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The Virus of Beauty

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Wilf Gilvary is a teenage wizard who is terrified of using magic. When his father dies under mysterious circumstances, Wilf is plunged into the middle of a political struggle between the witches and wizards in the magical realm. He'd rather play soccer than practice magic, but he's forced to make a choice between the life of a normal teen and one of wizardry after a powerful virus begins to decimate the witch community. The cure is spellbound in a journal Wilf inherited from his father and when his friend Katryna contracts the virus, Wilf understands that he must overcome his fear of magic to unlock the journal's secrets - but will it be too late to save her?

240 pages, Paperback

First published July 31, 2019

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About the author

C. B. Lyall was born in Stockton-On-Tees, United Kingdom. As a child growing up in Northern England in the sixties C. B. Lyall loved sports, reading and amateur dramatics. She joined a renaissance group, practiced the broadsword and dreamed of visiting other worlds.
At the age of 18, she took a role as typist for a nursing school in Middlesbrough. She then moved to London and enrolled in night school. She was quickly recognized for her ability to fit in anywhere, willingness to take risks and passionate belief that gender should never be a barrier to achieving your dreams. She eventually became a project manager in software development and micro-computers, bridging the gap between computer programmers and management.

Her dream to travel was finally realized in 1990 when she moved to New York City, USA with her husband and the first of three sons. This was the stepping stone to a lifelong adventure that has taken her and her family to India, Belgium and Hong Kong.

C. B. Lyall has used her passion for the fantastic to create a world where everyday gender inequalities are at the forefront of a world ending conflict. She shares this story through the eyes of a young man who is suddenly thrust into this new world along with all of his own woes and prejudices. The introduction to this world is in C. B. Lyall’s debut YA novel, “The Virus of Beauty”.  

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5 stars
52 (50%)
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40 (39%)
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6 (5%)
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2 (1%)
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2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews
Profile Image for Alaina.
5,936 reviews216 followers
August 21, 2022
The Virus of Beauty was a pretty good introduction to The Virus of Beauty trilogy. With all the magical realms I've visited in the past, Kuryemage and Mathowytch were pretty interesting. Then again, how could you go wrong when wizards and witches are involved?

In this, you will meet Wilf. He is a sixteen-year-old and loves to play soccer. Which, for someone who grew up playing travel soccer I can totally understand. Just not the magical parts. The one thing he never saw coming was having the whole world on his shoulders when it came to saving his friend, Katryna.

Throughout the book, we got so much action and conflict. The pages honestly kept flying by and I'm pretty excited to get my hands on the sequel. Which, yes, it's available on KU and I will most definitely be diving into soon.
Profile Image for Lisa.
208 reviews6 followers
August 23, 2019
Great YA book. Witches and wizards get a modern day spin in a dystopian setting.
Profile Image for Reyna Gentin.
Author 3 books81 followers
September 2, 2019
This debut novel by CB Lyall is extremely imaginative and deftly written. As "magical" as the characters are, we still relate to their very human fears and hopes as we follow their journey. I'm already waiting for the next installment!
9 reviews
September 4, 2019
I loved C B Lyall's first installment of the Wilf Gilvary trilogy, The Virus of Beauty, and can't wait for her next book! The magical realm of Kuryemage and Mathowytch, where wizards and witches practice their craft is artfully created by the author and draws the reader into this fantastic world. Wilf is a wizard and 16 year old soccer star, who never dreamed he would have the responsibility to discover the solution for the mysterious virus destroying the witches’ magical powers. The cure is locked in his late father’s journal and only Wilf has the ability to find the remedy to save his friend Katryna.

