Review of The Wizard Test, by Hilari Bell

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The Wizard Test

by Hilari Bell

eos (HarperCollins), 2005.  166 pages.

http://www.harpercollischildrens.com/

www.sfwa.org/members/bell

I’ve definitely become a fan of Hilari Bell’s writing.  Like The Prophecy, The Wizard Test is a fantasy for middle grade readers that takes a classic idea and digs deeper.

Dayven does not want to pass the Wizard Test.  He does not want to have the powers of wizards and be taken as an apprentice.  Everyone knows that wizards can’t be trusted.  His grandmother, who may have passed her wizard talents on to him, was a traitor to her people.

No, Dayven wants to be a Guardian like his father.

But what if the Guardians ask him to go ahead and apprentice to the wizards?  After all, they need someone to find out what the wizards are up to.  The only trouble is that Dayven finds things a little more complicated than he had been led to believe.

This is another excellent story.  I didn’t find myself as absorbed in it as I was in The Prophecy.  My personal theory is that Dayven didn’t pass the Not Whining Test.  Where Perryndon of The Prophecy accepted difficult circumstances with pluck, Dayven grumbles and complains.  However, this book was written earlier than The Prophecy, so I think it goes to show that Hilari Bell went from very good writing on to greatness.  I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

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Find this review on the main site at:

www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Fiction/wizard_test.html

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