The Nexus Ring by Maureen BushRelease Date ~ April 1, 2008
Recieved from publisher for review
Maddy's ring appears to be an ordinary stone ring, but soon, as the family travels through the mountains of BC, a menacing man, Gronvald, tries to steal it, and an elegant woman, Aleena, offers to help them keep it from him.
Aleena takes Josh and Maddy through a veil of magic, to a wondrous world that coexists with the human world. But Aleena can't be trusted--she covets the ring for herself. The kids then meet the otter-people, who insist the ring must be taken to the giant of Castle Mountain for safekeeping, so it can no longer damage the veil between the worlds. Somehow Josh and Maddy must return the ring to the giant. And then try to find their way home
Crow Boy by Maureen Bush
Release Date ~ September 1, 2010
Recieved from publisher for review
Josh has the ability to do magic. He and his sister Maddy save the Nexus Ring from two greedy magical creatures-Aleena the water spirit, and Gronvald the cruel troll-who want to use the ring to cross the veil. Now, on a family camping trip, Josh and Maddy steal away to visit the giant of Castle Mountain, Keeper of the ring. But Josh drops the ring, and Aleena finds it. Josh and Maddy have to follow Aleena to get it back. As they travel all the way to Vancouver Island they are followed by Corvus, the magical leader of the crows. Then, Josh and the others are swallowed by an ancient cedar deep in the rainforest, and literally escape into the earth. But when the earth won't let them go, Josh must learn to "become earth," and use earth magic to help Aleena and Maddy return to the surface.
Finally, Josh, Maddy and Aleena return the ring to Keeper. The crows flock to Josh, recognizing the deep magic he's learned from the natural world. He has become Crow Boy, "the magic boy."
The Veil Weavers by Maureen Bush
Release Date ~ April 2012
Recieved from Publisher for review
It's Halloween, and Josh and Maddy are all ready to go out trick-or-treating. But the arrival of their otter-people friends with an urgent message from Keeper the Giant changes everything.
Returning to the magical world, Josh and Maddy learn its inhabitants are not powerful enough to fix the increasing tears in the Veil. The magic that gives them strength is leaking away through the tears, and soon their lives will be at risk. A Gathering of the magical citizens decides Josh's power is the only thing that can save them – but how?
Josh, Maddy and Keeper learn they should approach the Weavers for help, and Josh and Maddy set off on a quest to find them. But the two face dangers on the way…and not everybody in the magical world wants them to succeed.
I have the tendency to compare books that have people that live in the normal world, transported to a magical world, to the Chronicles of Narnia series. It isn't a fair comparison, so when I read these books I tried to break the habit. I was glad I did because this book is nothing like the Narnia series. I read these books altogether, so for me they read as one continuous novel in three parts. Altogether, this series is about the length of an average, 300 page book.
- An Interesting Take on Magic:
Usually in novels, when characters say that there is a "veil" over the magical world, hiding it from the non-magical world, they mean metaphorically. I didn't expect these books to mean a literal veil of magic. It's made from actual threads of magic that are weaved together to form this veil. This veil holds the magic from leaking out into our world. Crossing from the two worlds actually tears the veil, causing magic to leak out into our world. I have never read or heard of anyone explain magic like this, so I was glad that these books brought something new. I found the history of the magic, and the world itself to be really entertaining to read about, particularly in the third book, The Veil Weavers.
- The Two Completely Different Villains:
Aleena and Gronvald are the two antagonists of the series. I liked the fact that these two villains were not working together, and while they shared a common goal, they were really very different. Gronvald is one of those villains that just enjoys being evil, and doesn't care about the consequences, of which he is fully aware. Aleena, on the other hand, while evil, really just doesn't know the extend of the damage that she is doing to her world. Her motives don't involve hurting anybody, while Gronvald doesn't care if he does hurt people. I liked this clear contrast of villains, which is really evident in the second novel, Crow Boy.
- Josh's Hunger for Magic:
Josh first gets his taste of magic in the first book of the series. Throughout his two returns to the magic world, I could definitely sense just how much he loved magic. By the third book, it almost looked like had an addiction to magic, which is pretty dark if you think about it. I, at least, got the sense that he was constantly straddling the thin line between good and evil. This part of the story is fantastic, and I found it so expected because these books are aimed at a younger audience. I sometimes couldn't tell if he actually was going a bit evil, or if he was just pretending.