The novel is set in Hong Kong and the magical realm, where a power struggle between the wizards and witches is tearing their world apart. Wilf is drawn into their conflict by Ermentrude, a powerful witch, who ignores Wilf’s reluctance to use his magical powers. Lyall’s characters are compelling and her story is fast-paced and action-packed, with plenty of danger and adventure to keep readers turning the pages. I’m really looking forward to Book 2!
Profile Image for Barbara.
Author 5 books163 followers
July 16, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed C.B. Lyall's fantasy, THE VIRUS OF BEAUTY! The novel revolves around Wilf Gilvary, a teenage wizard who far prefers playing soccer in the real world to exploring his magical powers. But the unexpected death of his father -- along with a mysterious journal that falls into his hands -- forces Wilf to acknowledge his heritage and struggle with questions of destiny. So it's a delightful coming-of-age novel -- but it's also so much more. As Wilf and the reader discover, the magical world is in turmoil, thanks to a consequential rift between the witches and the wizards, along with a dangerous virus that's on the rise. Yes, the plot is creative and unique -- but the real "magic" of Lyall's book is the fast-paced and compelling nature of Lyall's storytelling. The magical world and its inhabitants are so well conceived and artfully described that it's impossible not to get swept up in Wilf's adventure. I'm glad this is a trilogy and can't wait for the next installment!
8 reviews
August 11, 2019
What a great read! This book starts out by telling the tale of Wilf, a soccer playing wizard who rejects his magical powers, that then turns into a breathtaking story about modern equality in a fantasy world. The book is filled with intrigue with a mystery to solve, but beware it does end on a cliffhanger!

I don't want to spoil the book further so I'll leave this review by saying it's fit for all ages and genders - and would especially make a great bedtime story. I can't wait for the second book to come out!
1 review
August 30, 2019
A book fit for the modern age, with powerful and empowering women leading the charge in this adventure for equality and unity.

The book is centered around a coming of age character named Wilf who explores his magical abilities and is pulled into the centre of a conflict between a divided magical society.

I personally could not put this book down until I had finished reading the whole thing, which was a first for me! I would highly recommend this book for Young Adults and Adults the same.

Cannot wait for the second book to come out!
Profile Image for Books  Shelf.
275 reviews16 followers
February 18, 2021
Great Fantasy!

The Virus of Beauty is a great fantasy book for all ages! I loved the creativity in this novel and I'm so glad I got to read it! Wizards, witches, magic... I love it.

The story is moving, fast-paced and intriguing. The main characters are likable and very well-developed. The plot itself is interesting and unique in a way.

I recommend a 100%!

Julie,
BooksShelf Reviewer
Profile Image for Nancy (The Avid Reader).
2,247 reviews94 followers
April 17, 2021
The Virus of Beauty is set in the magical realm of Kuryemage and Mathowytch and tells the tale of sixteen-year-old Wilf Gilvary who just happens to have magic but is afraid to use it. Wilf is afraid that if he uses his magic he won’t be able to control it and someone could end up getting hurt. Wilf likes to pretend that he doesn’t have any magic. He would rather spend his days playing on the soccer team at his school.

A virus has been set loose among the witches. The witches and wizards are at war with each other. The wizards want to control the witches and the witches are standing up against them. Wilf may be the only one whose magic is strong enough to save the witches. That is if he can overcome his fear long enough to awaken his magic.

The Virus of Beauty does not lack in the action department it is filled with action and magic from beginning to end. Once that first page has turned the rest just follows suit and keeps on turning until that last page is turned with never a dull moment in between.

Now it is time for you dear reader to one-click your copy of The Virus of Beauty to begin another epic journey into the land of magic!
Profile Image for M.T. DeSantis.
Author 15 books47 followers
April 23, 2021
I received this book for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read an excerpt and follow the Goddess Fish tour here.

