Cressida Cowell - The Wizards of Once - Hachette Children's Group

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  • Paperback £9.99
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    • ISBN:9781444939576
    • Publication date:19 Sep 2017
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    • ISBN:9781444936728
    • Publication date:03 May 2018
Books in this series

The Wizards of Once

Book 1

By Cressida Cowell

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From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon comes an exciting high-adventure series - set in an ancient, magical time, full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites.

From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon comes an exciting high-adventure series - set in an ancient, magical time, full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites.

#1 Sunday Times Bestseller

Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award


This is the story of a young boy Wizard and a young girl Warrior who have been taught since birth to hate each other like poison; and the thrilling tale of what happens when their two worlds collide.

Perfect for boys and girls who love fantasy adventure...

Once there was Magic, and the Magic lived in the dark forests. Until the Warriors came...

Xar is a Wizard boy who has no Magic, and will do anything to get it. Wish is a Warrior girl, but she owns a banned Magical Object, and she will do anything to conceal it.

In this whirlwind adventure, Xar and Wish must forget their differences if they're going to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort.

Where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring...

Biographical Notes

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton.

How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is a number one bestseller.

Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes for her books, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize , the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now'magazine's 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity.

She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444936711
  • Publication date: 19 Sep 2017
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Hodder Children's Books
World-conquering — The Guardian
The first volume of a new series by author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series is an event....Funny, thoughtful and surprisingly wise and lively, this is another coup from Cowell — The Sunday Times
Cowell's latest work offers a fully realized fantasy world abounding with witches, sprites, killer plants, and talking ravens. Her scrappy teenage protagonists are wonderfully flawed and almost scarily realistic in their bravery, selfishness, and desire to please their parents yet not surrender their individuality. The omniscient narrator's voice is pitch-perfect, sounding appropriately young without ever talking down to the target audience. Readers will fall in love with the imaginative worldbuilding and humorous dialogue and asides....A delightful magical romp. — Kirkus Reviews
The detail of Cowell's world is a delight...This one will run and run. — The Observer
I am pleased to report that The Wizards of Once...is terrific. It introduces us to a new fantasy world, though its roots again lie deep in a familiar mulch of history and legend. Not the Norse myths this time, but a fantasia of ancient Britain, a land of dark, mysterious forests and powerful magic. What follows is a rollercoaster of suspense and surprise...The book has all the familiar Cowell trademarks. The story never flags, even at moments of calm and reflection, and the writing has humour, grit and depth. She provides her own illustrations, and their scratchy style and scribbled annotations strike the right note. It all adds up to a beautifully designed hardback volume. — The Guardian
... sustain a sense of wonder and mayhem from start to finish. Cowell skillfully mixes adventure with silliness in a satisfying story for younger fantasy fans. — Publishers Weekly
... it is by turns grim, poignant, philosophical and terrifying, woven through with Cowell's slapstick humour. — The Times Literary Supplement
An exciting and promising start... A fantastical adventure ensues, filled with mythical beasts, cliff-hangers and an epic struggle between good and evil — The Scotsman
bristles with rambunctious energy and humour, and feels as if it has been slapped down on the page with glee and mischief....its characters, Xar the wizard who has no magic, and Wish the warrior princess, who happens to have a magic spoon, are irresistible. — Herald Scotland
Wizards, warriors, sprites and snow cats in a brilliant new fantasy adventure. — The Bookseller
The Wizards of Once is... terrific... a rollercoaster of suspense. — The Guardian
I loved The Wizards of Once. Of course! The new world Cowell has created is just as vivid...There's plenty of magic in Cowell's wild woods and it rises from the pages fresh and clear and with fizzling energy... And it's funny, as you'd expect. Cheerfully funny with daft jokes and slapstick and sharp dialogue... The underlying theme is one of tolerance of difference. She writes with empathy and encourages it in her readers that way. So much better to let kids come to their own conclusions once you've gently pointed them in the right direction. I think this is one reason why Cowell is so popular - there is a trust between author and reader that both feel and respect. — The Book Bag
It's so brilliantly entertaining, exciting and scary, you'll be desperate to get your hands on the sequel. — The Week Junior
Cressida Cowell is a gifted author with a real talent for taking her readers right inside her fantasy worlds. Now we have the start of a great new series, with more to look forward to...The illustrations by the author are an outstanding feature of the book - they really convey the atmosphere and propel the reader into this fantastical world. Totally absorbing. — Parents in Touch

