The Dumari Chronicles: Year One
by Anne Patrice Brown
The author of this pretty much self-published series contacted me through MuggleNet and asked me if she could send me her book. I told her to go ahead, but not to expect me to get to it
right away. I got to it right away, though. I can't say why it felt like the next book I must read.
The cover wasn't terribly interesting; just the title and author's name on a neutral background,
with a gold Euro sign flipped sideways in the center. I doubt it was the Euro that did it.
For whatever reason, I read the book right off, and I'm ready to recommend it. It may be just what
bereaved Harry Potter fans need, now that their favorite saga has ended. Why? Because this book is,
in many ways, the total opposite of the Harry Potter series. Yes, there are witches and wizards, and
some of them are kids. But everything else is quite different, as the book's introduction frankly
In The Dumari Chronicles, young "magicals" don't go to a special school. They blend with
non-magicals and keep their powers as secret as they can. Magic runs in families. Moira's family,
for instance. Moira's mother and stepfather are magicals, and her younger half-sister Ainsley is a
magical, but her no-good deadbeat Dad isn't, and neither is her old brother Devon. Moira herself is
magical, but she tries to deny it, and vows not to do any actual magic. Partly this is because she
is going through a rebellious phase, with all the bad attitude, grungy clothing, hairstyle, tattoos,
and piercings that go with it. Part of the bad attitude has to do with her feelings about how her
father stopped visiting her and Devon. She blames the magic.
Moira doesn't make things easy for herself, or anyone else around her. At first this is all bad news
for her twin cousins Brody and Braidy, a gawky teenage boy and his perfect-princess sister,
respectively. But then the three of them are kidnapped by evil magicals who have deadly plans for
two of them, and even worse things in store for the third. The kids don't understand why this is
happening to them, but it has something to do with the Dumari - an especially powerful magical who
bears a mark somewhat like a sideways Euro sign (hey, that's what it looks like to me). Maybe one of
these three kids is the next Dumari; maybe it will be Ainsley. But the bad guys want to control
whichever one it is...and the families just want their kids back.
Caught in the middle are three scared, clueless teens who soon escape their captors, only to find
themselves lost in New York City with no money, no idea where to go or whom to trust, and no way to
call home. As the evil magicals block off their means of escape and communication, Moira, Braidy,
and Brody take an exhausting journey, never more than a step ahead of their pursuers...and often
This book is full of refreshing contrasts to the Harry Potter formula. On the other hand, one of
those contrasts is a somewhat less engaging style. Some of the numerous characters were a little
stiff and hard to distinguish from each other. At times I detected a "romance novelist" tendency to
over-glamorize the characters, apart from the charmingly flawed and interesting main trio of
characters; the romance genre flickered across my mind again and again as the parents and
grandparents of the hero kids interacted and reacted to things that were going on.
When the narrative focused on the three kids, it was more interesting - especially what their dreams
revealed about their different personalities and anxieties. The adventures they experience are
exciting, and Moira proves to be handy to have around after all, bad attitude or no. Some of the
other interesting characters include a young man who seems destined for an interesting role in
upcoming books. And the climactic wrap-up leaves one with interesting, unanswered questions that may
entice you into Year Two...romance fans especially.
If you would like to contact Robbie, you may do so here.