This was an interesting and entertaining read. I really liked the take on beauty and “traditional” beauty equaling weakness. Witches complimented one another on warts, which was fun and also a nod to how beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
The storyline was also interesting. The old-school wizards dynamic against the witches fighting for their place of power was both timely and just a good story. The main character’s reluctance to use magic and love for soccer made him a great player and memorable. There were some twists I didn’t see coming, too. This definitely kept me on my toes.
All in all, this was definitely worth the read. I recommend this to fantasy fans who want something different but still with an air of traditional. Recommend.
54 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2021
I liked the storyline of this book and the concept that a witch's power is related to her ugliness. It was a fun read getting to know the characters and figuring out who's side they are on.
The things I didn't like about this book was that it was a little slow to get started in the beginning, and that there were some oddly placed soccer references in the storyline. I understand that the main character is a soccer player and would sometimes think in analogies related to soccer. But it really took away from the mood of the story when the author compared running for your life down a hallway to making a soccer play...
Overall a good book and I look forward to seeing how the story continues in the next one!
21 reviews1 follower
February 23, 2021
A great concept and can't fault the writing and world-building but for me there was too much stuff happening. I like some time to get to know the characters, get some backstory in and a slow build-up that ratchets up the tension before the climax. Instead I felt the peril-level stayed more or less the same throughout. There were a lot of characters but apart from Ermentrude they didn't have their own distinctive voices. I also wished Hong Kong would have featured more; as it was, the HK parts could have been set anywhere. Also a bit annoyed that the only Chinese character is dead before it starts. 3 stars for concept, writing and world building.
Profile Image for Renee DeMoranville.
296 reviews1 follower
January 7, 2021
I thought this was a great book. I’m so glad I got it through a goodreads giveaway. It really is the opposite of most magical / fantasy books. First you have a boy Wilf who knows he has magic but doesn’t want to use it. Then you have a virus that makes ugly women beautiful (reminds me of a twilight zone episode 😆). There is a lot of story going on and that makes it very fast pace. I read it in one day and can’t wait to read the next one !!
Profile Image for Lori Cox.
412 reviews
September 9, 2019
This is a great story for those YAs who enjoy reading of wizards and witches. It was an imaginative concept to have a virus that turns ugly witches into gorgeous women-much to their horror. I did get hung up on a few British words-kits, trainers, etc. but am really looking forward to book 2 and 3 by this new author.
Profile Image for Becca Ferguson.
37 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2021
I really enjoyed this book. It was such a nice change from the drop dead gorgeous characters that I’m always reading about. I really liked the idea of the story and it was quite relatable with everything going on now.
There were several grammatical errors which was a bit bothersome, but overall a great read.
Profile Image for Tiffany Zhang.
43 reviews36 followers
April 21, 2021
This book is a GREAT magical YA recommendation.

I would say the target audience is likely younger than I am, but I still loved the book!

3 cheers for C.B. Lyall !!!
Profile Image for Deborah Collins.
112 reviews3 followers
May 30, 2020
This book was gorgeous. Every word was an indulgence along the same lines as chocolate. And like chocolate, I wanted to savor it and gobble it up at the same time. I knew from the first page that The Virus of Beauty was something special. Something completely different than other books I have read, and that knowledge only intensified as I continued to read. The writing was completely incredible. I was a little awestruck. C.B Lyall has an amazing gift, and I hope that she continues to share it for a long time to come.

The Virus of Beauty is a beautifully written novel. Each word picked for not only its meaning but its sound. Each phrase carefully crafted to grab our attention, keep us hooked, move us, delight us. I'm failing here to describe the beauty of this novel, and I'm not sure one can completely understand unless they've read it.

What struck me about this novel was the attention to detail. C.B Lyall makes each word count, creating magic through her carefully crafted story that only a true wordsmith can accomplish.

The Virus of Beauty about self-esteem and family, acceptance, and love. About courage. About the importance of communication. It's wonderful and gripping and thrilling. Read it.
Profile Image for Princess  Poole.
94 reviews2 followers
June 3, 2020
I picked this book and didn't think much of it at first, but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This is one of those rare books that I couldn't put down. There is no testing of waters as you are plunged headfirst into a riveting world of friendship, magic, and adventure.

One of the best things about the novel is the complexity of the characters - you come to love them while watching them struggle to find their selves. You laugh when they laugh. You cry when they cry. You become immersed in a fairy tale that you just don't want to see the end of! In Wilf, you find everything you expect of a heroine.

A series that I would recommend; it's exciting, thrilling, and inspiring. The author did well with creating this new world and has shed light on something beautiful. A definite great choice of reading, one that kept me up until one in the morning, when I should have been asleep, knowing I had to get up early that morning. I rate this book 5 stars for being captivating and dragging me into a creatively painted world.

Profile Image for Helen Carter.
143 reviews3 followers
May 27, 2020
A lyrical and utterly gorgeous novel full of magic and intriguing family relationships, set in a fascinating world that's half history, half fantasy, and entirely wondrous. It's amazing. I was mesmerized by this book from the beginning. It features a highly competent, independent, and multi-layered protagonist, a swoon-worthy love interest, breathtaking mythology and background history, outstanding world-building, wonderful magic, intense relationships, and gorgeous writing.

