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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Candlewicke 13: Curse of the McRavens is a work of quirky young adult fantasy penned by author Milan Sergent, and it forms the first book of the Candlewicke 13 series. Including original illustrations by the author, this novel follows the ill-fated Valor McRaven in his dreamy quest to study magic at Mystic Steeples, despite the oddments and peculiarities of his past and present which keep him separate from the ‘normal’ witches around him. Valor has a dark past, with allegations that his twin brother died because his own mother poisoned both boys, leading Valor to believe that his survival of the poison has given him unique abilities unlike anyone else. The Grim Warlock, if he’s real, has a lot to answer for, and Valor wants those answers.
This is a superbly entertaining work of fantasy fiction which ticks all the boxes for the younger end of the young adult reading spectrum. I really enjoyed the level of irreverent humor that peppers the pages, interrupting what could be quite intensely horrible moments and lightening them appropriately. Doomsy Gloomsy was a particular favorite of mine, with her little quips and odd turns of phrase, and the storyline that builds around Valor and his family’s intriguing past makes for excellent reading. The formatting too, with its gorgeous illustrations and classic olde-worlde print style, enhances the already high quality of the reading experience to a whole new level of awesome. Overall, Milan Sergent has done a superb job with Candlewicke 13: Curse of the McRavens, and I can’t wait for more.