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The Magician's Apprentice

3.02  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Baz has always dreamed about following his two older brothers out of his dusty little town, so when a stranger comes to his family's home and asks him to be a weaver's apprentice, Baz is eager to start his journey. But when he reaches the village of Kallah and starts his apprenticeship, Baz learns that his master is very cruel. And when the master trades Baz to a magician ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published April 28th 2012)
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Nov 18, 2014 leslye rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Baz leaves home to become a weaver's apprentice. His master is cruel to him, and all the other apprentices under him. Then Baz is sold to a magician, and his journey begins. Although Baz also expects cruelty from this new master, he soon learns that the old man is a gentle and wise. They travel together and along the way the magician shares and explains riddles of life and wisdom with Baz.

This was a quiet, simple story. It is a "learning-a-lesson about life" book. It isn't action packed or flas
Emily White
Feb 07, 2014 Emily White rated it really liked it
Buddhism meets folk story? The Magician’s Apprentice was a very well-written book full of adventure and philosophy. The main character, a boy growing into a man, is apprenticed to a rug maker and then is traded for a sword to a magician. The magician is a follower of Buddhism (although this is never said directly) and he teaches the boy to make his own choices for the right reasons and not to get hung up on things that have happened in the past. I loved the concept that the journey is just as im ...more
Dec 19, 2015 Bobbie rated it it was ok
I picked up this book because I like Peter Sis' illustrations and I guess I thought from the size and title this book would be a good one to recommend to library middle school patrons. Not so much, unless you have a philosophical 7th grader who might practice meditation or Buddhism. The journey Baz, the main character, takes is one of understanding himself, his emotions and how to use his actions/circumstances for good (love, forgiveness, teaching, etc.). I don't see myself recommending this boo ...more
Aug 15, 2016 Rebecca rated it liked it
Briefly, this book reminded me a lot of Paul Coelho's 'The Alchemist.' It was very philosophical and more about determining who you are than adventures (which is what I expected when I picked the book up). Not really sure who the book is aimed at.
Jul 11, 2012 Samuel rated it did not like it
Shelves: children
There are some books that shouldn't succeed, but do anyway. Maybe the number one example of all time is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. On its face, it sounds insufferable -- a mysteriously naive and yet truly wise space-child tells about his overtly allegorical adventures in a book full of Life Lessons and sprinkled with whimsical drawings. That it works anyway is a tribute to Saint-Exupéry's unique skill as a writer.

However, the fact that one of the all-time greats managed to pul
Wandering Librarians
Like his older brothers before him, Baz leaves home to become a weaver's apprentice. His master is a cruel man, and all the apprentices suffer under him terribly. Then Baz is sold to a magician for a sword, and his journey truly begins.

This was a quiet and beautiful story. The language was lovely, weaving beautiful pictures with words. While it wasn't in verse, it had a rhythmic, poetic feel to it. Peter Sis' deceptively simple drawings fit perfectly.

This is a learning-a-lesson about life book,
Suzanne Dix
Baz is the third son of simple artisans who dreams of a bigger life outside of his small and quiet village. His two brothers have already been apprenticed in other villages and so Baz is both excited and anxious when a mysterious man on a horse arrives and negotiates with Baz’s parents to take him away. Soon Baz arrives at his new home, a sweat shop of horrific conditions where he must weave rugs all day long. The work is grueling, the manager is malicious and Baz is left to wonder if he’ll ever ...more
Kathy Martin
Jul 12, 2012 Kathy Martin rated it liked it
I found this book to be quite an odd one. I am not sure who the audience of this one would be. The writing is lyrical and almost dream-like. The pacing is very slow and not a lot happens. A young man named Baz leaves his home, travels with a stranger, is apprenticed to a cruel master, and is bought by an itinerant magician who then takes him and travels apparently randomly through the countryside teaching Baz as he goes.

