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Mairelon The Magician (Mairelon #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  6,415 ratings  ·  245 reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Kim, a streetwise girl who disguises herself as a boy, and Mairelon, an itinerant magician who dresses as a dandy, share adventures in an alternate Regency England that is populated with sorcerers and riddled with magic.
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published April 15th 2002 by Turtleback Books (first published April 15th 1991)
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I saw that someone on my Goodreads list had put this book up and I thought, "Hey, I think I have that on my shelf somewhere." Sure enough, it was there. I don't know where I got it, I've had it for years and never read it. It was either something I inherited from my mom's collection of books when she was downsizing or it was a gift from my aunt who is a librarian and has given me many cool books over the years.

Anyway, one night Seth and I were looking for something to read aloud together. We had
This book felt so thoroughly mediocre. Which is unusual, I think. Most books have something that make them stand out more (in good or bad ways!), but this felt like just a collection of things that I like well enough, but that never became more than that.

Like, Regency era with magic! Orphan girl falls in with mysterious magician! But it never really sparked for me. There was stuff that was supposed to be all farce-like, but . . . it's not even that it felt flat. It was just THERE. Mediocre.

Oh we
Suzanne Vincent
I wish I had a ton of good things to say about Mairelon the Magician, but I don't. In fact, I did something with this book that I have NEVER done with a book before--I gave up on it in the middle of the climax.

*If you aren't interested in scathing reviews, stop here!*

I had just slogged through a cliched 'gather all the usual suspects into one room' scene that was loooooong, boring, and confusing, with a good dozen characters (many of them called by more than one name) running around in the dark,
Denae Christine
I was quite disappointed with this book, mostly because I loved PCW's Enchanted Forest Chronicles and this book wasn't nearly as good. It had loads of potential, with Kim going from gutter thief to a crime-solving magician. But it didn't deliver.

1st, it was third person, and I feel the story would have been stronger from inside Kim's head. Do much of the story is about the old guy Mairelon anyway, and I wish the story was actually about the main character instead.
2nd, Mairelon seems like a girl'
When Kim is caught snooping in the wagon of a traveling illusionist, she's shocked that her target reacts by offering her a job. Helping Mairelon on stage sounds like the perfect way of getting out of town for a bit, but it soon becomes clear that the man she's joined up with is no ordinary performer.

This one got off to a promising start with Kim's introduction to Mairelon and her encounters on the streets of a fantasy-world London. It's a little coincidence-heavy and I feel like I've read one t
Karen Keyte
Almost 17 (at least as near as she can tell), Kim has spent all of her life on the streets of London, living disguised as a boy and struggling just to survive. An orphan with no other means to support herself, Kim once belonged to a family of thieves but an unfortunate run-in with the law has left her more alone than ever, her taste for 'the cracking lay' utterly destroyed. Now she gets by as best she can, so she doesn't hesitate to take a commission to break into a street magician's wagon just ...more
Mar 01, 2009 Cassie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Socery and Cecelia
Kim has played the part of a thieving boy for most of her life, hiding her gender being the safer alternative to revealing herself as a girl in the dark underbelly of Regency London. But she knows this career path will soon come to an end, as at seventeen she is quickly outgrowing her disguise. When a job leads her into Mairelon the magician’s wagon, she finds real magic and an opportunity to become someone new.

Following Mairelon as he flees from the city, she quickly finds herself lost in a plo
David Ottenstein
I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. After the good reviews I thought I might go into it expecting a little much, but it delivered.

The protagonist was sympathetic and developed well during the story. The antagonists were quite dislikable, in a likable sort of way for an antagonist. That may sound strange, but I've read way too many books where the bad guys were just bad and that was all. There was some development here, and I appreciated it.

Not exactly what I was expecting, but well done a
An Odd1
"Mairelon the Magician" (1), by Patricia Wrede (already 5* for Dragon series), is a warm witty clever wizard masquerading as a caravan amateur, who plays sculptor Pygmalion to train 17ish boyish pauper Kim. To clear the toff's name, they seek a set of enspelled silver dishes and original London thieves from five years ago. I got a tad annoyed, tangled in names and relationships, shifty and silly shenanigans, lost track who said who did what where. How could interfering Lady Granleigh decide "qui ...more
Christina White
Wow, I haven't disliked a book this much in a really long time. There were too many characters and I just had no desire to keep track of them. The dialog was horrible and page after page was filled with what could have been said in less than one. I broke down and decided to skim read and then just started skipping whole pages. I would pick a page and read a few lines here and there to try and catch on what was happening and it was the same for about 50 pages!

"You have the platter??" "No.. I have
L (Sniffly Kitty)
I loved the Dragon series by Wrede, and I was hoping the same kind of wit and charm those books had would be brought to this novel. Unfortunately, this is a somewhat forgettable book (as a few days after reading it I can no longer recall much detail.

