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Steel Magic (The Magic Books #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  338 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Avalon's Last Stand
In woods near Hudson Valley, Sara, Greg, and Eric Lowry are magically transported to Avalon. Huon, Warden of the West warns Avalon stands between Dark and man; if Avalon falls, so does Earth. Darkness stole the three talismans that protect Avalon - King Arthur's sword Excalibur; Merlin's ring; and Huon's horn. The children quest for the tokens of power.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 13th 2005 by Starscape (first published August 1965)
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I love Andre Norton - she was amazing for her prolificacy (is that the right word?) if nothing else. And I have a ton of her stuff, and some of it I really love. I hadn't read any of The Magic Books before, so I started one on a long train ride today.

Sadly, I wasn't impressed - I don't think this is one of her best works... it's a rather mediocre story about 3 kids who end up in Avalon and have to help retrieve 3 magical talismans: Merlin's ring, Huon's horn, and Excalibur. And... that's about
Oh piss off! What's with the fancy modern cover and "Steel" instead of "Gray"?!

Seriously. I read an original-edition paperback of this book, titled "Gray Magic", which was originally my mother's when she was a kid. I loved this book; it's honestly great for a bored seven year old stuck in her grandmother's house for two weeks in the summer. Wasn't sure what to do with the other 13 days, but this provided magic for one whole day.

And now it's all shiny and new and with a real-as-life cover. Pah!
Ok, I love kids books and always rate them as what they are - for kids. But this one was so simple it was almost insulting. Scratch that - it WAS insulting. There was no point, no "magic" to the magic, no character development, no real struggle. I love kid's fantasy - Lloyd Alexander, Edward Eager, Levine, etc - this, however, was.....well, you get the point.
Much too cutesy for an adult, but maybe the kidlets would find it exciting. I'd still rather start them with something better, like The Once and Future King.
This is the book that got me reading science fiction/fantasy.
None of these editions seems to be the one I have, which is a hardcover, is from World Press, is labeled 'copyright 1965', and contains the Robin Jacques illustrations. The cover illustration is wrong from the start. The 'horses of the wind' are clearly described as having batlike wings--those depicted have avian wings.

So let me get this straight. These talismans will be used to harm, whoever has them. The only difference is WHO they will harm. Seems like the logical thing to do is destroy them,
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
This is a good young adult or children's book. It contains limited magic, and problems each of the 3 children must overcome in order to succeed in their quest. The success of their quests changes them forever for the better, and sets an example for others to follow in their lives as we go about our day to day tasks. This is a simple and fast read, and held my interest at 70, though I read it the first time when I was around 22 or 23 years old.
Carlos JP Navia
I remember enjoying this book when I was much younger, although all I can recall about it now is how I thought it both absurd and fantastic that these kids, the main characters, could have wound up in a setting where the silverware stood taller than they were.
I first read this and loved it when I was a kid. 91? I just reread it. It was still good, but not as great as I remembered.
I liked this better as a kid than I did rereading it as an adult. I suppose though, that that is only to be expected.
MB (What she read)
The version I remember reading had absolutely wonderful illustrations by Robin Jacques throughout.
I remember being unimpressed with this, but it wasn't bad.
Gray Magic by Norton (1972)
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What's The Name o...: Siblings go to magic land, have magic silverware [s] 3 22 May 21, 2013 12:57PM  
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

The Magic Books (6 books)
  • Octagon Magic (The Magic Series, #2)
  • Fur Magic (The Magic Series, #3)
  • Dragon Magic (The Magic Series, #4)
  • Lavender-Green Magic (The Magic Series, #5)
  • Red Hart Magic (The Magic Series, #6)
The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles, #1) Elvenblood (Halfblood Chronicles, #2) Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3) Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1) The Time Traders (Time Traders/ Ross Murdock, #1)

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