Title: Order of the Majestic
Author: Matt Myklusch
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Fans of Brandon Mull and James Riley will love this action-packed, accessible fantasy story about one kid’s journey to discover magic as he’s caught up in an epic battle between two powerful ancient orders.
Twelve-year-old daydreamer Joey Kopecky’s life has been turned upside down. After acing a series of tests, he’s declared a genius and awarded a full scholarship at a special (year-round!) school. He’s understandably devastated, until he takes one last test, and the room around him disappears, replaced by the interior of an old theater.
There, Joey meets the washed-up magician, Redondo the Magnificent, and makes a shocking discovery…magic is real, but sadly, there isn’t much left in the world. It may be too late to save what little remains, but for the first time in his life Joey wants to try—really try—to do something big. Soon he’s swept up into a centuries-old conflict between two rival societies of magicians—the Order of the Majestic, who fights to keep magic alive and free for all, and the dark magicians of the Invisible Hand, who hoard magic for their own evil ends.
The endless battle for control of magic itself has reached a tipping point. For Redondo and the Order to survive, Joey must inherit the lost legacy of Harry Houdini. Will he prove himself worthy, or will the Invisible Hand strike him down? The answer will depend on Joey’s ability to believe, not just in magic, but in himself.
This was a fun, original story!
The magic in this story was in the form of magical illusions, rather than fantasy. There was more than just card tricks, including magical portals to other worlds, but it seemed a little more realistic than other stories. I loved that this was a world built on magic tricks, because it is more accessible to kids. I had a set of magic tricks that I loved playing with as a kid. I think this setting makes the story much more relatable for young readers.
I loved the comparison of magic and science. A few times the characters say “Magic is just science that people don’t understand yet.” I love this description of magic. Some things that people used to think of as magic centuries ago are now classified as science, such as medical advancements. I loved the way this brought the magic into the real world.
I also appreciated that Joey has both of his parents in this story. Often in children’s stories, the main character is either an orphan or from a single parent household. That is supposed to put the characters at a disadvantage right from the beginning, but it doesn’t always have to be like that. I liked that this was a different way to start a middle grade fantasy novel.
I really enjoyed this book! It’s a great magical story!
What to read next:
The Lost Prince (Seaborne #1) by Matt Myklusch
The Revenge of Magic by James Riley
Have you read Order of the Majestic? What did you think of it?