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Magic's Child (Magic or Madness, #3)
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Magic's Child

(Magic or Madness #3)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  1,755 ratings  ·  113 reviews
In the third installment in the Magic or Madness trilogy, the people Reason Cansino loves most are all in danger. Reason’s mother, Sarafina, has disappeared from the mental hospital in Sydney with Reason’s evil grandfather, Jason Blake. Jay-Tee, the closest thing Reason has to a best friend, has used all of her magic and faces death at any moment. Only Reason can find the ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 22nd 2007 by Razorbill
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,755 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Apr 19, 2008 rated it liked it
After having read all three in this series, I really think it would have served the story better if this had just been one longer book. I don't think the plot lines were strong enough on their own. And because the author has to do some recap material, some chapters felt very repetitive. Overall, the series was enjoyable; I had a really hard time putting them down. A few things bugged me though: Where had this Cansino guy been during the first story? How did Jason Blake know about Cansino? I want ...more
Jul 31, 2007 rated it liked it
Not a bad conclusion to the trilogy. A complex ending. All the narrators in Magic or Madness are unreliable; was there a happy ending? It's hard to say. Did Reason make the right decision? Also hard to say. An interesting departure from the usual young adult fantasy.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for

At the start of this wonderful conclusion to a great fantasy trilogy, Reason Cansino is a lot of things most fifteen year olds aren't. She's magic. She's pregnant. And she may or may not be entirely human.

In this continuation of Reason's story, she is falling more and more deeply into the strange, ancient, and inhuman power given to her by Raul Cansino. She is becoming more and more scarily powerful--but she's giving up her humanity (and maybe that
Kate Gordon
Sep 22, 2009 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed this series overall, ultimately I found it problematic. *SPOILER* The sudden and sweeping decision that magic is "evil" felt like a cop-out; Larbalestier missed a great opportunity to explore a moral grey area - something that would made both the story and the characters more complex. I also wish there had been some discussion of the issue teen pregnancy; it's understandable, in context, that the women in her family have tended to have children early. However, the whole thing was ...more
Nov 13, 2010 rated it liked it
I don't know if I've been expecting more out of this series than I should've. But Liar had everything I wanted, and I was using that to judge Larbalestier's work as a whole... It was just my thing, I guess, and this trilogy wasn't, at least not to anything like the same degree. It was fun to read, and the moral ambiguity and the unreliability of nearly everyone does make it more complex than I'd really considered. We're told what people think magic is: we never get an objective answer. We never ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
While I zipped through this last novel in the Magic or Madness series in about a day and a half, for some reason I didn't think it had the oomph of the previous two. Maybe it's because the stupid DC Public Library system forced me to wait for this book for more than a year after it was published, and I'd therefore forgotten a whole lot of what had transpired, but for whatever reason, I didn't love this one as much. It's still awfully good, mind you, and it wraps everything up very tidily, with j ...more
Jan 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-now
Disappointing ending to this fun series, a little too rushed feeling and add in a weird touch of religion?
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: witches, magic
This was a very fun and interesting series! My math-y brain really appreciated the Fibonacci stuff, and it was fun to read a series set primarily in Australia (because that doesn't come up that often!).

I don't know that I was ever, like, blown away during this series, but it fully kept my attention and was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Which sounds like damning with false praise, but honestly I promise it's not!! It was very enjoyable and really a great series for younger readers but it just did
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
A satisfactory ending to an odd series.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Magic or Madness trilogy was a really fun one to follow, as the stories are told from multiple points of view and all the characters are so different and full of life.

Reason Cansino had an unusual childhood. Always on the run form her grandmother, Esmeralda, she and Sarafina (her mother) never stayed in one place too long. They also never settled anywhere "normal." So while Reason has an innate talent for Math, that about covers her schooling. The other main rule of her life has been that ma
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have taken my time with series. I started it in college as a required reading (the first book) and found myself intrigued by the idea of you can either use your magic and die young, or you can not use it and go mad. I felt I just had to find out what happened to Reason, her family and friends.

