Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Spellbound Winter 2012 Issue, Rings and Other Magic Things (Children's, 9 years +, 11 years + Magazine, 9/10E)

 December 2012, Eggplant Literary Productions, 30+ pages, Review copy

Themes: poems, short stories, genie, wishes, ring, magic, spells, a way with words, knowledge of classic fantasy story elements, peaches, nature, greed, selfishness, hard work, hearthstones, birds,

Content: oodles of humour, a smidge of tragedy

We have stories about magical books and wishes, poems about kings, rings and wistful mirrors.  All of that with gorgeous artwork sprinkled throughout the issue. Also included, a recommended reading list and an article on the various magical items every adventurer needs before starting out on her quest.  We’ve even have a lesson plan to go along for teachers to use.  

Nayuleska's thoughts 
This is the first magazine filled only with stories, poems, and illustrations, which I have read since I was under 13 years old, which was a while ago. I was invited to read the most recent issue but I declined. I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover (especially as 1 book I'm reading now is awesome despite the scary  to me cover), but Spellbound's latest edition's cover and topics didn't appeal to me. As is becoming the norm, if I'm not keen on what I've been invited to review I take a lot at what else is available. This was the only cover and topic which sang out to me. This could easily be from manga or anime - yes it was designed by Chanoa who is a Japanese illustrator! 

Note: I'd probably put this as a magazine for older readers, rather than 9 years old, not because of content but it's how the magazine felt, if that makes sense.

I loved it! The cover and the magazine. I adored the highly appealing illustrations which I stared at for a fair while, before reading a bit more then tapping the pages back to see them again. One or two had elements that I didn't like, which along with one or two poems I wasn't entirely keen on is why it didn't get a top grade. For new blog readers I have to point out I'm not overly fond of poetry, which is probably why I like to review children's poetry books every now and then just to see if I enjoy it any better. Everyone needs a challenge! Most of the poems here were better than bearable because I recognised the magical elements and I enjoy the style of humour which is in this magazine by the cauldron load.

To be honest - that's just a phrase as all my views are truthful - I was a little apprehensive before I started reading the stories. Like poetry, I'm not a frequent short story reader. I always want to know what happens after the story ends for any book, and since short stories end sooner rather than later that would mean a lot more frustration. But, yet again, that wasn't the case. The stories are so vibrant and comprehensive that I easily imagined the High Court Wizard continuing to get what he deserved for as long as the characters remained mad at him, and the girl whose wishes didn't come true still being really happy with her fate. This magazine is chock full of the side of fantasy which I love, the humour, magic used for common day tasks, magic going comically wrong...If you are intrigued by other editions which can be previewed here, do check them out, as I'm certain they the same high quality as this one. I'll end by commenting on the end: having the biographies of the writers, poets, and illustrators as well as a list of suggested reading (full blown books!) end the book provides readers with a stepping stone to discovering more fantasy delights.

Suggested read
I can't suggest a magazine because I haven't read any others, but I can suggest a hilarious magical read, A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks (Fantasy, 10E/10E)

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