To me, this book was perfection, but there's a catch: This book will break your heart. It is cruel and unfair, and it will take your heart and break it into a million pieces and then step on them and set them on fire, but for me, it was worth it.

Bottom line, great adventure, lots of twists I didn't see coming and lovable characters that will keep you entertained from minute one. I adore this book to pieces, and I can't wait to get a copy to treasure always! C.B Lyall's books will always have a special place on my shelf.
Profile Image for Sandra Mitchell.
144 reviews2 followers
May 27, 2020
Coming from a line of wizards, Wilf is set to take on a journey of exploring the magical realm. At first, he was so against the idea of going to the world of magic and accepting his call as a wizard. But when Ermentrude appeared in their family-owned gift store to get Reginald’s journal, everything turned upside down. She convinced Wilf to change his adamant decision on never to use magic, much more becoming a wizard.

Learning that his stepmother Griselda is infected by the virus, he decided to help Ermetrude find the antidote to the virus that has been plaguing the witches of Mathowytch. Upon his father’s evaporation, he is left behind with a journal. The Complete Works of the Gilvary Wizards is a family heirloom journal, and as one of the Gilvary’s descendants, Wilf cannot get away from a mission to find the cure to the virus through unlocking the secrets of the journal.

His denial of wizardry did not do him any good. Destiny is in control, and what is bound to happen will happen. No one can get away with it, even the strongest wizard such as Wilf.
May 30, 2020
This may be one of the most challenging reviews I've ever had the joy of writing because this book is so wonderfully unique and cleverly written that it's nearly impossible to put into words why it's so unique and clever. It's one of those "you must trust me and read it for yourself" books to truly understand the complexity of this story.

Everything about this book is unique - its characters, its plot, its atmosphere. Although it seems like another paranormal story, it is so much more. It is thought-compelling, strange, and beautifully written. Certain scenes are written with such poise that they stand out, immediately making this novel one with writing that may not necessarily be poetic or beautiful, but certainly striking.

Lyall's talent for writing is clear throughout the story because she never makes Wilf come across as a whiny or annoying person - she truly adds depth to his personality. Some authors are good; Carolyn Lyall, however, has true talent.

I don't know if I'm doing this book justice with this review, but the best way for me to describe it is by saying it's like one of those 1,000-piece puzzles. It's chock full of interesting bits that don't make much sense at first, but once you finish, you have a beautifully crafted masterpiece that was worth the time it took to put together.

This was my first C.B Lyall's novel, but it won't be my last now that I know what a genius she is!

Profile Image for Eduardo Patel.
51 reviews1 follower
May 31, 2020
I will never write a book as good as this.

This was a book that I was highly anticipating even before I knew what it was about. I loved the title and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I finally got my copy. I devoured it in about a day and absolutely loved it.

The Virus of Beauty was an exciting read with a mystery involved. It also had wonderful witches and wizards. Lyall has created a fun, and vibrant world. The twists and turns of the story will keep you turning the page. There was a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of the book, so I'm looking forward to seeing what is going to happen with Wilf and Katryna.

Overall, there was enough here to make me want to know what happens next. The ending was a cliffhanger and included the magic I wanted more of in the rest of the book. I did emotionally connect with Wilf and enjoyed reading the book. I would recommend this to fans of young adult fantasy novels.
Profile Image for Winston Russel.
57 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2020
I absolutely loved this book. It is a bit of an easy read, but well worth it. I felt as though the author had taken some of my favorite young adult books and blended them into one solid story.

One thing this book is good about is it continues on and never gives long, unneeded rambling passages or info dumps. It's not stagnant in any way, and the pace has a nice flow. I love this because I hate massive info dumps when information is given in a way that it's not overloading.

Wilf is the perfect heroine and an example for all young boys. He is headstrong, determined, and confident. He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and will disobey orders if it means he is doing the right thing.

The ending of the book was an obvious cliffhanger, but I'm still looking forward to reading the second book in this series. Recommended for individuals who enjoy reading paranormal fiction or fiction about witches and wizards.

