Reader: Grace KL
Age: 13
Title: The Far West
Author: Patricia C. Wrede
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub Date:  08/01/2012
Galley: No
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: The best way to sum up this book is that it's like Little House on the Prairie with magic.  The story takes place in an alternate history in which the United States is colonizing the west, but now the dangers are magical, like medusa lizards, which can turn an animal or human to stone.  The geographical and historical elements are very detailed, so that one can figure out which countries or rivers are being referenced.  The main character, Eff, isn't always the center of attention, isn't the most powerful magician, and is not in a love triangle but is a strong female lead.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was very memorable for me because the entire setting is very original and the magical creatures imaginative.  The way the magic worked in this book was very original, with three main and very different practices of magic.
Cover: The cover was intriguing, but I would have liked it better if it were like the first book, which had the title written in an older font, and several black and white images that alluded to the frontier and magic.  Some things I enjoyed in this cover were the mountains in the background that show the setting and the dragons.  Also, the blue-purple overall color portrays the darker elements in the book.
Age Range: Under 12 to 17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

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