I really enjoyed this book because there were moments of suspense where you could guess what would happen and 9 times out of 10 be shocked by what happened.
It was really fun and a good read, I love how it all intertwines and locks. It is a book you get drawn into and can't put down and I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out because it leaves a real cliff hanger of an ending! An incredible read. 5 out of 5

— Primary Times
Fans of How To Train Your Dragon who have been waiting for Cressida Cowell's new series will not be disappointed. Wizards, warriors, magic and two fab new mini heroes. — Weekly Scoop
Without ever losing the qualities that have made her books so deservedly popular, very gently (and cleverly) Cressida Cowell leads her young readers into something deeper, something richer, something even more magical. In doing so, her contribution to children's literature follows exactly the same path. She is a true hero of current children's fiction. Her books are a gift and children, parents, carers, and teachers should all be deeply grateful for it. — Magic Fiction Since Potter
A treat for old fans and newcomers alike. — S Magazine
Packed with Cowell's own quirkly illustrations, and as imaginative, funny and warm-hearted as the Dragon books, The Wizards of Once is a pacy, exciting read that's sure to herald another hit series. — Gainsborough Echo
Funny, thoughtful, lively and suprisingly wise, it is another coup for Cowell. — The Sunday Times Ireland
The book bristles with rambunctious energy and humour, and feels as if it has been slapped down on the page with glee and mischief. And its characters are irresistible. — The Glasgow Herald
This is a spellbinding adventure. It's so brilliantly entertaining, exciting and scary, you'll be desperate to get your hands on the sequel. — The Week Junior
A wildly entertaining and funny adventure. It is a visual treat to snuggle up with or read together with an adult. — South Wales Evening Post (Swansea)
If your kids adored How to Train Your Dragon, they'll be thrilled by the new The Wizards of Once. — Family Traveller
The illustrations of Xar, Wish, the magical creatures, notices and maps will be familiar to fans of How to Train Your Dragon but they are darker and have more of a feel of Tinder or A Monster Calls. An enjoyable read for anyone who loves the idea that 'Once there was Magic'. — The School Librarian
Full of quirky illustrations, it is a pacy read. — Cornish Times
Packed with Cowell's own quirky illustrations and as imaginative, funny and warm-hearted as the Dragon books. — The Wrexham Leader
A new fantasy world drawing on the background of Ancient Britain. The book is engagingly written with humorous illustrations and sketches adding to the flavour and vividness of the writing. A must of any KS2 reader who likes fast-paced adventure. — The English Association
The story moves at a cracking pace. — Teaching English
Cowell's latest work offers a fully realized fantasy world abounding with witches, sprites, killer plants, and talking ravens. Her scrappy teenage protagonists are wonderfully flawed and almost scarily realistic in their bravery, selfishness, and desire to please their parents yet not surrender their individuality. The omniscient narrator's voice is pitch-perfect, sounding appropriately young without ever talking down to the target audience. Readers will fall in love with the imaginative worldbuilding and humorous dialogue and asides....A delightful magical romp. — Kirkus Reviews
This book will delight and engage readers of fantasy both young and old. — School Library Connection
World-conquering
The first volume of a new series by author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series is an event....Funny, thoughtful and surprisingly wise and lively, this is another coup from Cowell
Cowell's latest work offers a fully realized fantasy world abounding with witches, sprites, killer plants, and talking ravens. Her scrappy teenage protagonists are wonderfully flawed and almost scarily realistic in their bravery, selfishness, and desire to please their parents yet not surrender their individuality. The omniscient narrator's voice is pitch-perfect, sounding appropriately young without ever talking down to the target audience. Readers will fall in love with the imaginative worldbuilding and humorous dialogue and asides....A delightful magical romp.
The detail of Cowell's world is a delight...This one will run and run.
I am pleased to report that The Wizards of Once...is terrific. It introduces us to a new fantasy world, though its roots again lie deep in a familiar mulch of history and legend. Not the Norse myths this time, but a fantasia of ancient Britain, a land of dark, mysterious forests and powerful magic. What follows is a rollercoaster of suspense and surprise...The book has all the familiar Cowell trademarks. The story never flags, even at moments of calm and reflection, and the writing has humour, grit and depth. She provides her own illustrations, and their scratchy style and scribbled annotations strike the right note. It all adds up to a beautifully designed hardback volume.
... sustain a sense of wonder and mayhem from start to finish. Cowell skillfully mixes adventure with silliness in a satisfying story for younger fantasy fans.
... it is by turns grim, poignant, philosophical and terrifying, woven through with Cowell's slapstick humour.
An exciting and promising start... A fantastical adventure ensues, filled with mythical beasts, cliff-hangers and an epic struggle between good and evil
bristles with rambunctious energy and humour, and feels as if it has been slapped down on the page with glee and mischief....its characters, Xar the wizard who has no magic, and Wish the warrior princess, who happens to have a magic spoon, are irresistible.
Wizards, warriors, sprites and snow cats in a brilliant new fantasy adventure.
The Wizards of Once is... terrific... a rollercoaster of suspense.
I loved The Wizards of Once. Of course! The new world Cowell has created is just as vivid...There's plenty of magic in Cowell's wild woods and it rises from the pages fresh and clear and with fizzling energy... And it's funny, as you'd expect. Cheerfully funny with daft jokes and slapstick and sharp dialogue... The underlying theme is one of tolerance of difference. She writes with empathy and encourages it in her readers that way. So much better to let kids come to their own conclusions once you've gently pointed them in the right direction. I think this is one reason why Cowell is so popular - there is a trust between author and reader that both feel and respect.
It's so brilliantly entertaining, exciting and scary, you'll be desperate to get your hands on the sequel.
Cressida Cowell is a gifted author with a real talent for taking her readers right inside her fantasy worlds. Now we have the start of a great new series, with more to look forward to...The illustrations by the author are an outstanding feature of the book - they really convey the atmosphere and propel the reader into this fantastical world. Totally absorbing.

