Friday, December 11, 2009

Review: The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

The Magic Warble The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

My rating: 5.0/5.0
Young Adult Fantasy

My Review:
A beautifully written fantasy novel. Ms. Simcox did a wonderful job writing a young adult fantasy novel. She mixed just the right amount of description with action and character development. I never got bogged down in the world building, it all flowed seamlessly together to make an amazing book.

The main characters of Kristina and Werrien were great. You could relate to both of them and I think young adults will do the same. Kristina is on the outside of her own world but when she journeys to Bernovem, she fits in and holds the place of one revered. But through it all she does not change, she remains true to what is important to her and does not let the flattery go to her head. She gains much in the world of Bernovem and she has to keep her wits about her to stay one step ahead of Queen Sentiz. With the help of fairy friends, some dwarfs, gnomes and talking animals, Kristina navigates the world of Bernovem in an effort to return the Magic Warble and the world of Bernovem back to it's rightful King and Queen.

The storyline and wording are magnificent. Ms. Simcox does a wonderful job of the world building. I fell in love with Bernovem and it's inhabitants and did not want to leave. I am in hopes there will be another book, though the ending is well done and final enough to close the book.

I think this book would be great for children 10 and up. I do plan on reading it to my almost 9-year-old because we have enjoyed the Narnia books together and I feel he would enjoy it. The chapters are short enough to keep his interest, and the story is interesting enough to keep older young adults and adults enthralled. I honestly can't say enough about this book. It was a wonderful few hours I spent in the fantasy world of Bernovem and to me that is the best thing a book can do - provide great entertainment to the reader.

I also plan on sharing the book with my husband.  He and I talked about the world of fantasy books and how we don't read much in the genre but the books we have read have been good.  It brought about a good 30 minutes worth of conversation and I think he is now intrigued by the book also.  If he does read it I will let you know his thoughts at a later date.  So thank you Ms.Simcox for providing my wonderful husband and I a good conversation topic to talk over.  I learned some things about him that I did not know and we have been together 17 years. :)

Thank you to Pump Up Your Book promotions and the author for my copy of the book to read and review.

For more about the book please see my Pump Up Your Book Promotions Tour post below or jump to it here.

Pump Up Your Book Promotion Tour: The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox

The Magic Warble
Join Victoria Simcox, author of the children’s fantasy chapter book, The Magic Warble (Two Harbors Press) , as she virtually tours the blogosphere in November and December on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

** Thank you to Pump Up Your Book Promotion and the author, Victoria Simcox for my copy of the book to read and review.

About the Author:

Victoria SimcoxVictoria, known as Vicki, was born in 1966, in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She has one older sister, Jeannette. When Vicki was 7, she moved with her family to British Columbia. In her early twenties Vicki moved to Western Washington and now resides in Marysville WA. She has been married to her husband Russ, for nineteen years and they have three children; Toby, who is fifteen, Kristina, thirteen, and William, eight. She has home schooled her children for the past nine years, and she also teaches elementary school art. Vicki’s other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, two cats, Frodo, and Fritz, and two parakeets, Charlie, and Paulie. She did have a pet rat named Raymond when she started writing The Magic Warble, but sad to say, he has since passed away of old age. Vicki enjoys writing, painting watercolors, watching movies, hanging out with her family, and chauffeuring her kids around to their many activities. Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis, and one of her fondest memories is when she was twelve. She would sit at the kitchen table and read The Chronicles of Narnia to her mother while she cooked dinner. These magical stories were very dear to Vicki and she remembers wishing, If only I could go to Narnia like Lucy and Susan. Vicki hopes that maybe, she can touch someone with her story in a similar way. You can visit her website at

About the Book:

