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Yesterday's Magic by Pamela F. Service

Yesterday's Magic

by Pamela F. Service

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Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com

The sequel to TOMORROW'S MAGIC packs a definite punch. Hundreds of years into Earth's future, humanity has lost control of its nuclear weapons and destroyed much of the planet, plunging the world into another ice age and killing off most of the human population. Years later, civilization is starting to rebuild in those few pockets of human life that remain, but this civilization looks very different from the one that preceded it. For one thing, the high levels of radiation have mutated numerous plants, creatures, and even humans, and those who have escaped extreme mutations have still been changed by their surroundings. But the other, more significant development is the resurgence of magical power into the world and the appearance of new forms of magic.

In the previous novel, British schoolchildren Heather and Welly opened up a portal to the Otherworld known as Avalon and brought back King Arthur with the intent of reuniting Britain. They also discover Merlin, who as a result of a spell he has used to cheat time is now a young boy again, the same age as Heather and Welly. Unfortunately, the return of magic into the world also heralds the return of Morgan Le Fay, evil sorceress bent on uniting the world to much darker purposes.

The conflict in YESTERDAY'S MAGIC begins when Morgan, thought to have been defeated, rigs an elaborate trap to kidnap Heather in order to drain her of her magical powers. Merlin, who is in love with Heather, runs to her rescue despite the caution of his friends that he may be Morgan's real target. The resulting chase leads Merlin around the world, where he encounters other civilizations that have survived the Devastation and are beginning to rebuild, all the while attempting to save Heather and protect these fledgling civilizations from Morgan's evil.

I hadn't read the previous novel in the series before picking this one up, but the richness of backstory present within the book had me itching for a copy of its predecessor within chapters. The author does a good job of presenting characters and their relationships with a sense of depth, giving not just an idea of who they are now, but who they were in the previous book and how their relationships have developed over the course of time. I also enjoyed her small details about the setting that helped me get a sense for the time--Heather's two-headed, two-tailed "mutie" dog comes to mind, as does a schoolchild's plastic lunchbox that is revered as treasure because plastic can no longer be manufactured and so much of it was destroyed during the Devastation. Service's blend of a new world and old magic makes for a compelling read. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375855777, Hardcover)

WHEN HEATHER MCKENNA is kidnapped by the sorceress Morgan LeFay, it is up to Heather’s friend Welly and the wizard Merlin (yes, that Merlin), to rescue her. Set 500 years in the future, following a nuclear devastation, the technological world has ground to a halt, but magic is beginning to take hold again. And the powerful icons of myth are starting to fight over control of the world. From the Russian witch Baba Yaga, to the native American trickster god, Raven, the most ancient magical forces are beginning to awaken, and they have very different ideas about the future of the earth.
This riveting sequel to Tomorrow’s Magic continues Merlin and Arthur’s quest to reunite the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the twenty-sixth century, Heather is kidnapped by Morgan LeFay, sending Merlin, Wally, Troll, and a dragon on a collision course with the reawakened mythical beings of several cultures, while Arthur and his bride, Margaret, continue their efforts to unite Britain.… (more)

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