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The Voyage to Magical North

(The Accidental Pirates #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  626 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter.

When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they bl
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  626 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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m a r y l i z
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my kind of book.

Just by reading the synopsis, I had the feeling this book would be awesome. And was it?

Was it, you ask?

Yes. Yes, it was.

Lovely Things:


- Okay, seriously. This book was so fun. It was whimsical and quirky and hilarious and action-packed...basically all the things I love in a book. I had a hard time believing this was Claire Fayers's first book, honestly. It was packed with creativity.

- The setting. This is a fantasy book, but it also has pirates and ch
Victoria Coe
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I adored The Voyage to Magical North! Based on the title, I was expecting an exciting adventure filled with magic. This book very definitely delivers!

But I was not expecting a hilarious story centered on characters who stole my heart. Or a book that asks the all-important question: Can you be BOTH a librarian AND a pirate?

The Voyage to Magical North is a fun, funny, thrilling story full of emotion that I highly recom
Casey Lyall
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Voyage to Magical North is a delightful read! It takes the reader on an exciting journey filled with fun, adventure, magic, and PIRATES. The characters are engaging and the world that Claire Fayers has created is amazing. It's one of those books that has quickly become a friend I will want to revisit time and time again.
Kali Wallace
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, what an absolutely delightful book this is! It is pure adventure from beginning to end, with lovable characters and fantastical dangers and pitch-perfect humor, and of course pirates and sea monsters and magic, everything an adventure story needs. It's the perfect way to be swept away to a magical, exciting place for a few hours in a warm, funny celebration of imagination and storytelling and adventure.

Brine and Peter are wonderful characters who go through a touching and believable process
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All aboard the Onion! The finest ship to sail the seas.

Wow! Let me count the ways I love this book.

1. Brine Seaborne is a fantastic heroine. I love her zest for adventure and her passion for books. (and what a GREAT name)

2. There's a merry band of pirates! They're on a ship called the Onion! How great is that?? (also, this book is an onion because there are so many awesome layers to the story!)

3. There are sea monsters! (really scary ones) There are creepy birds! (really creepy - also a few ni
A funny adventurous middle grade read. A lot is happening (sometimes a bit too quickly) but I liked it nonetheless. Brine and Peter are great characters and had some nice character development. I will read the sequel for sure, I have a feeling I could like it even more - now that the roles/group dynamics are established. (++ for the short chapters intro info facts, songs and of course the recipes of a gourmet pirate :D)
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic! Seriously, I don't know how you could look at the cover of The Voyage to Magical North and not immediately want to add it to your reading list. Look at that cover! It screams danger, adventure, and pirates. What more could you want? Better still, it absolutely delivers on every single one of those promises. Are you looking for a wild and magical adventure, fraught with danger? Claire Fayers has you covered.

Brine and Peter quickly became two of my new favorite characters.
Sarah Shoo
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, mg, arc
First, my piddly complaint: If you're going to base some of your geography/fauna on real life, then make it real. Polar bears ("invisible bears") and penguins ("tuxedo birds") don't live together.

But, man, I loved this book. It was fun and meaningful, and all the characters were fantastic. I want to be Cassie O'Pia when I grow up.

This book is an adventure, but it's also about identity and how stories, the narrative, shapes our perception. It's about the importance of knowing who you are and be
Lois Sepahban
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to read an advanced copy of The Voyage to the Magical North.

I couldn't put it down! The characters are so much fun--Brine, Peter, Cassie, Ewan, Tom. I loved their complicated friendships and conflicting loyalties.

I can't wait to read more of their adventures!
Suze Lavender
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brine was found at sea and she doesn't have any memories of what happened before that. The only possession she had was a piece of starshell, which is being used for spell casting, and that was taken from her. She's living with a magician and works for him as a housemaid. Brine is twelve years old and she's used to being treated badly, but her situation has an advantage too, she can read the books from his library. The magician has one apprentice, a boy Brine's age named Peter. He's arrogant and ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brine doesn't remember where she came from, and Peter is an aspiring magician with a terrible mentor. They don't get along, but they're willing to help each other run away. Escaping their life with no prospects leads to misfit pirates, a great but cruel magician, and a fantastic adventure to the magical pole of the world. It's part Jules Verne, part Pirates of the Caribbean, and part Harry Potter--and all the best parts of each.

There's a lot to like in this story. The characters--even the villai
Lee Malone
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and engaging tale -- I loved all the characters, even the villian, and was totally captivated by the way magic worked in this wonderfully thought out world. Everyone from Brine, a would-be pirate girl with a mysterious past, to the strange librarians living on their own island, was compelling. There are also many great flashes of humor amid all the swashbuckling. Kids will love this story!

(I recieved an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review)
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
A magical pirate adventure - what's not to love? I was intrigued when I saw the cover... I was looking forward to a fun-filled voyage to Magical North. Alas, I got lost at sea.

I'm not sure exactly how I feel about this book. It was hard to connect with the characters and the story could not hold my attention, which is too bad. It would have been a fun-filled voyage across the sea with a band of merrymakers. Instead, I was lost at sea, stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Kayla Charisse
Simply put, I ADORED this! The story is action-packed from start to finish, the world-building is beautifully carved within the plot, and the characters climb their way inside your heart and stay there. This middle grade adventure is now a personal favorite for sure, and I can't wait to read the sequel! ...more
Grace T
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun middle-grade read. I actually laughed out loud when Tom shouted, "The seagulls! The seagulls are coming!" I see what you did there.... xD ...more
Elizabeth Mathis
Twelve-year-old Brine Seaborne is a girl with a past--if only she could remember what it is. Found alone in a rowboat as a child, clutching a shard of the rare starshell needed for spell-casting, she's spent the past years keeping house for an irritable magician and his obnoxious apprentice, Peter.

