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The Wizards of Once

(The Wizards of Once #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  9,409 ratings  ·  1,615 reviews
From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon comes an exciting high-adventure series - set in an ancient, magical time, full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites. #1 Sunday Times Bestseller Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and ...more
Paperback, 455 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by Hachette Children's Group (first published October 3rd 2017)
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Bella Oh, I DNF the book, but if Tennant's reading the audiobook, I'd sign up to that!…moreOh, I DNF the book, but if Tennant's reading the audiobook, I'd sign up to that!(less)
Doris Four, with the final book planned to release in November 2020.
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,409 ratings  ·  1,615 reviews

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The audiobook is narrated by David Tennant and was an Odyssey Award Honoree, and I can see why!

Not only is Tennant so fun as the reader, but there are musical interludes and sound effects. And it's a very fun story, too! I really liked the descriptions of the magic and the people, not to mention the magical creatures. And who knew that a spoon could make a great pet?!

July 2018: Road trippin' with my sister and my three kids, made them all listen to it!
Spencer Orey
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-fantasy
Wacky MG fantasy focused on humor and some twists.

The form of illustrations mixed with text worked mostly great (it's rad that the author drew and wrote everything—total creative control like that is a real dream). The story was a bit generic but fun. And while I found the main two characters to be pretty bland and unlikable, the supporting characters were way more imaginative. There's a really thoughtful giant. There are young sprites called hairy fairies that are pretty funny. Whatever's goin
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adorable book. Illustrations that have a sarcastic wit to them which I always love. It’s a children’s book so of course it’s a quick read for an adult. It was a wonderful story though. I find that I love great books no matter their intended audience. Madeleine L’Engle said that she simply wrote A WRINKLE IN TIME. She didn’t write it for children or adults. She simply wrote it. I find my life is endlessly enriched by all sorts of books.

Back to this book. Did I mention adorable? There are two side
Gavin Hetherington
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sizzling with magic and wonder in a brilliant world that has completely sucked me in! I cannot wait to read more from this series.

A boy wizard who can't seem to find his magic and a warrior princess who has a knack for adventure cross paths in a world where wizards and warriors are mortal enemies. Long ago, Witches existed, and they are the most evil and most terrifying beings to ever walk the Earth. Are they back?

I was so engrossed in this wonderful story. The illustrations were so great to go
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
“Surely, just because SOME Magic is bad, it doesn't mean that ALL Magic is bad?”

Wizards, warriors, sprites, witches, giants and lots more. Where do I sign up!?!?!

I've had the pleasure of reading this story twice now and I thoroughly enjoyed it both times. Wizards of Oncefeatures a young girl warrior and a young boy wizard. They are both complete and utter failures and outcasts in their tribes eyes but are constantly trying to prove their worth, for better or worse.

The boy, Xar is a
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cressida Cowell is best known for her, “How to Train Your Dragon,” series, which was a big hit with my thirteen year old son, when he was younger. My ten year old daughter has never really shown interest in those books, but she read this very happily and enjoyed it immensely. The cover attracted her, with the words, “Once there was Magic…” intriguingly written across the back of the book.

The story revolves around the conflict of a young wizard boy, named Xar, whose magic has not yet arrived at
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was so cute!! I really enjoyed it! My one complaint (and I'm not sure if it's because of anything with the book or if it's just because it's middle grade) is that I didn't really connect with any of the characters. I kind of found my indifferent on what actually happened to them. But I still enjoyed the story and there were a bunch of twists that I didn't seem coming that kept me entertained! I still recommend this, especially to people who like fantasy stories and stories aimed at yo ...more
3.5 stars.

This was funny, scattered and bonkers. I still can't really tell you what the plot was, other than it involved a bit of special magic and witches, but the characters are an absolute delight.

