Available October 1, 2014
350 pages – $14.97
You can reach David at:
Magic Teacher's Son
Book One of The Magicians' Gold Series
by David Harten Watson
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Praise for Magic Teacher's Son
This book walks the line between YA and Children's. On the one hand, the protagonist is sixteen
and deals with a lot of the firsts that mark YA literature. On the other hand, the tone is very
innocent for the most part, as innocent as early Harry Potter books. There are a handful of sex
jokes cracked between teen boys, but they are very mild and would easily go over a child's head.
Therefore, I'm comfortable saying that this book is appropriate for young readers.
In the kingdom of Eldor, which resembles 1800s America, magic is commonplace. Magicians draw their
power from silver and gold, with gold being used for more powerful magic. But as soon as they use
the metal for a spell, it turns to lead. So in this world, gold is currency not just because it's
a medium for payment, but because it's very useful. The wealthy can cast spells for the most trivial
of matters, such as shrinking clothes to fit, while the poor must conserve their gold for emergencies,
like healing wounds. Of course, gold is a lot common in this world than on Earth, which to them is as
legendary as El Dorado. Speaking of which, that's the name of Eldor's capital — Eldorado.
Pran Gilamond is the 16-year-old son of the local magic teacher, who runs a one-room school for
students ranging from Novices to Enchanters (who are the teacher's apprentices). Pran himself
is a fourth-year student, a Conjurer, and dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magician someday. But
he can't resist the temptation to check out Sorcery — black magic — and sneaks out one night to
observe those among his classmates who secretly practice the illicit art, which draws power from bones.
Meanwhile, Eldor is deeply engaged in war against Marakna. And while Sorcery is illegal in Eldor, which
only harnesses the white magic of the Magicians, the Maraknese have no such qualms. When Pran hears a
prophecy saying that soon the gold will disappear from Eldor, leaving the kingdom with no magic to
defend itself from its enemies, he fears the worst will come to pass. But there is hope — the prophecy
also states that he will go to the mythical land of Earth and bring back gold to replenish his kingdom's
stores. And so he sets out to find the three companions foretold to accompany him on this grand adventure.
This is honestly one of the best fantasy books for young readers I've read in a long time. Magic and
mayhem radiate from every page — I was hooked from the very first. Now, I have a few confessions.
First, I know Dave in real life — he's the founder and leader of a local writer's group I attend.
Second, I was very skeptical when I agreed to read and blurb his book. It had recently been acquired by
Pen-L but hadn't gone through editing yet, and I've waded through enough unedited manuscripts that have
good ideas but bad execution to think this might be another.
Not so at all.
Pardon my French, but literally the first thing that went through my head when I started reading this
book was "Damn, this is good s***!" I'm not kidding. I was incredibly impressed by Watson's world-building
skills and narrative flow. The pacing manages to be fast and slow at once — he leaves enough hooks to
make you want to keep reading, but also takes time to explore his world. In that sense, his book reminds me
of the early Harry Potter books (although NOT because of the magic school aspect — plot-wise and
idea-wise, the two books are nothing alike. I only draw comparison to the tone and feel. Contrary to
popular belief, Ms. Rowling was not the first writer to invent a magic school! Ursula K. Le Guin did it in
the 1970s . . . okay, back to the review.
Watson writes with an endearing style, allowing his descriptions to flow and his characters to speak for
themselves. There's a charming innocence to The Magic Teacher's Son, which is a welcome relief from all
the angst and anger of most young adult literature (and I know I'm guilty of adding to that tradition!).
Which is why I think younger readers — children in elementary and middle school — will enjoy
it immensely. Despite the looming danger, there's a certain joy that permeates every page, a delightful
elan that makes this a lighthearted, fun read.
The Magic Teacher's Son has a colorful cast of characters, from Pran and all his quirks — from
worrying too much to blurting out embarrassing things before a pretty girl — to the aforementioned
pretty girl, Vitina, who is also a skilled Enchantress despite the common belief in Eldor that girls
cannot do magic. And then there's Jelal, a mostly chipper yet emotionally unstable 12-year-old boy Pran
befriends who turns out to be far more than he appears.
Suffice it to say, I enjoyed this book enough to read it twice: first the unedited version for a quick
blurb, and then the pre-release ARC for this full-length review. And both times, I found it utterly
addictive. Couldn't stop reading. You would've had to pry my Kindle out of my cold, dead hands. It was
just so . . . fun. And the world-building is incredibly rich, so reading this book
is like stepping into a portal to another world.
I would keep gushing over all the little bits and pieces I loved, but I'm afraid this review is already
too long and you're probably rolling your eyes at my fangirling. Now, I only have one complaint:
Where's the rest of it? The Magic Teacher's Son ends on a cliffhanger, leaving much room for the
rest of the series to develop.
So come on, Dave, finish Book 2! Your fans are waiting . . .
~ Mary Fan — author of Artificial Absolutes and the series Flynn Nightsider — at
In the debut novel by David Harten Watson, we are introduced to the land of Eldor, a place
that contains both familiar and fresh elements of the fantastic. The magic worked by the
characters is a creative invention, with just enough rules and structure to prevent a
free-for-all of spell-slinging.
Watson describes this world with prose that is straight-forward, while capturing a true feel
for the interplay between teenage characters. The military structure of the magical army was
an outstanding touch that allowed the battle scenes to unfold with clarity. Pran is a likeable
hero, and this book was a joy to read. It's about overcoming challenges, friendship, and trust,
making choices, and protecting your home. Magic Teachers' Son is a solid introduction to the
world that the author has crafted, and I'll be looking for the next book in this marvelous series.
~ Clare L. Deming, author of A Big Stabbity Bang and Princess Thirty-Nine
My name is Daniel Curry. I am 9 years old. I read lots of fantasy novels. I have read Magic Teacher's Son
cover to cover twice. It is a very good book. It is very well written. If you like books such as Lord of
the Rings or Harry Potter, this book is just right for you. When you read Magic Teacher's Son you will be
rushing to find out what happens next. Humor, magic and details radiate from every page. I think the book
is worth much more than the cost.
~ Daniel Curry
Magic Teacher's Son is fantasy at its finest! It's a cross between The Lord of the Rings
and Harry Potter, but with its own unique twists. A mesmerizing tale that will appeal to
both the young and the old.
~ Karen E. Quinones Miller, bestselling author of Satin Doll and I'm Telling
David Watson's new book introduces an exciting and creative series of novels contrasting a
world ruled by magic and sorcery with our mundane world. The novel has delightful humor mixed
with social comment. The author has built a unique world that combines the familiar and the
strange to create a plot that brings suspense and excitement. I eagerly look forward to
reading more of the world of Rados and its diverse citizens.
~ Thomas Wm. Hamilton, author of Time for Patriots and The Mountain of Long Eyes
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