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The Magician's Ward

(Mairelon #2)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  7,562 ratings  ·  229 reviews
Happy in her new life as an apprentice to the powerful magician Mairelon, 16-year-old Kim is horrified when a nosy relative determines to turn Kim - a former street urchin - into. . .a lady! But real trouble begins when several wizards of Kim's acquaintance disappear. Then Mairelon's magic disappears!

It's up to Kim to unravel the mystery. And to do that she will have to r
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 16th 2002 by Starscape (first published November 1st 1997)
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kat m Definitely read the first book before this one. Or you can read both at once in her book A Matter of Magic.
Barry Haworth For what it's worth, I read and thoroughly enjoyed this book without reading the first one. Years later I had the opportunity to read the two together…moreFor what it's worth, I read and thoroughly enjoyed this book without reading the first one. Years later I had the opportunity to read the two together, and did not find the first book helping with my enjoyment of the second, or indeed being anywhere near as good.
Though it appears others have different experiences.(less)

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Deborah O'Carroll
Re-read August 2018

Original review, January 2017

Georgette Heyer meets Diana Wynne Jones (though without quite the ridiculously wild shenanigans/characters and not as uproariously funny, yet still amusing in its own right) in a Jonathan-Strange-esque historical fantasy setting. Basically, this is a Regency Romance with magic. How delightful is that? :D

It’s technically a sequel... but I got along just fine without having read the first book (titled Mairelon the Magician).

Our heroine, Kim, is a for
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was excellent and carried with it all the originality I was seeking in the first one. Kim is now a magician's apprentice and ward, and so acceptable to polite society. Besides her magic lessons, she must handle her debut and endless social calls and niceties. But a singularly inept burglar suddenly brings her past back and she must work with Mairelon to save her old friends...
Perhaps because I've read/listened to so many crappy Regency novels recently, I particularly appreciated the wa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, I liked this more than the first. I liked the trapping of the Season. (I wish more of the Regency romances focused on the actual season!) But the plot wasn't great for me. And the romance didn't work for me and if you don't have that, then what's the bother of reading!?!? (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really one to use the phrase "delightful romp" and mean it, but I feel it's rather the case in this book. Unlike some of her other novels, this book is more of a story of gentry and Society - and, of course, Kim's coming out- than one of magic and mayhem, though there's a bit of that thrown in, too. If you're looking for mystical adventures, you should look somewhere else. If you'd like instead a sort of coming of age story of a female magician in Society, then you're rather in the right ...more
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Kim struggles simultaneously with her education in magic, adjusting to a new social class, discovering (and foiling) an evil plot, and falling in love with her mentor.

A good book, but lacking the originality of the first volume. I wish so many authors didn't feel that they must add romance to every story.
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite Regency romances, and one of the books that created a craving for more Regency fantasy (there isn't much, sadly). It's pure fun, but not the confectionery sugar kind: more the kind with peanuts, something substantial and sweet. The intrigue is, like the first book, twisting and convoluted and potentially deadly for everyone involved, and it never feels like an afterthought. But the part of the story that fascinated me was Kit's constant struggle to try to fit in with S ...more
Apr 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sequal to Maeirlon (spelling?) the magician. I am a sucker for romance so this book appeals to me more as the developing romance between M. and kim. Again this duet is some of my favorite books.
Re-read the last book for about the zillionth time. XD
Beth E
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I vaguely remember not being impressed by the first book in this series.
I was therefore surprised how much I liked this book.

The main character, Kim, is getting used to living with her guardian Mairelon. She is learning magic and getting used to living among the gentry.

An unknown enemy seems to be stealing magic from wizards, placing both Kim and her guardian in a precarious position.

It's funny and riveting. I really sympathized with Kim.

Great book!
if you’re in the mood for something light-hearted, filled with some good old romping fun, a cascade of tropes, or as our heroine puts it “something out of the drury lane comedy” i think you'll like this duology as much as i did. i feel like the first book reads like a middle-grade while this one is more young-adult, i guess. but it overall made me feel like a child again, giddy with excitement over how will our heroine take on this regency, magic-filled adventure. ...more
Once, just once, I would love to read a fantasy novel featuring an older male magician and his younger female protege in which they don't get together at the end.

This is not that fantasy novel, but is still an enjoyable read.
2019 - bk 414. Kim now has to dress as befitting a young lady, ward to Mairelon - I mean Merrill. She is also apprenticed to him and despite her misgivings, coming along nicely. So nicely that she has both suitors and is able to take over, with the help of his mother, the houses defenses when Merrill loses his magic. Some of the plot devices are similar to Sorcery & Cecelia in the losing of magic. It is Kim's spunkiness that saves the day in the end. I do wish there were a third book in the seri ...more
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as enjoyable as the first book! I liked seeing how Kim tried to be proper, but of course failed.

violence, sexism (challenged), death.
Mary Catelli
The sequel to Mairelon the Magician. Spoilers for that ahead.

