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A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer

A College of Magics (edition 2002)

by Caroline Stevermer

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1,228289,925 (3.81)45
Title:A College of Magics
Authors:Caroline Stevermer
Info:Starscape (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

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A College of Magics by Caroline Stevermer

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» See also 45 mentions

English (27)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
I picked this up to re-read, vaguely remembering not having liked it when I was in college myself.

I honestly don't know why not -- unless it was a lack of familiarity with the time period. I thoroughly enjoyed it this time around. ( )
  akaGingerK | Sep 30, 2018 |
I picked up this book for two reasons: (1) she’s half of the duo who wrote the Kate & Cecelia series; (2) she says she modeled the school after her alma mater, Bryn Mawr. Don’t be mistaken, the entire book does not take place at the college. Faris attends but has to leave, and her responsibilities and skills lead her to many places. This book has an element of found family that I adore, and a love story that I truly enjoyed (never mind what other people tell you about the ending). ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
This book was one of my favorites because one of the the characters (Eve-Marie) was closely based on a young woman I knew shortly after the time the author knew her. (The author was at college with her in 1975-77, and I was in graduate school with her immediately afterwards.) She really did glow the way the author describes, with an undeniable aura of magic. However on this book the original college (Bryn Mawr, I believe) is transmuted into Greenlaw, a "finishing school" in a magical version of the late nineteenth century located on the northern French coast, roughly equivalent to Mont Saint Michel, though the college is dedicated to St. Margaret as well as St. Michael. The heroine Faris is by rights duchess of Galazon (and arguably queen of Averill) but she is packed off to Greenlaw by the ambitious uncle who is ruling her duchy till she comes of age. She makes group of close friends, and one enemy. Menary Paganell, of the branch of the royal family currently ruling Averill. Eventually they have a showdown when Menary turns Faris's bodyguard into a cat, and Faris sets Menary's hair on fire. Students actually working magic in the college is forbidden, so both must leave, especially as Faris's uncle has summoned her home. From there the story plunges into magical intrigue. It turns out that her uncle is not as wicked as she thought, but Menary certainly is. Overall it is concluded neatly, but somehow not quite satisfactorily in terms of the condition of the man she loves. ( )
  antiquary | Feb 16, 2018 |
I have wanted to read A College of Magics ever since I read the companion novel-sequel, A Scholar of Magics, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. In hindsight, taking so long to find A College of Magics was actually a good thing, because I couldn’t remember anything remotely spoiler-ish from A Scholar of Magics. My expectations of this as a story about a magic university had also lessened with the passage of time, and I didn’t feel the disappointment that I might have once felt upon discovering that a lot of A College of Magics is actually about Faris after she leaves the college.

This is a mystery about magic and a coming-of-age story about responsibility. This is vivid and poignant and there’s something really lovely about it. I enjoyed the parts about college life, and Faris’ friend Jane is an utter delight. I’m so pleased I finally got to read this.

Her fellow students at first had given Faris the impression of high intelligence and strange intensity. Even slight familiarity taught her that this impression was, if not entirely mistaken, sadly incomplete. In fact, her fellow students were simply exhausted. Fatigue took strange forms.
One day in the dining hall, Faris sat across the table from a first-year student who stared blankly at the single artichoke on the plate before her.
“That looks good,” said Faris. The artichokes had vanished before she’d arrived and she cherished a faint hope that her classmate disliked them, perhaps enough to barter for it.
“Extremely good,” agreed the first-year, dashing Faris’s hopes. Wearily, she added, “if only I could remember how to eat one.”
( )
  Herenya | Nov 27, 2017 |
I was just trying to write up a regular plot summary but it sounded so stupid and flat compared to the actual story. The back of the book makes it sound like a boarding school tale, which it admittedly is at the start. But there are three parts to the story and the second two are full of real life and high stakes adventures. Faris, the main character, is a couple years from coming of age at the beginning of the story and has an "evil" uncle who is ruling her country of Galazon until she is 21. And the school? It seems like a normal finishing school but the girls who excel there are those that are able to use magic. But do they teach magic at the school? Not really. It's just theoretical instruction and then innate ability just kind of takes over by the time the young women are ready to leave. Faris hates it at first but then finds friends and loves it and then, of course, is pulled out early by her evil uncle, but not before things go totally wonky with her nemesis, Menary.

And then once she leaves and heads toward Galazon by way of Paris, the adventures/perils begin, with real consequences for Faris, her companions, and her enemies. Some of the things that happen are actually quite intense. The back of the book says "ages 10 and up" but there are some violent things that happen that seem more appropriate for a slightly older kid. I say this because the intensity did something to me, the adult reader. During the days I was reading this book I was tense and stressed and had to keep getting back to it. The world felt so real and Faris's eventual mission so important that I ended up speeding through the almost 500 pages of story. Then the ending was so unexpected, so outside of normal children's fiction norms, that I ended up in awe of Stevermer and her feminist ideals.

http://webereading.com/2017/06/a-college-of-magics.html ( )
  klpm | Jun 14, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caroline Stevermerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grossman, HowardCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kidd, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcel, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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And time is not a gulf, nor space a bar;
Our hearts are loyal, even when we're far;
As once we were, again tonight we are.

- Georgina Goddard King
This book is respectfully dedicated to the inhabitants of Denbigh's back smoker 1975-1977. You know who you are.
First words
Faris Nallaneen arrived at the gates of Greenlaw on the same day winter did.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765342456, Mass Market Paperback)

Teenager Faris Nallaneen is the heir to the small northern dukedom of Galazon. Too young still to claim her title, her despotic Uncle Brinker has ruled in her place. Now he demands she be sent to Greenlaw College. For her benefit he insists. To keep me out of the way, more like it!

But Greenlaw is not just any school-as Faris and her new best friend Jane discover. At Greenlaw students major in . . . magic.

But it's not all fun and games. When Faris makes an enemy of classmate Menary of Aravill, life could get downright . . . deadly.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Teenager Faris Nallaneen, heir to the small northern dukedom of Galazon, is still too young to claim her title, so her despotic Uncle Brinker insists she be sent to Greenlaw College, where all students major in magic.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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