The Magic Warble
The Magic Warble (click on cover to purchase at Amazon)
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals, and the evil Queen Sentiz.
In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Magic Warble” in its final resting place. And she must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, as well as an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.
Book Excerpt:
Afraid to make a move, Kristina lay curled up in the place where she had been dumped out. The laundry sack was gone. The pile of laundry had been replaced by a pile of leaves, and instead of the basement floor, it seemed to be grass. She cautiously poked her head out the pile of leaves and saw a lovely manicured garden. In the middle of it sat a small cottage made of stones and with a thatched roof. The garden itself was circular and along its perimeter was a dense forest. The weather was slightly cold, and the sky was overcast. A cold breeze blew by her and made her shiver. She felt very strange, being in the garden, and wondered if she was simply dreaming. If this is a dream, I sure hope it’s more exciting than yesterday, she thought.She suddenly heard the sound of whistling again, and when she poked her head out of the pile of leaves, she saw a man—or at least she thought it might be a man—coming around the corner of
the cottage. He looked old, and he seemed to be even shorter than herself. He had a stout stature, distinctly sharp facial features, icy blue eyes, pointy ears, a long white beard, and silver hair. Upon his left shoulder he carried a large sack, and in his right hand he held a rake. He walked toward the pile of leaves, and Kristina ducked back down so he wouldn’t see her. He dumped out the large sack onto the pile of leaves, which brought another pile of leaves upon
her head. Kristina tried not to move or make a sound. Then the little man struck a match and was about to throw it on the pile of leaves, right where she was hiding, but she jumped out just before he did so yelling, “Wait! Please don’t throw that
The little man almost fell backwards. “What in our lady’s name is this?” he said, steadying himself.
“I didn’t mean to end up in your leaf pile,” Kristina said nervously, while backing away. “As a matter of fact, I have no idea how I got here.”
The little man walked closer to her, leaning forward slightly and holding the rake in front of him, as if to protect himself. He stared at Kristina as though he’d never seen anyone like her before.
“You may find this hard to believe,” Kristina said, “but I was only trying to retrieve a little silver ball.”
The little man’s eyes grew wide. “A little silver ball, you say.”
“Yes, Sir I…”
The little man seemed impatient. “Well, go on. Go on, spit it out.”
“My teacher, Miss Hensley, gave it to me on the last day of school. It was a Christmas gift,” Kristina continued.
The little man twirled his beard around one finger as he thought for a moment. Then he looked up at her and, seeming relieved, said, “Why, yes, of course! How soon I lose my memory.” He dropped his rake on the ground.
“I’m very sorry if I upset you,” Kristina said.
“No, no. No worries! Come with me to my cottage, and we’ll have a nice cup of tea. I could use a little break anyway. My back’s about killin’ me,” he said, stretching backwards.
He picked up his rake, and then put it down on top of a wheelbarrow that was nearby. Then he motioned for Kristina to follow him. Kristina wasn’t sure if she should trust him, but he seemed friendly enough, so she walked after him. When they arrived at the cottage, he pushed open the small wooden door, and they went inside. He took a lantern down from a hook on the wall and led the way into the front room. There was a fire burning in a fireplace, and it made the room—probably the living room—feel cozy and warm. Kristina noticed that everything in the room was smaller than normal.
“Come, child, sit down,” the little man said, pointing to a small couch. “Now, how about that cup of tea?”
“Oh, yes, please. I’m a little chilly and that would warm me up,” Kristina said.
The little man picked up a basket filled with tiny red flowers.
Then he took a big handful of them and dropped them into a black kettle that was sitting on top of the fire. As the flowers fell in, the water in the kettle spat out the top.
“Now, then, let’s discuss matters while we wait on our tea,” he said, sitting down in an armchair across from Kristina. “This little silver ball… do you have it with you?” he asked, while lighting a pipe.
“Yes, I have it in my pocket. Would you like to see it?” Kristina asked.
“Yes, but let me get the tea for us first.” He got up and poured tea into two cups and handed one to her. The tea was fluorescent red, and Kristina had to squint because of its brightness.
“I’ve never seen tea like this before. Its color is such a brilliant red,” Kristina said. She took a sip of it. “Yum, this is very good.
I would say it tastes like…” She paused for a moment and then continued. “Well, actually, I can’t describe it at all, but it is very delicious.”
“It’s fairy blossom, very hard to come by nowadays,” the little man said as he sat back down. He took a big puff off his pipe, then stuck out his knuckle-swollen hand and said, “The name’s
Kristina took hold of his hand and shook it. “I don’t mean to ask a silly question or seem rude, but are you a human?”
Rumalock chuckled and said, “No, I am what you would call a dwarf.”
“I’ve heard of dwarfs in fairy tales.” She looked a little embarrassed.
“I never thought they… or, I mean, you were real. I mean, no one I know of has ever met one,” she said, getting a little tongue-tied and turning red. “I hope that I’m not saying the wrong things.”
Rumalock chuckled again. “No need to feel bashful, my dear. I’m sure you don’t run into many dwarfs where you come from, and for that matter, I guess, I could say that I don’t get the chance
to meet many of your type either.”
