The great fox heist by Justyn Edwards

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This is a book with amazing magical quality and intrigue! It is the sequel book to The Great Fox Illusion  and reintroduces the young magicians Flick Lions and her sidekick Charlie, working as apprentice magicians alongside the Great Fox, in a competition that will decide who gets to be the Chancellor of the Global Order of Magic for the next ten years. Coming up against the ‘foes’ they met in The Great Fox Illusion they must identify and de-mystify the magic that is performed by the others and also bamboozle and mystify their opponents using their own magical and illusory skills – robbing the secure vault in the local Swiss Bank. The final  magic and illusion must be cryptic and spectacular and prevent the final remaining team from guessing. The magical mystery must also try to solve the disappearance of Flick’s father and prevent the release of the mind-bending magic known as The Bell System (or Die Glocke) falling into untrustworthy hands. The only trouble with magic and magicians is that you can never truly trust what you have been told. For Flick, this requires many twists and thoughtful cogitation.

With fascinating chapter introductions that sometimes hint at magic ahead or distract from reality, the story unfolds with some impracticalities and conundrums that are unique and compelling. The delight of this book is that we as readers get to see behind the magical impossibilities shown to an audience and learn the art of illusion behind the banter. The twists and turns of magic and the struggle to trust the people around you make this book tensely mysterious. Fortunately, Flick is a strong main character, and we always want her to win. The fact that she has a prosthetic leg which sometimes impairs her mobility adds an additional point of difference in her backstory. I think readers aged 9-14 will warmly connect with this book as they discover hidden passages, tricky plot twists and some nefarious and underhand characters. The last pages of the book reveal a very complex card trick that readers might be able to perfect and add to their own magic repertoire.

Themes: Magic, Lies, Trust, Illusion, Mystery, Disability.

Carolyn Hull