4 out of 4 stars
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The Gallery of Wonders is the first book in the series titled Magora. The author, Marc Remus, paints a delightful story of an orphan girl and her friends discovering a fantasy land and going on wonderful adventures. This fictional book belongs to the Children’s genre. Some of the themes that the book explores are friendship, adventure and magic.
Holly lives with her mean foster family who make her life miserable. This all changes one day when a series of strange events unfold in Holly’s life. Her grandfather dies in a fire under mysterious circumstances, she sees a hooded figure that is looking for her, she receives a box with some strange stuff and finally she finds a chest hidden in the attic with one of her grandpa’s paintings. It is through this painting that Holly and her friends are whirled into the Land of Magora.
Magora is a place where there are many different creatures with astonishing magical powers. Cliffony is a school for artists in the Land of Magora. Holly and her friends are accepted into it and they begin to learn how to create art with magic. There are different level of artists; Tracers who can skilfully copy, Legumers who can create objects and finally the Gindars, the highest and most special type of artist. Holly is chosen to be a Gindar, although she has no faith in herself and thinks it must be a mistake.
There is also the dark side of Magora. There is the palace where Cuspidor the Duke lives. He is an evil character who wants to destroy the Gallery of Wonders, and it is up to Holly and her friends to save the day.
This book was really enjoyable. I found it to be easy to read, imaginative, descriptive and captivating. The book is mainly targeted towards middle school children. One of the main features that the book uses is that of painting. The author himself is a world renowned artist, so he has tried to capture his love for his work in this book. The main character, Holly, has always loved painting, even though she was never very good at it. In the book the author tries to show that one should paint by getting themselves immersed into their work.
However, one thing that concerned me about this book was the stark parallels that this story had with the series of Harry Potter. For example: an orphaned kid living with mean foster parents who is whisked away to a magic land. In this magic land the kid attends a school that teaches magical abilities, the kid is obviously special and has to save the day. There were also several other similarities which I picked up. For this reason, I was considering giving this book a three stars, due to its questionable originality. However, I finally decided to give the book a four out of four stars simply because I really enjoyed it, and I thought it was excellently written. I definitely think that kids of all ages will enjoy this book, but especially those who have a love for creativity and art.
The Gallery of Wonders
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