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Steel Magic (The Magic Books #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  375 Ratings  ·  15 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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A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Last Unicorn by Peter S. BeagleJames and the Giant Peach by Roald DahlWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Best Fantasy of the 60s
33rd out of 50 books — 45 voters
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. WhiteThe Squire's Tale by Gerald MorrisThe Lost Years by T.A. BarronThe Grey King by Susan CooperMerlin's Dragon by T.A. Barron
Arthurian Fiction for Children
59th out of 93 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
Oct 09, 2007 Ariel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood-books
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!
Sheryl Tribble
Feb 01, 2016 Sheryl Tribble rated it liked it
Read this when I was a kid, and this time through I missed the Robin Jacques illos. Tracked them down on the 'net, so now I'm happy.

As with Fur Magic, the main characters are thrown into another world where their actions are magically guided -- they just "know" they need to do this or that -- which to me gives such a feeling of inevitability the whole experience seems kind of meaningless. We're told the characters grow or change or lose their fear or whatnot, but I don't find the change very co
Jun 28, 2012 Jessie rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 23, 2013 Magda rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 30, 2011 Jean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, children-s
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.
Feb 23, 2014 Wilson E. Stevens Sr. rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 16, 2016 Colin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steel Magic

Another in the series of magic books this is a strong well written story. Based on the myths and legends of Arthurian tales plus it is an interesting twist of plot. A god read.
Carlos JP Navia
Feb 12, 2010 Carlos JP Navia rated it liked it
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.
May 26, 2009 Val rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 25, 2009 L. rated it liked it
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.
Feb 26, 2008 Katie rated it it was ok
I remember being unimpressed with this, but it wasn't bad.
Gray Magic by Norton (1972)
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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 (7 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)
  • Dragon Mage

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