The characters are not so much people as they are archetypes - the wise old
Nicole Myers
Sep 16, 2012 Nicole Myers rated it it was ok
Kate Banks, the author of picture books like, “If the Moon Could Talk” that took the 1998 Boston Globe Book Award, writes a fable reminiscent of Antoine de Saint- Exupéry's “The Little Prince”. “The Magician’s Apprentice” is written in lyrical, dream-like rhythmic prose.
It is the story of Baz, an apprentice weaver whose cruel master trades him for a sword to a wandering magician named Tadis. Much of the book is occupied by the philosophical worldviews of Tadis, which are conveyed more by tellin
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Qirat Tabir
May 02, 2014 Qirat Tabir rated it really liked it
"What distinguished a person was not duty or obligation, but capacity to love."

Although this book was not exactly what I expected, I have learned much from it. It states clearly the simple things in life, the perfect imperfections. It teaches to love, to forgive and, most importantly, to let go.

Your destiny is only yours; only you can pursue it. There are, though, things and people who will help you find what you seek. One must cease to live in the past; one must hope for a future. That is my f
Sep 17, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: mock-newberry
Baz is looking forward to getting out of his small town just like his two older brothers. So, when a stranger comes along to offer him an apprenticeship, he takes it. Turns out, the master is cruel and life outside his town is no better. Baz is eventually traded for a sword and his life finally starts to have some meaning. His adventures begin. There are sandstorms, earthquakes, and robbers to deal with.

Baz is an interesting character, but the story moves along slowly. There is enough drama and
Jun 01, 2015 Crusoe rated it it was amazing
The book The Magicians Apprentice written by Kate Banks is a book that will “lock” onto you and at no time will let you stop reading until you finish the book. The Magicians Apprentice will make you feel full of despair, joyous, and will help you see life in a different way, and of coarse, magic and adventure. This is a book that will truly keep you expressing that you need to finish and wrap-up the book. Beyond doubt this is one of my favorites. I honestly like this book because it helped me s ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Ryan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Katherine, Diane
Baz leaves the gentle pattern of life at home to start his apprenticeship as a weaver. His master is cruel, and Baz loses good friends, begins to lose himself. The master attempts to sell Baz to soldiers, but Baz is instead 'purchased' by a traveling man who becomes Baz's teacher and friend. Which is one way of describing someone's life. It misses all the small moments of richness that no one ever notices, but that fill in the color of our lives.

The book could also be a description of all of us
Nov 26, 2013 Patty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, readin-13
I expected more from this book but it could be that I really was just turned off by the reader. The story does have a lot of philosophizing which is read in a very pompous way which seemed very tedious and made me roll my eyes in the same way I do when I read some self-help books.
I will have to get the actual book and test out my hypothesis. I noticed that the book has a very good illustrator as well, so that might change my opinion of it's value.
This makes me realize that a really good reader c
Aug 01, 2014 Sonja rated it liked it
That was just odd. It was a sweet, philosophical journey, but not a story I could imagine successfully handselling to the intended middle-grade reader audience. There's a boy who longs for adventure who is sold to a cruel carpetmaker and later to a kindly magician. They go on a journey to the top of the mountains. This sounds like a pretty jolly adventure, but it's just not. There is an almost total lack of adventure. Mostly, Baz and the magician just sort of stroll along and they encounter peop ...more
Feb 19, 2013 Lncropper rated it it was ok
My husband and I listened to this on a road trip. It is very short--just 3 CDs. I expect it is intended as a book for teens.

I liked the story, but you have to buy into a lot of coincidences and occult magic that I don't buy. Still, it was entertaining, and if it's for older kids, there are positive lessons to be learned from what the boy in the story experiences. It's certainly better than another vampire story!
Jul 15, 2016 Brownd2 rated it it was amazing
reminded me of a younger version of Coelho's "The Alchemist"...fabulous read...some favorites: "You must use your mind & not let it use you." (p. 137)..."Nothing is certain...that is an illusion." (p.174)..."Water is has the ability to transform we all do." (p.180)..."Something is always happening...people just don't notice." (p.182)..."One can destroy the body, but no one can destroy the soul. That is eternal." (p.189)!!!
Aug 06, 2012 GraceAnne rated it really liked it
I found this thoughtful and full of Buddhist teachings. I am not sure it is really a book for children, although there are certainly children who would find it compelling. I was more concerned, despite its beautiful prose, with the lack of female characters and agency. If this is a parable, or an allegory, or even a simple teaching tale, all of the action is still performed by men and boys, and that disturbed me greatly.
Aug 28, 2015 Kfhoz rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Might be an OK book, but meant to get Magician: Apprentice (The Riftwar Saga, #1) by Raymond E. Feist.

