The Lost Magician, by Piers Torday, feels like a cross between Narnia and The Hunger Games. What do I mean by this? Well, it’s set after the Second World War, when four siblings are sent away to the country from London, because their house is uninhabitable.
The children soon discover a magical room (a library) that transports them to another world. This is where the comparison to the Narnia series comes from. However, what this magical world reveals is a battle between the Reads, the Unreads and the Never Reads. In other words, a battle between truth (and science) versus fantasy (fiction) and just plain ignorance of the written word.
Having been traumatised by war, each child has their own battle scars to deal with. For one, having witnessed death and destruction firsthand, a want for a better world leads her into the wrong hands. This is where I compare to more of a dystopian theme because the world, as revealed, is so far beyond the reality she is used to that it is a temptation too hard to resist. This is a world of science and technology, that one could not even have begun to imagine at that time and presents a world of peace and harmony – a future so much brighter than the current one could have seemed.
However, it is not to be. The children soon find themselves at war once again, this time in their own battle between good and evil. It is a journey that almost destroys them, but ultimately makes them stronger.