When Brine and Peter get themselves into a load of trouble and flee, they blunder into the path of the legendary pirate ship the Onion. Before you can say "pieces of eight," they're up to their necks i
I wasn't sure what to rate this one. It was a good book, had lots of good elements, but....

There was Peter. At first I didn't quite see why I was struggling with this book so much, it took me almost 4 days to get through the book. And then I saw why. Peter. Always Peter. I have decided to stick to a 4 star rating, -1 for Peter. 4 stars because it was still a good story, but it could have been so much better if the story focused solely on Brine. Or maybe even Tom (Girl). I loved both those charac
Carina Olsen
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm unsure how to describe this book. I wrote a little bit in my preview review, but trying now to write even more. I'm pretty glad that I decided to read this book. Because I fell in love with Brine and Peter. And I liked the writing in this book a whole bunch. It is a fast read. I do wish it had been longer, though. But oh, it was pretty exciting. A bit dark too, which I loved. While I had some issues with the beginning, I grew to like this book a whole bunch. Still, a three star for me, but I ...more
Sarah Reida
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I feel so honored to have been able to read this amazing book before it hits shelves in July!

VOYAGE is amazing - it is fast-paced, fun, with vibrant characters that get themselves into some truly unique pickles. Brine and and Peter are two children who escape from Tallis, an cruel magician. When they take his boat, they find themselves on the high seas, soon rescued by Cassie Pia, whose reputation as a fearsome and lovely pir
4.5 stars. An energetic adventure with magic and pirates, following a boy and a girl trying to build a new life.

Brine is a magician's servant. When he wants to trade her, she decides to run away, accompanied by the magician's apprentice, even if she doesn't like him at all. At sea, they encounter a pirate ship and are accepted on board. They'll have a big adventure in icy waters, with magic, books and dangerous creatures.

I picked the book after reading the first chapter that felt nice but nothin
Margot Harrison
This is a wonderful, inventive, uproariously funny adventure story that reminded me of a cross between a Hollywood pirate blockbuster, the fantasy novels of Diana Wynne Jones, and The Phantom Tollbooth. The world is cleverly drawn, the characters have depth and growth, the magical system is unique and compelling, and, most importantly, it's FUN.

That's not to say this is a light, wacky fantasy overall. In fact, I was surprised and impressed by how high the stakes rose by the end — far higher than
Heather Brown
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
The Voyage to Magical North will be loved by all adventurous kids everywhere! Brine Seaborne is an amazing and amusing heroine with no memory of her past. She was taken in by a grumpy magician to work as his servant, but she dreams of escaping to find the answers to her past. When she and the magician's apprentice, Peter, run away to escape a life with another irritable old man, they get into more trouble than they ever expected--pirates, evil magicians, invisible bears, and even a dragon! This ...more
Rebecca Ross
I absolutely ADORED this book.

THE VOYAGE TO MAGICAL NORTH is perhaps one of the best MG fantasies I have read in a good long while. From the first chapter, no wait...from the first chapter header, which reads: LAWS OF MOTION, NUMBER ONE: A moving object will continue in a straight line unless something happens to knock it off its course. Some say this is also true of stories. I was charmed and hooked.

This is a story about Brine Seaborne, a girl who cannot remember her past, and Peter, a mag
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is such a cute middle-grade book! I loved the adventure, which is not only exciting and original but also FUNNY (middle-grade funny, but still funny!). Plus there's pirates.

This is very much a story about the importance of stories, which I am such a sucker for. Fayer's world is fun and whimsical and overall just such a delight to read.

Definitely recommend this for young readers!

Holy crap! I had forgotten what reading an excellent book was like!
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay first of all, what a kicker of a plot and worldbuilding and hook for the next book, amirite?

Second of all, this is doing some fascinating things with character growth. When it started out, everyone was selfish and didn't know how to work with each other (for good reason, to be fair), while still being quite likeable, so any time anyone extended a hand to another person I was there waving flags and cheering.

Third of all, the adults were Also selfish and likeable, but it's a bit different w
Andrew Blok
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun! More fun now that I see it's billed as #1, which implies there are more to come, right?

A fun new take on magic. A cast of lovable characters and a villain who, while definitely evil, is fun in his own way. Surprising turns of event and conversation. This book has all the makings of a fun! read. It was indeed fun. You should read it.

What's working against this book for me is that I first heard it in the context of Newbery buzz. I don't think this book will win a Newbery. I don't actually kn
C.J. Milbrandt
Two orphans run away from their employer, only to be captured by pirates. Magical shells and apprentice magicians. Messenger gulls and gourmet pirates. Famous explorers and infamous villains. Friendly rivalry and the Ballad of Cassiopeia.

How lovely to discover a story that seems to include all of my favorite things! Fanciful world-building and little comedic twists. An ensemble cast who are vividly themselves. And just enough temptation and peril to keep the voyage zinging long nicely. I especi
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Appropriate for: age 11+

Melisa Blok
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the better YA books I've read this year, but not reaching the wonderfulness of last years' Newberry winners. Still, a great story about Brine, Peter, pirates, and magic. ...more
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Please note: I don't often visit Goodreads so I don't accept friend requests and I'm unlikely to see questions posted here. If you'd like to get in touch, please send me a message through my website.

Claire Fayers writes comic fantasy featuring swashbuckling pirates, evil magicians, heroic librarians and man-eating penguins. She grew up in South Wales, studied English in Canterbury, and is now back

Other books in the series

The Accidental Pirates (2 books)
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