The main character Kim dresses as a boy and does various odd jobs to earn money. It was somewhat amusing to follow this character albeit only in a somewhat superficial manner. Mairelon, the other "main" character seemed a bit perfect but at least had
I read this book on a lark, hoping to finish all I can by this child-hood favorite author. And then I was happily surprised to see some of my favorite plot elements mixed together: street thieves, London in the olden days (no specific dates given, but before industry), street magicians, real occult magic, a gypsy wagon and then a mystery tossed in for fun.

I do wish that there had been more of Kim's former life as a street thief included here, as well as more illusion magic but the rest of the b
Dannica Zulestin
Probably my favorite book by Patricia Wrede, though the Enchanted Chocolate Pot comes very close. The characters feel real, particularly the two leads. I like how the plotlines intertwine, though sometimes it gets very confusing. In particular, the climax was the most confusing part of the book-and I do like me some confusing climax, as long as I can understand it if I read slowly.
The sequel was not so interesting as this book, though I still enjoyed it and I was interested to see what happened
Mairelon starts out strongly, but sort of fizzles towards the end. I felt a bit like I was losing my mind during the Lengthy Grand Reveal, when every single character in the entire book converged on a tiny hunting lodge and proceeded to try and talk one another to death for fifty pages.

But! It's a nice set-up for the sequel, and I find that if I think of it more as the first part of a single book (as it is in the recently-released A Matter of Magic) I'm much less irritated by the pacing and str
Eris Vianney
I desperately wanted to give this four stars, but the ending happened. By Jove, that was tedious.

The protagonist? FABULOUS. Kim was interesting and fun and didn't take any crap. Mairelon was enjoyable and his character complemented Kim's adorably. I ship it.

The problem was that their relationship was often pushed aside for a wordy, often confusing, and slightly boring mystery plot that culminated in one of the most boring couple of chapters I've ever had the displeasure of reading. For the first
Carolyn  K.
This was unexpected.

As a fond reader of fantasy, YA, and children's novels, I was eager to read Mairelon the Magician as it was continually recommended to me on my Goodreads account. But...

The sudden change of mind came unexpectedly and disappointingly.

I did not like it.

By all the positive responses, I was hoping to be reading a worthy, magical novel, filled with excitement and surprises.

Oppositely, I found this novel rather somewhat dull. The characters were a bit hazy in terms of personalitie
I'd really like a rating system that allows half stars, because I'd happy give this book 3.5 stars if I had the option. Generally, it's a good book--very enjoyable, fast-paced, with a sympathetic cast of characters. I definitely want to read the second book about these people.

However, I felt like a lot of the dialogue was a bit repetitive. I lost count of the times Kim referred to the "nabbing culls" as well as the number of times characters describe others as "bracket-faced morts" (if my memory
Иван Величков
Доста се изненадах, когато книжката се обърна в криминален роман, стил Агата Кристи, с ненатрапчиви елементи на магично.
Главната героиня, крадла във викториански Лондон, се запознава с панаирджийски магьосник, когото е пратена да обере. Той решава да я вземе за асистент, но се оказва, че нещата не са такива, каквито изглеждат за момичето. Фокусникът се оказва магьосник, търсещ да събере определен магически комплект съдове, в открадването на които е обвинен. Същото нещо обаче иска и половин Лондо
Oh the potential! Regency era from the perspective of a female London street urchin turned magician's apprentice. But then said urchin never does anything. She literally just watches things happen. And I couldn't keep the characters straight because there were about 57 of them, the majority of which seemed to be upper class 20ish white men.
Jul 26, 2008 Bandita rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bandita by: Amy and Neena!
Alright...more like 3.5-3.8. -shrug- I liked the ending - the last chapter. And it was decidedly entertaining...but...I don't know. I didn't like that Kim still believed that Marielon would't want her around at the end of the book. That bothered me a bit. Among other things that I just...didn't like.
But it was a good book.
Patricia Wrede has the ability to craft a world that is entirely believable - other than the fact that magic exists. In her stories magic is not of the 'magic wand cures all ills' sort. The well-developed characters have the same problems that we do, and have to work to solve them. In all of her books the protagonist is a strong woman or girl who overcomes her problems with brains and bravery.

In an alternate London, the orphan Kim is living by her wits and her skills as a thief, worrying about t
Tales Untangled
This is the kind of book I like to read on a lazy day.

The end of the book becomes a farce, and if I were to watch it on a stage it would probably make more sense. On stage you could keep track of each face rather than their names. There are four counterfeit dishes, and the original, a pair of clandestine lovers, criminals, a lord and lady, several sons of a druid order, servants, thieves, scoundrels, an undercover agents, magicians, a waif, well you get the idea. There are too many characters to
I enjoyed this book but gave it a 3 star rating for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, there are just too many characters in this book. I had to stop reading a couple of times and think about who was who. It added some to the humor of the book but I felt that the characters were just not developed enough to easily identify each one when they are mentioned.

