Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley Book review

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

Prepare yourself for a whole lot of fangirling, because Magonia was absolutely outstanding. 

I first heard about Magonia towards the end of last year on an episode of Epic Reads’ Tea Time. I thought it sounded good, so I added it to my TBR list. When it was released, I read the sample Kindle chapters and loved it, but something told me to save it for my holiday.

Reading Magonia in the Ice Bar Stockholm

So I did, and I devoured it during every spare moment. Literally. The photo above was taken in the Ice Bar in Stockholm. It is literally the coolest place I’ve ever read a book. (And if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I use the word ‘literally’ correctly.) 

I’ve read a handful of excellent books this year, but Magonia went beyond that. It’s one of those books that grabs you by the scruff of your neck and doesn’t let you go until the last page. 

It’s so different to anything I’ve read before. It’s a wonderful blend of fantasy, life, love, and magic, with some realism thrown in. 

Magonia is narrated by Aza Ray, and her best friend Jason. Aza has received comparisons to Hazel Grace from The Fault In Our Stars, and this time it is a just comparison.

Aza has suffered from an unknown breathing illness her entire life, and it will probably kill her one day. Her attitude towards illness and death, and her sarcasm is reminiscent of Hazel Grace. But the comparisons end a few chapters in when Aza ends up in Magonia. 

You Hold No Horrors For Me - Jason Kerwin - Magonia quote

Jason’s character was brilliant; you could feel his anxiety, worry, and compassion for Aza leaping off the page. 

Other secondary characters are fairly well built, but I do want to find out more about the Magonian characters, especially Dai. 

Aza undergoes a significant amount of character development throughout the book. At the beginning, she’s sarcastic and very Hazel Grace, but by the end she’s strong and willing to stand up and fight for what’s right. 

One of the best things about the book is that Maria Dahvana Headley actually based the book on real reports. In 815, a treaty called De Grandine et Tonitruis (On Hail and Thunder) was published, which listed Magonia as a place in the clouds where people lived in ships, and a used the weather as a front to steal grain. It’s quite interesting if you Google ‘magonia mythology’. 

These facts are woven into the story to give it an edge of realism that had me sneakily checking the sky for ships. 

I love it when authors do that because it gives the book something extra that pulls you even further into the book and engulfs you in it. 

The world building was brilliant, and it reminded me of The Edge Chronicles a lot. 

Magonia is the first book in a series, with the second book due out in 2016, but it stood up 100% on its own. It’s been a while since I could say that about a book, but if for some reason the next book never appears, you won’t be disappointed. You will be left wanting mind you because it’s just so darn good. 

This book is hands down, the best book I have read this year. It blows everything else out of the water. Just read it. 

Are you convinced? Are you gonna pick up Magonia? 

Magonia book rating - new favourite