Sunday, April 4, 2021

Book Review: The Chosen One by James Riley (The Revenge of Magic #5)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters, great series climax
Cons: Pacing could be better early on
The Bottom Line:
Fort’s final battle
Slow start builds to great climax
With strong characters

The Final Battle Against the Old Ones

There were so many twists in the final pages of the fourth book in The Revenge of Magic series I couldn’t wait to pick up The Chosen One to see how James Riley was going to wrap everything up.

If you haven’t picked up this series, don’t start here.  Seriously.  Why would you want to, anyway, since it’s the final part of the series?  Plus, you’ll have all the twists of the series spoiled for you.  Heck, if I’d had the time, I would have reread at least the ending of book four so I could remember all the twists we got along the way.  As it was, it took me a little time to fit fully back into Fort’s world.

A quick crash course – the series centers around Fort Fitzgerald who is on hand in Washington DC when creatures come from below ground and attack it.  It’s only then that he learns that magic books have been found and he joins a school to try to learn magic himself in order to fight these monsters.

As this book opens, the final fight is coming.  Fort and his friends have one week until Damian has promised to return and unleash the Old Ones on the Earth.  Damian thinks he can defeat the Old Ones, but Fort believes that Damian will fail, unleashing the Old Ones on the Earth.  Fort thinks his only hope is to find a way to destroy magic once and for all.  But can he figure out how to do that in time?

While I do enjoy James Riley’s books, at times he can drag things out too long.  I felt like that was the case here.  While the back half of the book was good and provided the action and twists I was expecting, we could have gotten there faster instead of Fort debating about his decision.  Maybe I’m just an impatient adult, however.  I suspect that most kids won’t care and will devour this book from beginning to end.

One reason why they will be invested in the story is the characters.  Fort and his friends are fantastic, and I can’t help but root for them to successfully save us from the Old Ones.  Everyone we’ve met over the course of the series shows up again here – yes, even *spoiler*.  Some just have cameos, while others have enough page time for some real growth.  I loved seeing where everyone wound up.

The Chosen One brings another fantastic fantasy series to an end.  Fans who have been reading these books will not be disappointed.

Need the backstory?  Here are the Revenge of Magic books in order.

This entry is part of this week's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.


  1. Thanks for saying right away that this is not the first book! There are so many fantasy books that I can't buy them all, especially since my students prefer realistic ficiton. This doesn't look like one I might recommend die hard fans get from the public library.

  2. I haven't read this series. Lots of tension in the series. The characters sound like they are well-developed. Glad to know that readers need to start with Book 1. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the in depth review of this book and for featuring it on MMGM. I'm a big James Riley fan but haven't gotten to this one yet.

  4. I hadn't even heard of this series. I'm not a fantasy reader, but I have some family members who would love this. Thanks for the information.

  5. I hadn't heard of this series. It's good to know that we should start with book one.

  6. This sounds like an exciting story! I'm glad it was a fitting conclusion to the series. Thanks for the great review!


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