“When Emma and her beloved frog-turned-prince Eadric travel to Upper Montevista to ask for Eadric’s parents’ blessing on their marriage, they find his homeland in chaos: Eadric’s annoying little brother, Bradston, has been kidnapped by trolls! Worse, his mother won’t let Emma use magic, even to rescue Bradston, and Eadric suddenly seems a bit too fond of the girls from his past. As they travel through unfriendly lands, battle sea monsters and vampires, and find allies in unlikely places, will Emma still see Eadric as the strong and loyal young man she thought he was?”
No Place For Magic is a nice ending for Emma and Eadric, and it has a promising outlook for the future of Montevista and their stance towards magic. Emma’s spells are especially good in this one, particularly the spell that she places on Bradston. You can tell that her time as the Green Witch has really honed her abilities. Also, that part where she turns into a dragon and fights the Troll Queen is awesome.
So, once again, the blurb is a bit misleading. I was worried that the book would once again have a focus on the “Does he or does he not” aspect of Emma and Eadric’s relationship that was prominent in the previous ones, but it really doesn’t. Despite the rushed wedding at the end, there are virtually no worries about whether or not they will actually tie the knot—and that’s a good thing. It shows the growth of their relationship over the last three books.
I really do prefer Baker’s Wide-Awake Princess series to this one, and I think it’s because the former is more recent than the latter, and thus Baker’s writing is better. I liked the first two books in this series, but this one and Once Upon a Curse were disappointing.
Another mention of the misleading summary: I was looking forward to Emma conquering obstacles without the use of magic, and was disappointed when she continued to rely on and use magic. I was hoping for an actual magic ban, rather than a “If I use magic, they’ll know where I am but I can just keep walking and they can’t find me” device. I think it would have made Emma’s quest less similar to the ones in the previous books, and really would have made this last book in her arc stand out.
Also disappointing: the fact that Emma’s relationship with her mother goes nowhere. I would have liked to see some improvement or some explanation on that front.
Recommended Age Range: 12+
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Middle Grade
“Anything else?” I asked.
“Well, yes. I probably should have told you this before: the people of my kingdom aren’t as comfortable with magic as the citizens of Greater Greensward are. A lot of my parents’ subjects don’t like witches.”
“You must be extremely open-minded for someone from Upper Montevista.”
I am,” he said, looking smug. “But then you’ve always known that I’m extraordinary.”
“Look straight ahead,” I told Eadric. “I think there’s a cockatrice to our left.”
I should have known better than to tell him, because the first thing he did was turn his head to look. “That’s no cockatrice. It’s just a big toad.”
“I told you not to look!”
Eadric shrugged. “I won’t when it’s a cockatrice, but I can look at toads, can’t I?”
No Place For Magic has a good ending to the story of Emma and Eadric, and the last fight with the Troll Queen was pretty awesome. However, this book was even more disappointing to me than Once Upon a Curse, and again because of wasted opportunities. Having Emma actually be in “No Place for Magic” as the title suggests would have really made her character shine, but instead, she does things that we already knew she could do and makes this quest pretty much the same as others she’s been on.
You can buy this here: No Place for Magic (Tales of the Frog Princess, Book 4)