REVIEW: The Wizards of Once

by Cressida Cowell

Pages: 384
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication Date: September 19th 2017
Received From: Hodder Children's Books

This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.
Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure ...
Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests.
Wizard boy, Xar, should have come in to his magic by now, but he hasn't, so he wants to find a witch and steal its magic for himself. But if he's got any chance of finding one, he will have to travel into the forbidden Badwoods.
Xar doesn't realise he is about to capture an entirely different kind of enemy. A Warrior girl called Wish.
And inside this book, at this very moment, two worlds collide and the fate of the land is changed forever.
In a whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must visit the dungeons at Warrior fort, and face the evil Queen.
But something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring ...

First off I just want to say how amazingly beautiful this book is! Not just the cover, or it's hidden cover when you remove the dust jacket (its sooo pretty guys) but also all the stunning illustrations that go along side the story. The Wizards of Once is the newest book from Cressida Cowell, author of the best selling How To Train Your Dragon and its a corker. 

The Wizards of Once is the story of a young boy and a young girl from enemy tribes as their lives unexpected collide. Xar is a Wizard and Wish is a Warrior and for as long as they both remember their kind has hated each other but when Xar discovers Wish is hiding something forbidden and magical he will do anything to get his hands on it. Throughout the story these two kids are forced to become allies as they both learn the world they live in is under attack from something far nastiest than each other or their parents. The only question is will they be able to put their differences aside, lean to accept each others faults and look out for someone other than themselves *cough* Xar *cough* long enough to save their families from something that has been hiding for hundreds of years? 

Okay so confession time, I'm not a massive middle grade fan so when I was sent this I wasn't convinced. However, How To Train Your Dragon is one of my favourite films - yes I know I'm 25, what's your point? - and I was curious to see what Cressida had to offer next. The Wizards of Once is a story of unlikely and dangerous friendships, looking past stereotypes and doing the right thing, even when it isn't always the easiest option. The story itself is plotted out to perfection and even though there were moments I could have given Xar a little tap around the head I can't wait to see what is in store for these characters next. 

Overall this is a really good middle grade book. Personally I found it a little slow to get into but I think that might just be the fact I'm a decade older than its target audience. However, taking that out of the equation, it is a really sweet, funny and interesting story that I think a lot of people will find enjoyable. The characters are well thought through and the plot twists and turns giving a rather unexpected ending (if I do say so myself). As a whole I did enjoy reading The Wizards of Once and if you haven't yet cracked this one open I would definitely recommend it. 


  1. Sounds like something I'd love to read aloud to the kids in my Classroom!