I really enjoyed this book because there were moments of suspense where you could guess what would happen and 9 times out of 10 be shocked by what happened.
It was really fun and a good read, I love how it all intertwines and locks. It is a book you get drawn into and can't put down and I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out because it leaves a real cliff hanger of an ending! An incredible read. 5 out of 5

Fans of How To Train Your Dragon who have been waiting for Cressida Cowell's new series will not be disappointed. Wizards, warriors, magic and two fab new mini heroes.
Without ever losing the qualities that have made her books so deservedly popular, very gently (and cleverly) Cressida Cowell leads her young readers into something deeper, something richer, something even more magical. In doing so, her contribution to children's literature follows exactly the same path. She is a true hero of current children's fiction. Her books are a gift and children, parents, carers, and teachers should all be deeply grateful for it.
A treat for old fans and newcomers alike.
Packed with Cowell's own quirkly illustrations, and as imaginative, funny and warm-hearted as the Dragon books, The Wizards of Once is a pacy, exciting read that's sure to herald another hit series.
Funny, thoughtful, lively and suprisingly wise, it is another coup for Cowell.
The book bristles with rambunctious energy and humour, and feels as if it has been slapped down on the page with glee and mischief. And its characters are irresistible.
This is a spellbinding adventure. It's so brilliantly entertaining, exciting and scary, you'll be desperate to get your hands on the sequel.
A wildly entertaining and funny adventure. It is a visual treat to snuggle up with or read together with an adult.
If your kids adored How to Train Your Dragon, they'll be thrilled by the new The Wizards of Once.
The illustrations of Xar, Wish, the magical creatures, notices and maps will be familiar to fans of How to Train Your Dragon but they are darker and have more of a feel of Tinder or A Monster Calls. An enjoyable read for anyone who loves the idea that 'Once there was Magic'.
Full of quirky illustrations, it is a pacy read.
Packed with Cowell's own quirky illustrations and as imaginative, funny and warm-hearted as the Dragon books.
A new fantasy world drawing on the background of Ancient Britain. The book is engagingly written with humorous illustrations and sketches adding to the flavour and vividness of the writing. A must of any KS2 reader who likes fast-paced adventure.
The story moves at a cracking pace.
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