Tess Pendragon and the Wand of Avalon by: K.R. Mathews

Very rarely do I give a book a one star rating. Tess Pendragon is that rare book.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Arthurian legends and introducing it to kids is always amazing. This book is not the book I would give to kids to do that.

It reads so much like Harry Potter. Or a weak Harry Potter rip off. The setup in the first chapter is so similar. And it’s the entire book that’s like that. Yes, with a book about a magical school it’s going to draw parallels because the series was so big for so long.

So it’s up to the author to instill it with their own twists and flavor.

I couldn’t wait to get to the end of this book. I just wanted to see Tess grow and have more agency and she doesn’t. Things happen to her but she doesn’t seem to have any real impact on them.

Also, the first instance we have of conflict among the students, to show that Tess is bullied, are the Golden Witches. Three blond girls who bully Tess.

This put such a sour taste in my mouth. It’s 2021! Are we really still doing this?

Then there’s the writing that just isn’t that great. Is it hard to read? No. Is it nice to read? Unfortunately, not for me. I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy any of it.

I know it’s a first book so I’m hoping that with time the author gets more solid footing under their writing. I’d like to give them another chance but this book was a poor showcase for me.

I received this digital arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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