wants to dispose of her.

Finally, Stevermer manages to make her tale's most exciting moments utterly anti-climactic. As a result, though the writing (style) was good, the story was just really uninteresting.

Overall, this book felt like a sketch or an outline that somehow made it's way into a published novel before the author had flushed out any of her ideas.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 43 more book reviews
Teenager Faris is the heir to the small northern dukedom of Galazon. Too young still to claim her title,her depotic Uncle has ruled in her place. Now he demands she be sent to Greenlaw College. For her benefit he insists. But Greenlaw is not just any school- as Faris and her new friend Jane discover. At Greenlaw students major in magic.
reviewed A College of Magics on + 297 more book reviews
"A place where girls shine and the magic is touched by the numinous." -Jane Yolen

"An intriguing, not-so-different early twentieth-century alternate world where magic works unobtrusively... strikingly set, pleasingly peopled, and cleverly plotted!" -Kirkus (Pointer Review)
reviewed A College of Magics on + 35 more book reviews
I couldn't get into it very much. Not my kind of story, I guess.