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*The Magician's Daughter: Book Three of the Stoneways Trilogy* by S.C. Butler- young adult book review
The Magician's Daughter: Book Three of the Stoneways Trilogy
by S.C. Butler
Grades 7+ 448 pages Tor April 2009 Hardcover    

Author S.C. Butler wraps up the saga of magician Reiffen’s life in the final chapter of the the Stoneways Trilogy, The Magician's Daughter. This third book encompasses much, but its primary focus is on the terrible, destructive and delusional affects of magic on Reiffen’s life. His world will crumble because of magic and a neverending thirst for more. Worst of all, he alone — in his powerful, obsessed madness — ruins the lives of too many, events that never had to be.

Reiffen’s magical life has been dedicated to learning and educating since its very beginning. Though he has gained more power and knowledge through the years, his foe, the Gray Wizard, will always be a nemesis that he may not be able to conquer. The greatest fear residing in the hearts of Reiffen and Ferris—his wife, fellow mage and savior—is that the wizard will make good on his threat and kidnap their daughter, Hubley, to train her in his ways.

When claims are made that one of their graduated apprentices has turned traitor, Reiffen’s mental stability spirals. Fearing treachery from friend and foe, Reiffen magically seals himself and Hubley into his castle of darkness, killing any who come near. A true monster reigns supreme in his war against the one surviving evil wizard and every single living being he has ever known. Reiffen's obsession does nothing but bring murder and purgatory to innocents, all because of the possibility of what might happen but never actually does.

Hubley’s escape from her father is the final straw. All the players unite to fight on two sides against a previous friend, Reiffen, and their greatest enemy, the Gray Wizard. A swift, unforeseen tide of malice and devastation will sweep over the land. A threat far greater than any have met before will claim the stoneways with a hunger and power only one can defeat. If this evil escapes, darkness will settle over the earth, leaving only the fires of hell to greet the dying souls and their last screams of terror.

Reader be warned: this dark book completes a dark tale with few moments of true happiness. The characters are doomed to live with only a few golden highlights in life, and these usually morph immediately into heartaches. Clearly stated, The Magician's Daughter is not a feel-good book.

Despite that, for those who fancy the dark and mystical, The Magician's Daughter casts a spell. S.C. Butler shows great aptitude for writing an absorbing fantasy that, although dark, is not built on a gory premise. The darkness emerges from evolving fears and settings that build trepidation and horror for what is to come.

The truly fantastic plot features many unexpected twists, though as a chapter in a trilogy, it doesn't do much to update the reader on previous storylines. It's advisable to read the first two novels in the Stoneways Trilogycite> before going into the third, but curl up with The Magician's Daughter, and you won’t put it down all night.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Sonia R. Polinsky/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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