Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)
Audio Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 Stars)
Total Rating: ★★★★★ (4.5/5 stars)
The Magic Misfits are back in their final act, but will they take a bow at the end? After a tumultuous summer with the nefarious Kalagan stirring up chaos, ultimately resulting in the destruction of Vernon’s Magic Shop, the Magic Misfits have been forced to meet in the shadows. This time, we take a journey through Ridley’s eyes, as she tries to thwart Kalagan’s plans one last time as well as mend the ties between her friends and her family. In a fun, high-stakes finale, filled with the magic of friendship and transformative word, embark on the Magic Misfits’ finale as they question everything they know.
Throughout the entire series, we have seen Ridley as the hard-headed, tough-as-nails, loyal friend. Now, in the finale, we get to see her in full; she is terrified of losing her friends and family, particularly to herself. She is constantly battling her inner turmoil, trying to mediate her personality, while also holding to her convictions. Children need to see this: not every hero is perfect. As truths unravel in Mineral Wells, that made even more pertinent. Things aren’t always as they seem. While many things seemed to come together by coincidence, Kalagan’s influence has been there throughout the whole story, playing each piece, one at a time, to bring our misfits together.
But even those we trust might not be trustworthy. Ridley knows this, and even if the truth hurts, she’ll stop at nothing to make sure her friends understand. Without Ridley, the Misfits might not have taken a final bow. They might have succumbed to Kalagan’s influence.
But they also could never act alone. Neil Patrick Harris has painted this group as equals; no matter their strengths and weaknesses, without each other, Kalagan might have won. While Kalagan is cunning, with multiple twists up his sleeves (one of which I anticipated, but the other I did not), he cannot win against such a close and important group of magical children.
In a satisfying conclusion to the series, we see all these pieces come together. Each child gets the chance to shine. But I think what is even more important about this book is Ridley. The fact that she is in a wheelchair is never seen as an inconvenience or an annoyance to her or her friends. She is strong, smart, and resourceful. There are important accommodations made by her friends, but never as a burden. Children need this…and adults do too: no one is a burden.
In fact, Ridley’s insecurities come more from her behavior. Is she too harsh? Too mean? Is she going to end up like her workaholic mother? What is left unsaid is more important than what is said, proving one heavy point: Ridley is a child just like any other.
Ultimately, this story is about trust. Everyone keeps secrets, but a secret should never cause someone to be misdirected. If a secret is such a burden, you lay the grounds to be manipulated by a man such as Kalagan. In the end, if you want your friendships to thrive, have trust in each other. It’s essential.
The Fourth Suit is a satisfying conclusion to a fun, but also heartwarming, story about a group of magical misfits. I highly recommend, whether young or old, you take a journey with the group. I am sure Carter, Laila, Theo, Ridley, Izzy, and Ollie would be happy to have you.
What’s it about?
Ridley Larsen is everything you want in a friend. She’s tough as nails, she’s fiercely loyal, and she’s smart as a whip. But she can be a harsh critic, which has put her position with the Magic Misfits on the rocks, even as the threat of the group’s longtime enemy Kalagan looms large. Ever since his recent appearance in Mineral Wells, the kids know that a showdown with the vicious magician is imminent.
They must first deal with a series of odd instances and random attacks, though, all of which they use to bring themselves closer to discovering where Kalagan may be hiding, and the nature of his true identity. But can Ridley finally master her temper and put her essential magical skills to good use? She’ll do anything to protect her friends, and when the time comes, she’ll find that the Magic Misfits are strongest when they all work together.
Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets in this finale of the unique and surprising series. Whether you’re a long-time expert at illusion or simply a new fan of stage magic, hold on to your top hat