Candlewicke 13 Curse of the McRavens by Milan Sergent. Book One of the Candlewicke 13 fantasy series. For ages eight years and up.
Candlewicke 13: Curse of the McRavens:
Book One of the Candlewicke 13 series by Milan Sergent
Valor McRaven tries to hide his odd symptoms from the “normal” witches. His shadow moves on its own, and he sometimes makes objects move without the required wand. Valor refuses to believe the rumors about his family, even after Mystic Ministry locks the McRavens in the sanatorium and schedules him to be the hunted fox in a ghastly tournament with blindfolded ogres, boiling cauldrons, and cats with moon madness.
If Valor wins, or survives, he can begin his dream of becoming an apprentice of magic at Mystic Steeples, where he hopes to unravel the death of his twin and the attempts someone keeps making to kill him.
His only friends say it’s too late for that. They insist he’s the leader of their misfit coven, foretold to unravel the greatest cover-up in history (The Great Deception) and stop the Grim Warlock’s terrible Thirteenth Hour. But they’re not risking a life sentence in a dreary prison having their inner essence removed.
The only person Valor trusts is his morosely precocious adopted sister, Doomsy Gloomsy, who knows much more than any eight-year-old should.
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“Candlewicke 13: Curse of the McRavens is a work of quirky young adult fantasy penned by author Milan Sergent, and it forms the first book of the Candlewicke 13 series. Including original illustrations by the author, this novel follows the ill-fated Valor McRaven in his dreamy quest to study magic at Mystic Steeples, despite the oddments and peculiarities of his past and present which keep him separate from the ‘normal’ witches around him. Valor has a dark past, with allegations that his twin brother died because his own mother poisoned both boys, leading Valor to believe that his survival of the poison has given him unique abilities unlike anyone else. The Grim Warlock, if he’s real, has a lot to answer for, and Valor wants those answers.
This is a superbly entertaining work of fantasy fiction which ticks all the boxes for the younger end of the young adult reading spectrum. I really enjoyed the level of irreverent humor that peppers the pages, interrupting what could be quite intensely horrible moments and lightening them appropriately. Doomsy Gloomsy was a particular favorite of mine, with her little quips and odd turns of phrase, and the storyline that builds around Valor and his family’s intriguing past makes for excellent reading. The formatting too, with its gorgeous illustrations and classic olde-worlde print style, enhances the already high quality of the reading experience to a whole new level of awesome. Overall, Milan Sergent has done a superb job with Candlewicke 13: Curse of the McRavens, and I can’t wait for more.”
5-Star Review by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
“Curse of the McRavens is an exciting first entry in the Candlewicke 13 Series by Milan Sergent, a gorgeous treat for fans of fantasy with unusual characters and intriguing plot lines. It explores the theme of magic and follows a quirky character called Valor McRaven, who tries to hide the eccentricities of his supernatural skills from those who consider themselves normal witches. He can move objects without requiring his wand and his shadow moves on its own, and these are just some of the odd things linked to his magical skills. His family has been looked down on in their world and the Ministry even locks them in the sanatorium. He has to undergo a dangerous test to get admission in the Mystic Steeples, and this involves becoming the hunted fox in a world filled with danger — ogres, boiling cauldrons, dangerous cats and many others. But an even greater fate awaits him. Can he prove himself to be the one to beat the dreaded Thirteenth Hour of the Grim Warlock?
Milan Sergent creates a magical world and thrusts readers into it. It is interesting that some people, even in the world of magic, are the misfits, and discrimination becomes one of the elements that fuels the conflict deftly developed in this narrative. While Valor McRaven may have many gifts and while he is the envy of those who are from his world, he has few trusted friends. I loved the fact that he doesn’t experience the full sense of belonging and this is a feeling that most gifted people have, one that adds to the realism of the narrative and makes it related to mere humans. The connection between the protagonist and his adopted sister Doomsy Gloomsy is well explored. This is a novel that showcases the author’s imagination, and there is a sense of magic in the names of the characters and locales that form part of the setting. The protagonist’s quest and his desire to fit in are amongst the strong plot points that make the story compelling. Curse of the McRavens promises much for a series that will take readers to unexpected places.”
Click below on the magic wand or hat to see all reviews for Book One: Candlewicke 13: Curse of the McRavens!
Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest. Book Two of the Candlewicke 13 fantasy series by Milan Sergent. For ages eight years and up.
Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest:
Award-Winning Book Two of the Candlewicke 13 series by Milan Sergent
Just when Valor McRaven and his sister, Doomsy Gloomsy, are minutes from becoming apprentices of magic at Mystic Steeples, their parents snatch them away in an escape from the sanatorium with two nutty Nizzertits they have befriended.
Valor and Doomsy find themselves fleeing Hoopenfangia all the way to the Bumbling Boonies where Valor’s father plans to live in a hole in the ground in order to escape the Grim Warlock’s Thirteenth Hour—if Houmas McRaven can get his family through the enchanted door of the Ambergis Divide, that is.
But has Houmas led his family into the very pit of danger and death, he had imagined escaping? Will Valor’s friends show up after the war that ignites the Thirteenth Hour traps him and Doomsy in its sticky web?
Come along as Valor and Doomsy encounter magic creatures, a tombstone amusement park, and a tower of sorcerers, while unraveling more clues to the mysteries surrounding the McRavens.
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The Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities. With over 800 winners and finalists in over 150 categories, five (5) award levels are given in each category: Gold, Silver, Bronze, Honorable Mention, and Award Finalist.
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Thousands of entries from all over the world are received. Because of these large submission numbers, the contest is broken into over 140 genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. Submissions are received from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America).
On September 1, 2019, Readers’ Favorite announced that "Candlewicke 13 and the Tombstone Forest" by Milan Sergent won the Finalist Award in the Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi category in its annual international book award contest.
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