Review: “Tales of Magic” series by Edward Eager

Edward Eager was an American writer who was greatly influenced by the British novelist Edith Nesbit.  In addition to fondly mentioning Nesbit’s novels and characters in his own works, Eager also focuses on her theme: magic occurring in the lives of ordinary children.

Half MagicMagic by the LakeKnight’s Castle, and The Time Garden are four of Eager’s novels whose characters and stories are very closely related.  Magical adventures happen in the lives of four siblings in Half Magic when they find an ancient talisman that grants wishes by halves and consequently changes their lives.  Magic by the Lake is the sequel which follows the four children’s further dealings with magic.  Knight’s Castle narrates four cousins’ journey in a fantastic realm based almost entirely on Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.  Its sequel, The Time Garden, involves the same main characters in whimsical time travel with visits to several prominent settings in history and literature.  Magic or Not?, The Well-Wishers, and Seven-Day Magic are the other three novels written by Edward Eager which complete his series of novels for children known as his “Magic series.”

One of Eager’s noteworthy traits is his habit, like Nesbit’s, to carefully insert morals into the main storyline while maintaining the magical atmosphere and child-like imagination.  Humor, charm, and famous quotes are interwoven with Eager’s candid, fluid writing style, making him Nesbit’s equal in creating wonderful novels for children.

Original review: Part 2: Lesser-known authors of books for children,


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