Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 Stars)
Elijah Muddle has only ever had one dream: become an amazing warlock. But as the son of a manure farmer, his prospects of becoming one are virtually nonexistent. At least, until one day, when he arrives at the doorstep of Caliban on a seemingly routine manure delivery…only to be confused for Caliban’s actual apprentice. In a series of luck (or maybe bad luck), Elijah’s magic is unlocked and he enters a blood contract with Caliban to be his apprentice. But Elijah’s magic doesn’t operate properly: every time he casts a spell, even when he follows the steps exactly as Caliban teachers him, everything goes haywire. Was Elijah not meant to be a warlock? And if not, how can he set this right?
In a fun novel that wraps us in Elijah’s misfortunes, aided by the help of his friends Marcus the Thief and Tori the Barbarian, we are transported into a world where magic is flawed. This makes for a whirlwind of adventures that sends mountains upside, causes fountains to have angry fits, and makes drinks disappear. Even when Elijah acts on good intentions, his magic doesn’t want to agree, and Caliban is stuck cleaning up his mess. You’ll never know where Elijah’s adventure will take you next!
Carey Mulligan is also fantastic narrator for this audio book. Each character has a distinct voice, and she keeps you entertained throughout the entire narrative. In fact, I can’t imagine a more suitable narrator for Elijah’s tale than her!
In some ways, The Worst Warlock reminds me of Dragon Squisher by Scott McCormick, especially in relation to some of the humor, as well as how the trio of friends behave. These must be a few common tropes in humorous middle grade fantasy, and I can see why!
But, while this is a middle-grade novel, I would not recommend it for children under the age of 10. There is death (some gruesome death too), and the story shows a trio of friends who break the rules to get by. This might not be the best message for children as a whole. Granted, some younger kids may be find reading about these topics, as long as they know right from wrong.
Overall, I think most children and preteens will like this book though! While certain parts were definitely a tad ridiculous, and the plot moved fast with a lot of different events happening in one book, I think it will be just the right pace for its target audience!
The Worst Warlock is a cute, endearing story that both adults and children will find entertaining. With Carey Mulligan as the narrator, I don’t think you can get a much better production at all.
What’s it about?
Elijah Muddle’s life changed in an instant. The son of a spiteful and mean manure farmer, Elijah now has become an apprentice to the town’s warlock, Caliban. The chance to escape his terrible father and learn magic? It’s a dream come true! Until…it turns out that Elijah’s internal magic is wonky, and he is the absolute worst warlock ever – all his spells go wildly wrong, causing both hilarious and disastrous consequences all over town.
Now, everyone in town is furious at Elijah, including Caliban and his dangerous jaguar familiar. Elijah tries desperately to correct his magic with the help of his best friends Marcus the thief and Tori the blacksmithing barbarian. The trio contends with the Nighty-Knights, angry mobs, and a ridiculously dangerous and forbidden spell. Will Elijah succeed? Find out in this clever and funny audiobook from A. A. Livingston & Dan Livingston.