I was delighted with the second book and I absolutely loved this last book in the series. I think the author did a wonderful job wrapping up all the loose ends of the storyline and I walked away with a s
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
first read July 14, 2009

This book was very interesting at first, but just got weird towards the end. I was reminded somewhat of other books, but this left without a good closing. Not recommended for the age group for which it is intended.

Especially irritating is the use of Aussie slang which is not obvious and is never explained (although some of the very obvious is explained in a glossary at the end).
---------- update 2014 reread------------
3rd in series
This YA book started off with a great sto
Sep 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Young Adult novels are so much better now than I remember them being when I was an actual young adult. I recall reading some S.E. Hinton, but not much else.

The "Magic or Madness" series by Justine Larbalestier is one of the best fantasy trilogies I've read; YA or not. All of the books are well-paced, exciting, and feature well-drawn, believable characters.

The story focuses on 15-year-old Reason Cansino who discovers very suddenly that magic is real. More than that, she is a magic user. In the w
Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
A nice conclusion for the Magic or Madness Trilogy. I don't know if I just read Justine Larbalestier's books too fast, but this one felt rushed at times just like How to Ditch Your Fairy. I think perhaps I'm getting too excited. Maybe that's a good thing! I was pleased with the wrapup that it provided for the trilogy. I was still a bit frustrated with Reason jumping to conclusions without thinking things through or even asking questions. She made a lot of assumptions. I did like the way magic wa ...more
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the first two
Shelves: z_08, ya, fantasy
Reason must live up to her name for she must deal with the allure of (Cansino) Magic, her lost mother, and the pressure of saving the lives of her friends, Tom and Jay-Tee. In fact, everyone needs to make decisions.

Book three gives enough answers while leaving you thinking about some things. I can't say I was pleased by all parts of the ending but I see why Larbalestier made those choices. Overall, the Madness or Magic trilogy is fast-paced and enjoyable. This book had a slightly different vibe
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
I plowed through the first two books in the trilogy loving the flow of the story. The endings are all clever to give resolutions but still force me on to the next book. This third book left me feeling a little -eh-.
Maybe it was the fact that only about two or three days had passed for the characters, it gave me a headache to even think about that. Perhaps I was put out by the pregnant fifteen year old who changes into a magical non human, then back to a human with no mention of the physical eff
Barbara ★
As a conclusion this was terrible. Well not terrible per se, but just bizarre with no real connection to the rest of the series. I mean really what the heck was with Reason going bald and turning golden? This came out of left field and it just got weirder from there. Where had Raul Cansino been during the first story? He shows up, does some weird magic thing to Reason and is killed (book 2). Now Reason is changing in bizarre ways with little or no explanation. I really needed more back story on ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The third (presumably final, but perhaps there will be a subsidiary trilogy that follows?) in the Magic or Madness trilogy. As with much “Young Adult” fiction, the brevity ultimately disappoints: I wasn’t ready to stop reading these characters when book 2 ended, nor am I ready now. Some things in this book that felt ickier than in the previous ones / but maybe I had just forgotten those feelings, I can’t be sure. Tom’s refusal to give up magic really stuck with me. The way he infuses the clothes ...more
I liked this series! Something about its style was really unique to me, had kind of a candid realism that I liked. I think what I mean by that is that lots of things I didn't expect happened, and also that things didn't always sound pleasant.