I did not finish after reading to many period inaccuracies and misrepresentations of what horses can do combined with a very plain narrative.

One horse cannot carry two grown men riding double all day for a few days in a row. Sugar was as precious as spices right up until recent centuries, and peasant type people would not own any at all, much less feed it to a horse.
Brindi Michele
Aug 18, 2012 Brindi Michele rated it liked it
Shelves: ys-new-2012, juvenile
I found this book to be a reflection and mixture of Christianity and a yoga experience. It's something completely different than anything out there for children (from what I have read...). Instead of fantasy and celebrity non-sense, it's about finding the real you, enjoying the journey, and owning your peace. It was a very relaxing book, but it did drag on at the end, and I hope some children will choose to read it.
Aug 05, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-ya
Young Baz is purchased by a weaver, but finds his true calling when he is in turn sold to a wandering magician/mystic. The plot is secondary to the Teachings in this little (and very finely made) book---and there are strong, sound threads of Zen Buddhism and Taoist philosophy throughout. Children probably aren't the natural audience for it but there is all sorts of timeless wisdom to be found here.
Oct 04, 2012 Karin rated it liked it
Odd little middle grade novel (more of an teaching tool, I think) with typically exquisite illustrations by Peter Sis. Tells the story of a young man in a middle-eastern/desert setting who apprentices to a magician and unlocks many mysteries of life.
Not sure about the audience for this one, but it's pretty.
Laura Phelps
Aug 29, 2012 Laura Phelps rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2012
I am very conflicted about this one, as it is sublimely gorgeous in both text and illustration (done by Peter Sis), yet there is very little plot or character development and the pace is snail-like. I didn’t mind any of that, as the writing is poetic and the Zen-like lessons learned by the main character, Baz, are beautiful.
Sharon Lawler
The whole time I was reading this I kept thinking that it really wasn't a book for kids. It seemed like Coelho's The Alchemist, set in a new place with new characters. A comparison of their similar themes of fate and self actualization could be made, but I don't think these themes would appeal to the target audience.
Feb 05, 2015 Sally rated it it was ok
Shelves: jf
Promising. Perhaps I would enjoy it another time. There was a sort of timelessness to the narration. Snippets, vignettes. Happy ending, which is a must. I got lost in the middle, right about where the boy-becoming-a-man ends up in an Oliver-Twist situation, which, sadly, is a literary trigger for me to close the book. I was so intrigued that I skimmed the rest and the enjoyed the end.
Jun 25, 2015 Marisa rated it really liked it
Not what I was expecting. I kept waiting for some magic, some brooms, buckets, angry magician...nothing. Just the connections between people, places and things. Deeply philosophical. Either you like it or you don't.
Sep 18, 2012 Nadine rated it liked it
Thought-provoking book, even if a little reminicent of some other "find yourself" books. Not as good as The Alchemist, but more simple. Maybe a little too simple.

Might be a good book-group book. VERY quick read.
Jul 21, 2013 Katelynn rated it it was amazing
Despite some of the low ratings I saw for this book I must say it is a nice little read. I enjoyed how philosophical it could be and the quotes that spoke wisdom so true! Traveling along with Baz was a delight and the words flowed like that of the river.
Samuel Fletcher
Jul 08, 2014 Samuel Fletcher rated it liked it
this kind of reminds me of a kid's version of "Sidartha". It's good, but a little "eh" for some reason.
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Kate Banks has written many books for children, among them Max’s Words, And If the Moon Could Talk, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and The Night Worker, winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award. She grew up in Maine, where she and her two sisters and brother spent a lot of time outdoors, and where Banks developed an early love of reading. “I especially liked picture books,” she says, “an ...more
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