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City of Stolen Magic

City of Stolen Magic

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Chompa was a brilliant protagonist; I loved her djinnborn powers and how she made realistic and honest decisions that made her not just a hero, but a relatable hero. Set against the backdrop of 19th century India, during the British colonization era, the story draws inspiration from actual historical events such as indigo farming, the East India Company, and the harrowing slave trade. There are also parallels with real historical events, when Britain colonised India and exploited its people and riches, resulting in widespread poverty, famine and enslavement. The characters were well written, at no point was I wishing that the author would change any aspect of them.

City of Stolen Magic by Nazneen Ahmed Pathak, review: a critique of City of Stolen Magic by Nazneen Ahmed Pathak, review: a critique

I feel like it's for slightly older middle grade readers due to content and writing style (the changing POV sometimes didn't work for me) and although I loved the twist at the end, I wasn't too keen on the outcome for Chompa and her mother.The story takes place in the past and it starts in the then Bengal province of India, which was under British rule. With a well-imagined magical system, enchanting worldbuilding and compelling characters, I was swept up in Chompa's story. I think it may have been because I didn’t really gel with Chompa as a character as much as I did with Tipu or Laurie. I felt like we could have seen a few scenes of this being done before something went wrong to lull the characters and readers into a false sense of security. This imaginative debut novel is bursting with dynamic characters, atmospheric locations and a fast-paced plot.

City of Stolen Magic (KS2/3) - Penguin Books UK City of Stolen Magic (KS2/3) - Penguin Books UK

The author skillfully brings each scene to life, allowing readers to vividly imagine and immerse themselves in the captivating world they depict. The country is under British rule, and magical people are being kidnapped across the country in an effort to stamp out the magic so feared by the British. A small girl, whose mother has been taken away from her, embarks on a courageous journey to find and rescue her beloved parent.When Ammi is kidnapped by the British, Chompa is devastated and does everything she can to track her down. I loved how there was more than one kind of magic in the story, and each character had different skills and strengths and every one of them was important in how the action played out. The friends that she makes are also brilliantly written especially Tipu the story is told from his perspective for a while as their stories diverge, before coming back together. And it’s an enjoyable story from start to finish, with a little important history lesson as an added bonus. However, her mother, fearing the dangers of her powers, insists that Chompa focuses on learning written charms instead.

City of Stolen Magic by Nazneen Ahmed Pathak | Goodreads City of Stolen Magic by Nazneen Ahmed Pathak | Goodreads

One more thing I thought was important was how this book highlighted, and didn’t shy away from the damage and destruction that were a result of the British Empire, it doesn’t gloss over the atrocities as one might expect, instead it acknowledges them and how unjust the British rule was, and how they stole so much from the countries they colonised, (it’s not especially graphic or anything though, so it’s still suitable for the targeted audience of this book). While the book reads easily, the pace is in my honest opinion too quick, problems get resolved too easily, and the characters are almost annoyingly superficial and archetypical. Example: When Laurie forgets to check the weather with his Djinn and that’s how they manage to sail right into a storm, literally about a page after he says listening to Devenayes would be more fun that constantly checking the weather anyway.Hair was what princesses worried about, but in real life, it got in your eyes and mouth… Chompa threw the scarf aside. The magic systems are really well described, and I particularly enjoyed that we get to see several different types of magic and how they worked.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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