Review: “Magic by the Lake” by Edward Eager

Magic by the Lake is the sequel to Half Magic.  Edward Eager brings Mark, Jane, Katherine, and Martha back to another summer vacation, this time not in a stuffy city but by a magical lake.  Sooner than they think, all four are wishing for all kinds of imprudent things, which results in numerous lectures by one annoyed and taciturn old turtle or being guided to a pirates’ treasure island by a mermaid.  Even though their journeys in Half Magic were enlightening when it comes to handling magic’s rules, their problems and mistakes get bigger and bigger in Magic by the Lake.

Comical situations and the return of familiar characters are only the start.  Featuring a cornucopia of wisdom and a special time warp that introduces the children to their descendants, those who have read Knight’s Castle after Half Magic will recognize the clever continuity between the events.  Moreover, Magic by the Lake is another proof of Eager’s perceptive understanding of children and their viewpoint of adult troubles.  He also includes candid descriptions of a healthy family life and some very acute remarks about everything and nothing, courtesy of the magic turtle.  Generous with humor and intellect, Magic by the Lake is another winning addition to the author’s Tales of Magic series.

Original review: Part 3: Selections from Edward Eager’s ‘Tales of Magic’ series,


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