ARC Review: The Magician’s Daughter by H.G. Parry

Today’s book review is about THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER by H.G. Parry. This book is like a warm hug despite the serious nature of fighting to save the magic in the world. A coming-of-age story, this is a tale that transcends age categories and is perfect for Young Adult and Adult readers.

Author: H.G. Parry
Series: None
Age Category: Young Adult/New Adult
Publisher: Redhook
Publish Date: February 28, 2023
Print Length: 400

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Official Synopsis

In the early 1900s, a young woman is caught between two worlds in H. G. Parry’s spellbinding tale of miracles, magic, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Off the coast of Ireland sits a legendary island hidden by magic. A place of ruins and ancient trees, sea salt air, and fairy lore, Hy-Brasil is the only home Biddy has ever known. Washed up on its shore as a baby, Biddy lives a quiet life with her guardian, the mercurial magician Rowan. A life she finds increasingly stifling.

One night, Rowan fails to return from his mysterious travels. To find him, Biddy must venture into the outside world for the first time. But Rowan has powerful enemies–forces who have hoarded the world’s magic and have set their sights on the magician’s many secrets.

Biddy may be the key to stopping them. Yet the closer she gets to answers, the more she questions everything she’s ever believed about Rowan, her past, and the nature of magic itself.

My Review

I received a free, digital, advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My review is my own and reflects my honest opinion about this book.

THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER is a wholesome, warm hug of a coming-of-age fantasy adventure. It’s a story with rich writing and characters who want the best for the world and its inhabitants. It’s not a cozy fantasy read per se. But I felt enveloped by a sense of otherworldly intrigue, perhaps because it’s a period fantasy set in 1912.

H.G. Parry’s latest will appeal to those who have an interest in Irish mythology, whether passive or more intensely active. In what seems to be an inadvertent theme of mine, this is yet another book that incorporates some of the Tuatha Dé Danann folklore. However, in THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER the Tuatha Dé Danann is a background element that adds historical depth to the plot. The focus, rather, is on Biddy’s and Rowan’s quest to release magic back into the world.

As the synopsis mentions, there are forces hoarding the world’s magic. This leading plot point revolves around the theme of power in the authoritative sense. When the world faces a magical crisis, opportunities open up for open discord and vulnerability. Ultimately, as real world history depicts, charismatic leaders who don’t necessarily have the best intentions sometimes rise to the top during periods of instability.

There is also an undercurrent theme of women’s rights. Biddy grew up on Hy-Brasil without the rules and prejudices that the rest of women on the populated mainland abided and experienced. So, she is a free spirit, but also yearns for a female role model. Throughout the book, as Parry introduces more characters, there are quips about the type of magic expected of women; or that the magical council lacks diversity; or the older male magical scholars perpetually view women as interns or secretaries.

Thematic elements aside, it would be remiss of me to fail to mention that there is an animal sidekick! And what a lovable character Hutchinson is, Rowan’s rabbit familiar. I absolutely adored him. Although a rabbit lacks the ability to speak, Parry expertly conveys Hutchinson’s thoughts and emotions through ear twitches and other physical movement. In fact, Parry’s writing style overall is warm, calm, and expressive despite the gravity of various events. Additionally, I appreciated that this coming-of-age story has a more emotionally mature teenage character who is observant and reflective. It is also worth noting that there is no romance present, which seems to be an ubiquitous element in a lot of recent popular YA fantasy books.

Overall, I definitely recommend THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER to those who seek a magical tale about a young woman searching for her place in the world. This is a book that reaches across the age category aisle. Both young adults and adults will enjoy Biddy’s free-spirited adventures in Hy-Brasil and England as she confronts magical existentialism. If I had to make a comparison, I would say this reminds me of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES on magic meets A RIVER ENCHANTED.

Rating: 4.25
Content warnings: torture (brief description), blood, death, imprisonment
Reading format: Kindle e-book

7 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Magician’s Daughter by H.G. Parry

    1. I encourage you to do so! I liked that romance wasn’t an aspect at all…maybe that’s what I should stick to when I read YA in the future. Although I do have a soft spot for the Cruel Prince books.

  1. Irish mythology, lots of magic, and an animal sidekick? Consider me SOLD! I already added this one to my TBR, but I’m bumping it up to priority once it comes out. It sounds right up my alley!

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