Kristina took another sip of her tea and then said, “My name is Kristina.”
“Pleased to meet you, Kristina,” Rumalock said. “Now, should we take a look at this little ball?”
“Oh, yes, of course.” She took it out of her pocket and dropped it onto the palm of his hand. He held his eyeglasses with his other hand and peered down at it. He rolled it around and then clasped his hand tightly shut around it.
“Yup! It is the one,” he said. “This, my dear, is a very special day, to say the least.”
“Oh, why’s that?” Kristina asked, looking a little confused.
“This little ball is called the Magic Warble. It is what everyone in our land has been waiting for, for many years,” Rumalock said excitedly. Then, looking very serious, he narrowed his eyes.
“After it was given to you, did anyone else come into contact with it or even with anything that it was stored in?”
Kristina had to think for a moment and then answered, “Yes, three people, to be exact. Wait a minute, four, actually, if you include my pet rat, Raymond.” She started to count on her fingers.
“So it would be Graham Kepler, Hester Crumeful, Davina Pavey, Raymond, and, of course, me.”
“My, my, that many, and a rat also. I haven’t seen one of those little fellows in years. This could make matters very complicated,” Rumalock said.
“How so?” Kristina asked.
Rumalock placed the Magic Warble back in Kristina’s hand and said, “After the Magic Warble was given to you, whoever touched it or even anything it touched, like a container it may have been resting in, will be brought here.”
“Where is here?” Kristina asked.
“The place you are in, child, is called Bernovem,” Rumalock answered. He took another long drag of his pipe and blew out a large number of perfectly round smoke rings. Then he got out of his
chair, walked to the fireplace, and took a dusty book off the mantel.
“What is that?” Kristina asked.
“This, my dear, is the Book of Prophecy, and it is the only one in the whole land of Bernovem.” He opened it and ran his finger along the page. “Ah ha! Here it is, just as predicted: Kristina
Kingsly,” he said.
“Do you mean I’m in that book?” Kristina asked, getting up off the couch to take a look inside it.
Rumalock pointed his finger on the page. “Is your name Kristina Kingsly?” he asked, while glancing up at her through his round glasses.
“Yes,” she answered, looking puzzled. “But how come I’ve never heard of Bernovem?”
“Bernovem is a land very far from your land, or any other, as a matter of fact. It’s in a totally different galaxy than where you are from. You see, child, you have been brought here by the Magic Warble to deliver it to its resting place.”
Kristina’s face went pale.
“Is something the matter?” Rumalock asked her.
“I’m just worried that I won’t know where to bring it,” Kristina said.
“I thought you might feel that way. I must tell you that I can’t promise you that your journey will be a smooth one, but if you trust that the Magic Warble will lead you to where it needs to go,
you should be fine. And besides, you might even get some help along the way.”
Kristina looked back into the book. “Why are so many of the pages blank?” she asked.
“Oh that’s because the prophecies in this book will only appear on the pages a few minutes before they actually come to pass. Look here—it says, ‘Kristina’s scrape on her arm was healed.’”
“How could that be? The scrape is right here on my arm. It couldn’t possibly heal within a few minutes,” she said, showing him the scrape she had gotten from falling on the icy sidewalk the morning before.
“Ah! But are you sure? Give me your arm.” Rumalock said.
Kristina stretched her arm out, and Rumalock poured a few drops of his tea onto her scrape.
“Ouch! What are you doing? That’s very hot!” she said, shaking her arm to relieve the pain.
“Take a look at your scrape now,” Rumalock said excitedly.
“It’s gone!”
“That’s right! The tea is also magic.”
“This is all so cool,” Kristina said excitedly.
“Yes, yes, I suppose you could say that,” Rumalock said as he placed the Book of Prophecy back on the mantel. “Now, child, you look hungry. How about a nice warm meal?”
“I’d like that very much,” Kristina said.
Kristina ate a delicious meal of cheese, brown bread, boiled potatoes, and the best chocolate cake she had ever tasted. Afterward, while sitting by the crackling fire, she still could hardly believe
where she was or how she had gotten there, but she was much too sleepy to figure it out. She took the Magic Warble out of her pocket to take another look at it, and when she stared down at it; her sleepy eyes suddenly grew two sizes bigger.
“The Magic Warble! Its color has changed. It used to be tarnished silver, but now it is light purple,” she said.
“Yes, of course, Kristina, it is all part of its journey,” Rumalock said. He sat across from her in his armchair, smoking his pipe.
“All part of the journey?” Kristina repeated, yawning. Her eyes grew so heavy that she couldn’t keep them open any longer. Once she fell asleep, Rumalock got up, and placed a warm woolen blanket over her. Then he blew out his lantern and left the room.

Peeking Between the Pages
A Sea of Books
The Neverending Shelf
Falling Off the Shelf
The Princess and the Monkey
Cafe of Dreams
A Book Blogger’s Diary
Revenge of the Book Nerd
Psychotic State
One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books
Beth’s Book Review Blog
I Read
Beyond the Books
Marta’s Meanderings
The Writer’s Life
Kylie’s Journal
Divine Caroline
A Book and a Chat
Beyond the Books
As the Pages Turn
My Reading Room
Shawn’s Sharings
Jen’s Book Talk
Revenge of the Book Nerd
Book Junkie
Pick of the Literate
Layers of Thought
Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!
Gothic Asylum Reviews
Victoria Simcox’s THE MAGIC WARBLE VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘09 will officially begin on Nov. 2 and end on Dec. 16. You can visit Victoria’s blog stops at during the months of November and December to find out more about this great book and talented author!