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Publisher's Summary

For 15 years, Reason Cansino has lived on the run. Together with her mother, Sarafina, she has moved from one place to another in the Australian countryside, desperate not to be found by Reason's grandmother, Esmeralda, a dangerous woman who believes in magic.But the moment Reason walks through Esmeralda's back door and finds herself on a New York City street, she's confronted by an unavoidable truth: magic is real.
©2005 Justine Larbalestier; (P)2008 Penguin
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Critic Reviews

"By turns a fantasy adventure and a thoughtful examination of relationships, this radiant gem stands alone, but expect readers to be impatient for the rest of the trilogy." (School Library Journal)
"In this fierce, hypnotic novel, character, story, and the thrumming forces of magic strike a rare, memorable balance." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Barbara Ferrini Hilfiker on 09-29-08

This book is serious fun

A wonderful first novel with an enchanting protagonist,a young witch named Reason, who doesn't believe in magic. Equally compelling are Larbalestier's portraits ofher companions and the two cities in which Reason's adventures unfold: New York, and Sydney, Australia. It's not that Magic or Madness is full of jaw-dropping shockers, it's a quiet book. It's that you're never quite sure, through the entire book, what's going to happen next, or what the truth really is about any number of issues.Can't wait to listen to the rest of the trilogy to find out, who is good and who is evil...

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Aryn on 10-02-08

Really slow

Great concept; delivery is slow; narration is slow; didn't finish. I care enough that I'll look up the book and skim the last chapters, but just couldn't continue with the audio version.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Lisa on 05-27-10

struggling

Now I must admit I am really struggling with this one. The actual story is sound although I find the main character Reason a bit silly (she is supposed to be 15 but comes across as about 10 or 11). I think what the real problem with this book though is that I find the narrator's voice really really bad. It actually makes me whince when I start to listen. Must be the australian accent! I know its set in Australia to begin with but still. Anyway back to the story Reason and her sister Seraphina are hiding from her grandmother Esmerelda who is a witch although Reason does not believe in magic - but when Seraphina becomes ill and has to be put in a hospital she has no choice but to stay with Esmerelda. I do not want to give anymore away about the plot. If you can get past the narration its probably not a bad read.

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