Friday, June 25, 2010

The Familiars

Author: Adam Jay Epstein and Adam Jacobson
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Copy provided by: publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):

After three young wizard apprentices are kidnapped by the evil queen of a distant land, it is up to their familiars, their magical animal companions -- a street smart alley cat, a precocious blue jay, and a bumbling tree frog -- to save them.

Why I read this: I thought The Familiars looked like a fun, middle grade fantasy and it's also a debut novel.

Plot: A Typical fantasy plot - three human wizard apprentices are captured and the familiars must save them. Definitely full of twists, as Aldwyn has to hide his secret of having no magical abilities. Action-packed with time to build relationships, The Familiars is a great middle grade fantasy that many kids and teens will get a kick out of.

Characters: I really loved Aldwyn. He's an alley cat and his story is sort of the old rags-to-riches type scenario. Aldywyn is at the right place at the right time and finds himself becoming a familiar. He no longer need to con a meal daily and finds himself attached to his human counterpart. The other familiars provide a great trio of budding friends: Skyla - a bluejay who is interested in human magic, and Gregory - a tree frog who is mostly concerned with catching flies. Both have their own abilities to bring to the table.

Relatability: I think that anyone can see the rag-to-riches and rescue plot lines and compare it to other age-old stories they have read growing up. Also, the humor used in the novel also helps the reader relate to the characters. Definitely was a great read and one I would highly recommend to my students.

Cover Commentary: Very cute. Definitely looks magical. I especially love the title lettering.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

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*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.


  1. The cover of this book is totally adorable!

  2. Great review. I'm glad you enjoyed it. This has already been put on my wishlist. It does look like a good one.

  3. Sounds like a book my niece would enjoy. I'll have to check it out.

  4. This sounds like a really fun book. I love animal stories, so I might just have to read this.

  5. So cute and the story of wizard really attract me!

  6. This sounds like a really great middle school fantasy and I love the cover. Thanks for the review.

  7. Sounds cute, I'll have to get this for my sister.

  8. Sounds like a fun one. I bet my daughter would enjoy it.

  9. I didnt know that this is a debut novel. The cover makes the book look like a really fun read.

  10. The cover of The Familiars looks really awesome.

  11. I entered to win this book on Goodreads because I thought it looked really cute. Glad to hear you liked it.

  12. Magical book with some cute animals as its character - this sure sounds like a fun, unique read to me.

  13. I'm going to try my best to get a copy here at ALA! Thanks for the heads up!

  14. This is the first time I have heard of this book -- I haven't read MG in a while, and this seems really great. Thank you for the review!

  15. Sounds like fun. I am so glad there are so many great sounding MG books out there.


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