Secondly, I didn't feel extremely invested in the story. It was a good plot but I thought that some of it moved a bit slowly. Also, (view spoiler)
Hilary Scottie
When Kim, a street urchin and sometimes thief, lands a job exploring the wagon of a magician at a fair, she wonders if it could be worth it, but convinces herself that a true magician wouldn't be caught dead working the markets. Unfortunately, Kim is caught by Mairelon the Magician, and each peaks the other's curiosity. Mairelon realizes that Kim has discovered some of his secrets in the wagon, and has skills he could learn from, so he decides to drag her along on his trip. Kim has her own reaso ...more
I have a feeling that if I'd read this book in junior high, I would have been OBSESSED with it. And, as with all of Wrede's books, there IS a lot to like about it--many of the characters (especially Kim, the main character) are vibrant and interesting, the setting is unusual, and as always, the humor is just my pace. However, the plot is convoluted (at best), and the ending fizzles a bit. I think it's hard to know which audience she wrote this for, because it's ultimately a bit immature, and so ...more
Just plain fun! Sadly, the climax took about 50 pages and wasn't very climactic at all. Still, entertaining on the whole. A quick, fun read.
Another good read - this time Patricia Wrede is looking more at the underbelly of her Victorian society with the sprinkling of real magic, although we encounter a lot of 'toffs' too.

I was fine with the use of her own version of 'thieves cant' which her characters used without explanations as, of course, they wouldn't need any. But I can see this being a bit annoying to some readers.

She handles what, at times, seemed to be a cast of thousands well, and I rarely had to stop to think who someone wa
A dash of magic, a touch of comedy, an extremely tangled plot, and Regency England? Well, "Mairelon the Magician" has it. Let's start with the plot...

The Plot: "Mairelon" stars Kim, a young street urchin disguised as a boy who is just looking to make a living when she picks up a job to case the inside of a street magician's wagon. Unfortunately for her, it turns out that Mairelon is more than what he seems, and when he offers her a deal, she agrees and becomes part of his crew and sets out on a
Kim has lived on the streets her whole life and is sharp and cunning as they come. Disguised as a boy, she lives by her wits, doing what she can to survive. When a wealthy gentleman offers her a large sum of money to case a street magician's wagon, Kim thinks it will be an easy job. She gets more than she bargained for when she becomes involved with Mairelon the Magician. Soon, Kim is on the run with Mairelon as they search for the magical Saltash Set of dinnerware and uncover a plot that could ...more
Creativity's Corner
Patricia Wrede has been a favorite of mine ever since I first read the Enchanted Forest series. I have obsessively read pretty much everything else she has written, so I was surprised when I came across one that I hadn't heard of. This one was published before I discovered her, so perhaps that's why I missed it. But, whatever the reason, I was so happy to find out I had one more to read! Anyway, the point of all this is that my absolute favorite thing about any Patricia Wrede book is her style. ...more
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  • Wren's Quest (Wren, #2)
  • The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (The Squire's Tales, #3)
  • A College of Magics (A College of Magics, #1)
  • Deep Secret (Magids, #1)
  • A Hidden Magic
  • The Perilous Gard
  • The Kestrel (Westmark #2)
Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children. She started writing in seventh grade. She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all. She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974. She finished it five years later and started her se ...more
More about Patricia C. Wrede...

Other Books in the Series

Mairelon (2 books)
  • Magician's Ward (Mairelon, #2)
Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1) Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2) Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3) Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4) Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot (Cecelia and Kate, #1)

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“Well?' Jasper said when Mairelon did not reply. 'Who are you?'
'No, no,' Mairelon said. 'I asked you first. I also, if you recall, asked how you found this place and what you intend to do here, and you haven't told me that, either.'
'We might ask you the same thing,' Jasper retorted.
'You might, but I don't recommend it,' Mairelon said. 'You'll get a reputation as a poor conversationalist if you all can do is repeat what other people say to you.”
“Master Richard!” Hunch’s voice was not loud, but it expressed volumes of scandalized disapproval.
Mairelon paused and looked up. “What is it?”
“You ain’t going to just—” Hunch stopped and looked at Kim. “Not with ‘er standing there!”
“Oh, is that all that’s bothering you?” Mairelon looked at Kim and grinned. “Turn your back, child; you’re offending Hunch’s proprieties.”
Kim flushed, as much from surprise as embarrassment, and turned away. “I ain’t no child,” she muttered under her breath.
“Under the circumstances, that’s so much the worse,” Mairelon replied cheerfully.”
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