The Red Magician

The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein


In the schoolroom of a simple European village, Kicsi spends her days dreaming of the lands beyond the mountains: Paris and New York, Arabia and Shanghai. When the local rabbi curses Kicsi’s school for teaching lessons in Hebrew, the holy tongue, the possibility of adventure seems further away than ever. But when a mysterious stranger appears telling stories of far-off lands, Kicsi feels the world within her grasp.

His name is Vörös, and he is a magician’s assistant who seems to have powers all his own. There is darkness growing at the edge of the village—a darkness far blacker than any rabbi’s curse. Vörös warns of the Nazi threat, but only Kicsi hears what he says. As evil consumes a continent, Vörös will teach Kicsi that sometimes the magician’s greatest trick is survival.

The Red Magician
Lisa Goldstein
Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Publication: October 2014 (re-release)
Genre: Young Adult, Light Fantasy, Religious
I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review
Locate: amazon | b&n | worldcat
Rated: ★★

The Red Magician by Lisa Goldstein

Kicsi is a young girl on the cusp of becoming a teenager. She lives in a small village full of family and is a devout Hebrew. The man with the most authority in their village seems to be their local rabbi, who seems more interested in maintaining is own power and sense of worth than actually helping the community. This is evident from the way he deals with the local school that insists on teaching the children Hebrew. Upset that the school refuses to stop their instruction, and upset that the families refuse to leave the school, the rabbi places a curse on the school. Apparently, being a very wise Jewish leader means you are also a magician in this world as we see the same is true when a stranger named Voros comes to town. Voros is a red haired magician who is wise and well versed in Hebrew lore. He lifts the curse placed by the rabbi, but gains him as an enemy. In the backdrop of all of this is WW2 which soon comes to the forefront when soldiers appear at Kicsi’s door.

Readers go into it thinking the red magician will be the main character, or the focus, yet they might be disappointed to find that it is Kicsi that runs the story. She propels all of the events and Voros, the magician, is merely a secondary character that appears when Kicsi’s need is great, almost like a deux ex machina. This was a very interesting book, though the cover makes it seem much more mysterious than it is, and the synopsis makes it sound much more action packed than it is. The Red Magician is a solid, well written book that should do very well with the ten to fifteen year old crowd. It’s a superficial introductory look into the horrors of the Holocaust which have been muted for the target audience.

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About Lulu

Thirty-something year old educator based in New York, Lulu loves books, blogging, gaming, and her pom son Frodo Barkins with whom she shares her life. Book reviews specialize in all kinds of fantasy, some YA, some romance, and some contemporary, especially in the gothic genre.