Wish is a warrior princess. But not a very good one. In fact, she's a bit of a disappointment to her mother the Queen, because she's a little.... odd. I mean, her only friend is an enchanted spoon. Xar is a wizard. Or he should be - except he has no magic. Wish and Xar should be mortal enemies, rai
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.5-4 Stars] I flew through this one! This is the first book I've read in months, and it fit the bill completely. I needed something quick and fun, which is what this was. I enjoyed the magic and the conversations that, to me, seemed to touch on ethnocentrism. The warriors and the wizards have been enemies for so long that the main characters are starting to question if it's fair to judge an entire group of beings based on some preconceived notions that their respective societies have given the ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I anticipated. The writing wasn't that good, the charcaters weren't special. The world and the atmosphere was great but I don't think this was the strongest magic book I've read. ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
"This is the problem with adventures. They bring out parts of you that you never ever knew were there."

3.5 stars. That was entertaining!
This book is set in a world where there were wizards who are Magic and warriors who are not. But our two main characters, Xar, who is a Wizard, doesn't have any magical ability. And Wish, who is a Warrior princess, tries to hide her magical objects, because she doesn't believe that magical things are harmful.

The book was entertaining definitely, but there we
Sep 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I expected nothing and still, it disappointed me at the highest level.
I've been seduced in store by the fame of the author, the promise of original drawings and a magical middle grade story. In the end, I suffered for almost 400 pages of a boring plot punctuated by lazy drawings.
The story itself could have been ok (and here I don't say "good", I say "ok") but it was not worth the volume and could have been told in less than 150 pages. There is no need to waste time and space to tell endlessly th
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
”Magic can never be destroyed, it can only be hidden.”

This was a quick and fun read about a young boy, Xar of a Wizards guild and a young girl, Wish from a Warriors guild. They are destined to hate one another but end up bumping into each other and working together through an unheard of situation - especially since witches are supposed to be extinct but Xar and Wish stumble across one...

They come together and ignore what they’ve been taught about the other guild to fight through the situatio
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow this book started with a bang and ended with one. This is a story of finding out who you are and finding friends in unlikely people. It’s not about where someone comes from but who they are inside.
This is a story full of magic, adventures and loads of different beings just trying to survive.
The writing was so easy to get in to and kept me gripped the whole time.
Will be picking up the next one straight away. Can’t wait to get the other two for Christmas 💝
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I love this story. It's funny and really interesting. I really love when the characters are cursing or latah... ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find myself shying away from Middle Grade novels more often than not because I tend to find them a bit juvenile for my tastes, and I know that's the point but I just generally don't enjoy them.

I absolutely loved this one. I loved the plot, the characters, and the low key hidden meanings and social commentary. I think that it is a fun story for children, especially around the Halloween season, but I also think that it can teach kids a lot.

It's a fun plot, a world where wizards are being killed
2.5 stars

DNF @ 60%. Idk this just felt flat for me. I was bored and the characters weren’t super interesting. The only thing that made me get this far was David Tenant’s narration (flip pin’ AMAZING) but I can’t do it anymore.
Chris Callaghan
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crackling with magic, adventure and humour. But it was the wonderful characters and they way they collided with each other that made this so much fun.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
1.) The Wizards of Once ★★★★★
2.) Twice Magic ★★★★
3.) Knock Three Times ★★★★
4.) Never and Forever [ON TBR]


“Keep hoping, keep guessing, keep dreaming.”

representation: none that i can remember!

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


ohhhhh this was so much fun. the audiobook is narrated by david tenant and is just FANTASTIC! The way this is formatted with all the pictures and different fonts and stuff
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

▪Plot 4.75/5
▪Details 4.75/5
▪Characters 2.5/5
▪World building 4.75/5
▪Magic system 4/5
▪Logic 4.5/5
▪Enjoyment 4.5/5

▪Narrator 4.75/5

I listened to an audio book and a narrator was amazing. However, it was annoying sometimes, because of all the accents. But still very good, tho. I like the old raven especially. ♡

The world building, magic system are really nice, something similar, but different at the same time.

But but.. The main problem for me that I didn't care for characters at all. I felt not
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't guess the narrator of the story
Guess I'll have to find out when the next book comes out...
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best-of-best
This book is without a doubt one of the best books I've read in 2018!

I actually bought this book for my little sisters.
'It's just a children's book,' I thought. 'I will probably think it's really silly.'
But a couple of days before I was going to give it to my sisters, I read the first page myself. I also read the second, third, fourth page,.... and I LOVED it! So instead of giving it to my little sisters, I read the book to them so we could all read it together.

