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#24 | Magical Moments: Talking all things magic!

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Welcome to the second episode of season three! We're celebrating Halloween on this episode, and getting spooky with one of our favourite things: magic! Stay tuned to find out some of our favourite magical books.


Each episode of Rants and Reviews we share what we’re currently reading, so you can discover our favourite genes, add some books to your TBR pile, and hear us rave and rage about characters, plot, setting and more.

Anjali is currently reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

Sophie is currently reading Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, and Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz.

Before we get into the main feature, Anjali wanted to have a quick chat about the recently announced, first round of cast members for Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse TV series. While there isn’t a lot of news about it so far, it was very exciting to see some of the characters suddenly come alive (well, in a photograph on Twitter).


(8:30) We finally kick into the magical episode! We’ve picked three books each that involve magic in some way that we have really enjoyed reading over the years, and then three which we found a little bit naff or didn’t really enjoy.

(9:50) Sophie begins our list with V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series, which Anjali also has on her list. This is such a cool series and we highly recommend checking it out if you like magic, parallel worlds, epic coats, and pirates.

(17:30) After deciding to alternate our good and didn’t-love books, Anjali shares her first magical book that she didn’t love, and it pains her to say it but it’s a book that one of her favourite movies is based on. One of her favourite quotes is ““A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really…’Do the stars gaze back?’ Now, that's a question.” …Can you guess what book/movie she’s talking about?

(20:55) While it was only a three-star book, Sophie shares her first ‘didn’t love’ book, even though she really likes another series by the same author. While it’s not hugely based around magic, it is about time travelling and powers, which we’re including in this episode.

(34:40) It’s quite a struggle to find books that we didn’t love in the magical genre, but Anjali mentions Dark Lord of Derkholm, by Dianna Wynn Jones. For Anjali, it had been a little pre-hyped, and it was a little chaotic, but she thought the idea was fun.

(41:30) Anjali has a rant about how other people have a rant about books being so similar to other books, especially those in the magical genre. They’re gonna be similar people! It’s magic! Enjoy the book for what it is and no in comparison to others! Rant over.

(42:45) Sophie takes us back to the days when she read Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones series, and says she’d really like to re-read it. Hopefully she gets around to it for October’s Blogger’s Bookshelf Book Club theme: an author with an alliterative name. Also: ‘practical tattoos’ are mentioned.

(47:27) Magonia is mentioned yet again...but not in a good way.

(48:07)  “Wait wait wait...when you see a flying ship…!?”

(49:30) We end the episode with a couple of shoutouts to books and series which we really enjoyed reading but didn’t fit into the main episode.  And then Anjali shares a few books and series that fit into this Magical Moments episode that she wants to read in the future.


If you had magical powers what would you use them for? Give us a Tweet or send a message on Instagram to let us know, or you can let us know your favourite books that are set in magical worlds. But until next time, happy reading!

Find us on Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe on Podbean, acast, Spotify and iTunes or your favourite podcast listening platform. 

Books mentioned in this episode:
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas, Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas, Dark Lord of Derkholm by Dianna Wynn Jones, Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter, Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Nimona by Noelle Stephensen, The Magicians series by Lev Grossman, The Falling Kingdom series by Morghan Rhodes, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, The Cruel Prince series by Holly Black, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, A Discovery of Witches by Deboarh Harkness, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Heir Chronicles by Cinda William Chima, The Black Magician series by Trudy Canavan, The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard, The Harley Merlin series by Bella Forrest, Magonia by Lena Hedley, The Binding by Bridget Collins.

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