Profile Image for Willian Hughes.
43 reviews
June 3, 2020
It was the kind of book that I couldn't put down. I'm glad I'm off work right now, so I could give it my full attention! Well worth a read. The characters are well-formed, and the storyline is full of excitement and danger. I wish I could delete it out my head so I could read it again for the first time.

I am truly blown away by how amazing this story is. This is so much more than what you expected it to be. It has depth background, and it shows us how different our lives are from reality to the magical world of wizards and witches. The words are so sweet that you'll get addicted to it. The story is written so well that while reading it, you can visualize every scene of it like a running movie in your mind.

Excellent work by C.B Lyall. A book with outstanding literature and grammar is one of my favorite books. Hats off! Once I start reading, I can't stop because I was so eager to know what will happen next. I recommend this book with pleasure.

Profile Image for Whitney Bryant.
46 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2020
Having no luck with fantasy books lately, this was a nice surprise. It's unique and well-written, with quick pacing that turned it into an amazing read.

I've read this twice. I found all the characters relatable, the plot kept twisting enough to keep the pages turning, but not so much that I was confused, or that it felt predictable. Lyall writes complex characters, but you must pay attention. A younger reader will love this story for what it is, but more avid readers will find what they are looking for as you get to know the main players and figure out what makes them tick.

Additionally, the characters were wonderfully vivid, and the setting had the right amount of magic. All in all, this was an enjoyable read from cover to cover. I look forward to reading more from C.B Lyall- she is an author to keep an eye on.
Profile Image for Emma SMITH.
50 reviews
June 3, 2020
There’s no question in my mind that this book is brilliantly written.

I find the plot intriguing, and I can't wait to see where it goes in the installment. I loved the world and magic in the book. I don't think I've ever read anything like it before. I also enjoyed all of the characters. They're all interesting characters, and I can't wait to see what happens to them in the rest of the series.

Moreover, the characters are easily liked, not annoying at all, and despite all his confusion, the heroine does not bore you at all. SO YES, I liked it, yes, I want you to read the next ones, yes, they are gonna be displayed on my favorites shelf.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It was a short read that I managed to finish in one sitting. I was surprised that the time passed so quickly, honestly. I was absorbed in the story.

Profile Image for Emma Wells.
92 reviews3 followers
June 3, 2020
I love how this didn't stick to one, like most stories do, but expanded beyond that. It is made for quite an enchanting world to read.

But what impressed me is the blend of cultures. The world is an array of different people and traditions, the reality and fictional world. And I love how this story captures that so well. This story richly mixes different realms. The world of witches, wizards, humans and creates a vibrant setting, perfect for Wilf's adventure.

The strength of this book is its writing. The words flow so naturally, making the read easy and enjoyable. One or two details in the plot about a certain character may seem obvious, but it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the story. The bond between Katryna and Wilf in this story is sweet. It leaves you waiting for the next part.

Overall, a fun and quick read.
Profile Image for Wendy Alexander.
44 reviews1 follower
June 3, 2020
A sentimental and touching story aside, this book was honestly perfectionist in every aspect. Do you want wizards? Witches? Witchcrafts? Magics? Twists after twists and reveals after reveals? Heartwarming scenes followed by heart-wrenching scenes? The slowest and most agonizing but also the most powerful and rewarding story in the world? Pick this book up.

One thing stands clear for The Virus of Beauty. It is a timeless classic, one that, no matter what will be remembered throughout the centuries and read by many different generations in the world. My review is not doing the book justice. Read this immediately. You'll be so grateful if you did.

I WILL CHASE YOU ON MY FLYING BROOM IF YOU DON'T GIVE THIS ONE A TRY!
Profile Image for Wilmer Simmons.
44 reviews
June 3, 2020
A great, captivating read with wonderful characters, vivid descriptions, and an enticing storyline! One of my new favorites!

C.B Lyall immerses me, captivates me, and makes me believe in magic. I have no words of gratitude for that, and I'm not sure what the world has done to deserve her stories, but I will forever be grateful. The Virus of Beauty is well-executed, with exciting plot twists and odd questions. Even when the story is over, there are still questions to be asked and answered. My favorite thing about this book is how my feelings for the characters seemed to recede and flow. Fell in love with the characters and the plot. I bet it will be one of the highly sold books throughout the world.

Such an amazing and enchanting read. I could not put it down.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews

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