We laughed, got frustrated and a
Toria (some what in hiatus)
This didn't quite work for me, couldn't get invested in it. The writing wasn't bad but not my cup of tea ...more
I am so disappointed.

I enjoyed the entire How to Train Your Dragon series immensely. There were some weaker volumes, but for the most part, I completely forgot I was listening to books intended for children and enjoyed them for what they were - magical entertainment.

This book, unfortunately, seems to have been relying on nostalgia to pull it through. It makes several references that those who've read HtTYD will recognize, but fails on almost everything that its predecessor did well - characteri
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This might be my newest favorite children's book. I've always been a fan of the fun, witty writing found in Cowell's "How to Train Your Dragon" series and that allure drew me to this book as well. Needless to say, she did not disappoint. That same prose of writing can be found within the pages of this book, from the way the characters interact with one another to "The Unknown Narrator" who speaks directly to the reader at certain times throughout. There is a tiny spark of magic hidden within the ...more
Ms. Yingling
Public library copy

In Ancient Briton, there is the magic son of a Wizard, Xar, and the daughter of the queen of the Warriors, Wish. Xar has no magic, and Wish wants to embrace magic, even though her people are against it and are trying to remove all of it from the world. Xar is trying to get some magic, and thinks that it is a good idea to mix the blood on a sword that Wish has with his own blood. He's a bit unsure whose blood it is, but it turns out to be from a witch. Witches are terribly dang
This is the problem with adventures. They bring out parts of you that you never even knew were there.

I loved this so much! I've been a fan of Cressida Cowell since I first read through the How to Train Your Dragon books, so I'll admit I was nervous picking this up, especially because I didn't really fall in love with HTTYD until the later books. But I'm happy to report that I was instantly sucked in to this madcap adventure full of wizards and warriors and magic witch-killing swords. David Tenna
Shahirah Loqman
You can view more reviews at: https://booklovesreviews.wordpress.com/

Thank you Pansing Malaysia for the proof copy in exchange of an honest review*

I received a proof copy of Cressida Cowell's upcoming new series The Wizards of Once. Famous for her works in the How to Train Your Dragon series, in which movie I loved by the way, I was super excited to read this. I rarely read Children's books. Their language and plot are a bit simpler than that of Middle Grade. So in an attempt to properly review
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By mistletoe and leafmod and ginger sideburns of the great grim ogre....This was so cute, magical, creative and entertaining! I love every single character, specially Wish and Squeezjoos!!! I listened the audiobook and read the ebook at the same time and David Tennant did an EXCELLENT job at narrating this! and the soooong THERE'S A SOOOOONG!!!! * *sigh* * so good! At the end felt a bit reminiscent of How to train your Dragon (It's by the same author btw), how the family issues got solved and wr ...more
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Cressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She was convinced that there were dragons living on this island, and has been fascinated by dragons ever since. She has a BA in English Literature from Oxford University, a BA in Graphic Design from St Martin's and an MA in Narrative Illustration from Brighton. Cressida loves illustrating her own w ...more

Other books in the series

The Wizards of Once (4 books)
  • Twice Magic (The Wizards of Once #2)
  • Knock Three Times (The Wizards of Once #3)
  • Never and Forever (The Wizards of Once #4)

News & Interviews

The American South has produced some Hall of Fame literary superstars: William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Harper Lee, Wendell Berry. And...
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“You do have to listen to the stories, for stories always mean something. The question that worries me is: WHAT exactly do they mean?” 15 likes
“Once there was magic, wandering free
in roads of sky and paths of sea
and in that timeless long gone hour
words of nonsense still had power
doors still flew and birds still talked
witches grinned and giants walked
we had magic wands and magic wings
and we lost our hearts to impossible things
Unbelievable thoughts, unsensible ends
for wizards and warriors might be friends.

In a world where impossible things are true, I don't know why we forgot the spell
when we lost the way
how the forest fell
but now we are old, we can vanish too.

And I see once more the invisible track
that will lead us home and take us back
so find your wands and spread your wings
I'll sing your love of impossible things
and when you take my vanished hand, we'll both go back to that magic land
where we lost our hearts
several lifetimes ago
when we were wizards, once.”
More quotes…