Kim finds London, magic lessons, the prospects of a Season, and Mairelon's aunt who is effectively her chaperon much more tedious than she expected when she agreed to become his war. Though when she hears noises in the night, and goes to investigate, she not only finds a burglar, but one who is using magic. Attempting to track down what he was interested in, in the library and elsewhere, leads to more complications. A friend of Kim's f
n this sequel to Mairelon the Magician, Kim is back, this time as Mairelon's ward, and facing the previously unknown horrors of London Society! Kim enjoys her magic lessons with Mairelon but dreads Society. Chaperoned by Mairelon's strict aunt and eccentric mother, Kim is unprepared for Society's reaction to their newest debutante. She tries to appeal to her guardian, but he is mostly interested in the mysterious nighttime prowler who is attempting to steal a rare, magical book from his library. ...more
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book A LOT better than its predecessor. Namely because Kim takes control early on and doesn't let go. She gets angry when Mairelon tries to boss her around, and she admits that she'd rather end up on the street than be controlled by someone else. In another book that would end with her admitting that she needs Mairelon and should give into his wishes. Thank god this is not that book.

Instead it becomes more about both of them becoming willing to trust each other and listen and so on
Ashley Welch
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not particularly adept at writing reviews, but man. This book had me. First, don't read this unless you've read the first book, "Mairelon the Magician". Honestly, I could have used more romance and a bit more character development for more of the supporting characters, but I really loved the way things played out so I can't complain! ...more
May 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't love this quite as much as I love Mairelon the Magician, but it's a decent follow-up. The book is inherently inferior because Mairelon is present for a significantly lesser part of it, and Kim is also an extremely passive character. I wish she had rebelled a bit more against the strictures of Society, though there is one instance of rebellion that makes me laugh with glee every time. Also, reiterating what I wrote in my review of the first book, I do wish Wrede hadn't left these characte ...more
An Odd1
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun, fantasy
Mairelon's ward Kim must navigate the shoals of Society and learn spell-casting. Even minor roles are vividly drawn, with warm humor. "He only looked short because he was so round." p40 "Lord Stanton tried to look intelligent. Failing, he took another drink of brandy instead." p224
Kim returns to her old haunts, but local magickers have been threatened and taken. "The smell of coal smoke and uncollected horse dung, the sounds of drunken revelry from the public house on the corner, and most of al
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading this book was even more enjoyable than the first time through, especially since I finally had the chance to read the first book in the series, "Mairelon the Magician." I actually think "Magician's Ward" is a much stronger book, with a more interesting and clever plot, and a more entertaining blend of the highs and lows of London society. I enjoyed it immensely. Employing a witty blend of self-aware fantasy and Austen-like social commentary, Wrede has created a gem of escapist literatu ...more
My only quibble about this book is that I wish there were more Mairelon novels - or even ones about the other characters, as I'd love to read a book about Renee.

As with the other Mairelon book, Magician's Ward is a tightly written story about magic and fun characters and it ends on a high note that does tie things up neatly though I always miss the characters. Forever five stars.
Jun 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, but kids and teens in particular
This is the sequel to "Mairelon the Magician," and I like this book almost as well as the first. Kim can be whiny in parts, but overall it's a great closing of Mairelon and Kim's stories. ...more
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I basically adore Wrede, and all of her books. This one doesn't really break any new ground for her, but it doesn't really need to. It's fun and charming and wonderful. ...more
Melania Ramona
3.5 stars
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was rearranging the shelves so all the Regency fantasies are together. This romp influenced so many that have come out in the last two decades. Still holds up. And makes you wish for more.
Emma Cathryne
This one was fun. I liked it better than the first one; it managed to have the same wit and cleverness without as much of the clunky info-dumping. I am also not immune to regency romance. Magician's Ward can ALMOST stand alone as its own novel, but I would still recommend reading Mairelon the Magician before proceeding with this one, just because the payoff of events in this book is much more enjoyable with development and context from the first book, even though I believe the second book is the ...more
Kira Nerys
I should confess that I read this without reading the first of the series, and was definitely aware of it via the literary tricks to remind the reader what happened. References to the first book show up constantly. With that said, the book's slowness allowed me to get my bearings, mid-story. It also dragged. It lacked energy, speed, and excitement. Frankly, it felt like a trial run for Wrede's later collaboration, Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Almost a 5... almost!
This book only gets a high score from me because I love Mairelon and Kim so much. But it has the same problem as the first one, the ending was sort of rushed. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a fun, quick read with a cute romance.

(view spoiler)
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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

Other books in the series

Mairelon (2 books)
  • Mairelon the Magician (Mairelon, #1)

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