I personally felt the series got less gripping as it went on, especially after it got all kooky at the end of book 2, but maybe my taste for kooky magic is still developing. But it felt like it lost some urgency the more powerful its characters got. A fantas
Fuzzy Gerdes
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
My only complaint about Magic's Child is that, as the third book in a trilogy, the pacing suffers a little as Justine Larbalestier has to cram in a ton of "remember who this is and what happened" and that some of the moral complexity that her characters are going through might be better explored in a longer work. And despite that catch-up exposition, I really wouldn't recommend this book if you haven't read the first two books in the trilogy.
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who just loves this trilogy
Reason stars again in the third book of this trilogy. She has become completely magic, which has been totally awesome because she can do anything, go anywhere, and live for centuries. But the cost is she loses all of her humanity. Not only is she losing her humanity, she is pregnant. Now isn't this a lot of pressure on just a fifteen year old? As Reason is losing herself to the magic, Tom and Jay-Tee must choose to keep their magic and then die at an early age, or ignore it and become insane. In ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Good finish to this trilogy. Reason learns more about her magic abilities and that she can travel thru the world without using doors and keys. She also learns that she can save those whose magic is almost gone and who are dying, by saving Jay -Tee. The finale comes when Jason Blake kidnaps her mother, Sarafina, and it is up to Reason to save her and the rest of the Cansino family. This leave her, Esmerelda and Sarafina without any magic, when Reason realises that the magic is evil. However, Tom ...more
Apr 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I liked this entire series - the characters were great and I thought the plot was original and interesting. That being said, I wasn't too crazy about how it ended. In some ways, I thought things were tied up too neatly. In other ways, I didn't like some of the loose ends that were left. Even so, I enjoyed reading this book (and the trilogy) and I would recommend it to fans of teen realistic fantasy fiction. (Yes, I do think I just made that genre up, but it's an accurate description of the books ...more
Elizabeth Ruddick
Apr 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sadly, I was not a fan of this series. The first book was good, decent characters, good twists, I enjoyed it. Then it went downhill. It just got really weird, hard to follow, and the all-of-a-sudden "magic is evil and it must be destroyed" thing was just out of the blue. The ending was neat, definitely left you will a sense of wondering what happened because it's left to your own interpretation. But overall, I did not enjoy this series. It had all the makings of a fantastic series, but, IMO, the ...more
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 12th-grade
I have never read the previous two books of this series, but from what I know, there are a few people who live in a world where they can use magic and do things that normal people cannot see. However there is a cost. To use it means to reduce your lifespan while to not use it means to go mad. There is a third option though. the option to steal someone's else magic. However, this option is what murdered generation of magic's users.

Interesting read although it is not my level. I felt that this b
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Cory, Kathleen
Recommended to Pamela by: Judy
The final book in the "Magic or Madness" trilogy offered a satisfying, sometimes thrilling conclusion to the story of Reason Cansino, latest in the centuries-old Cansino family. In this novel, torn between the worlds of her grandmother Esmeralda (Australia) and her grandfather Alexander (New York), she must finally choose between a life of magic, as her grandmother has embraced, or the life her mother trained and named her for. Raised some interesting questions about God and magic along the way. ...more
I'm awesoMEGAN!
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 75-in-2010
This book probably only deserves 3.5 stars. Although it shut things down and left you with a silly "what happens next" moment. The story in all really wasn't that memorable. I had read in someone else's comment that between the 3 books - it could have just been 1 book. I agree! There really wasn't much of anything super plot-making (Sorry I had to) to create a 3-part series. Although a fun and quick read. In the end that is really all it was.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Much better than the second book in the series. Somewhere in the middle, one character calls an experience tickle-making! It reminded me so much of Scott Westerfeld's writing in the Pretties series which I really enjoyed. I did hope for more information about the magic and the origins of their magic, but this was a decent ending.
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'll finish this later...

SO, 17 (or 16, IDK) year old Reason is pregnant. She's in AU. This weird social security worker came to her grandmother's, Esmeralda's, house to ask her if she's OK.
Reason keeps on seeing people as magic when she closes her eyes. Talks about Danny, Jay-Tee's bro so much since he's the one who got her prego... good recap on like page 14-15.
Should probably check out the first two books again to refresh memory.
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Justine Larbalestier is an Australian young-adult fiction author. She is best known for the Magic or Madness trilogy: Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons and the newly released Magic's Child. She also wrote one adult non-fiction book, the Hugo-nominated The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (Best Related Book, 2003), and edited another, Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentiet ...more

Other books in the series

Magic or Madness (3 books)
  • Magic or Madness (Magic or Madness, #1)
  • Magic Lessons (Magic or Madness, #2)
“That was what magic was: greed. Magic wielders didn't wield magic; it wielded them” 6 likes
“Pedacinho por pedacinho, desliguei-a. Vi luzes se apagando uma após a outra. Observei o espaço Cansino retroceder. Primeiro sumiram as galáxias, logo em seguida as estrelas, e então: trevas, somente o fundo das minhas pálpebras.” 0 likes
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