Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

#41 in my book challenge for the year, and #17 in my summer reading challenge was Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier, which I re-read as preparation for the more recently published second book in this trilogy. Reason Cansino, a fifteen-year-old Australian girl, has been on the run for all her life with her mother, from her grandmother. When her mother is institutionalized, Reason is returned to the grandmother, who Reason’s mother has warned her is an evil person who believes in magic. In a more conventional novel, Reason would come to terms with her grandmother, and discover that magic isn’t evil and neither is the grandmother. This book, though, takes a darker, more complicated route, and is hugely entertaining because of it. Reason discovers that magic is real, but using and not using magic both have terrible consequences. As Reason struggles to learn more, she must determine who to trust, since most of what she’s been told all her life has been a lie. I raced through this book, and am eager to begin the sequel, Magic Lessons.

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