Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsKnock Three Times by Cressida Cowell

Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThe third book in Cressida Cowell‘s THE WIZARDS OF ONCE sees our young protagonists on an adventure to collect the rare ingredients needed to banish the terrible Witches that have recently awoken all across Ancient Britain.

As difficult as it may be to find the scales of a Nuckalavee, it’s even stranger to consider the team they’ve assembled to retrieve them. Xar is the youngest son of the Head Wizard Encanzo, while Wish is the daughter of the cold Queen Sychorax, two tribes that have been at war for generations.

To make matters worse, Xar is struggling with the Witchstain on his hand (the result of his ill-fated attempt to gain magical powers) and Wish has recently found out that she has magical abilities that can work on iron (though magic is strictly forbidden among the Warrior tribes).

On board their flying door, accompanied by their extensive entourage (Wish’s bodyguard Bodkin, and Xar’s array of sprites, wolves, snowcats and giant) the two youngsters have quite an adventure ahead of them, which involves a betrayal, an underground school, a talking bear, and a cave that holds the dreaded Nuckalavee.

THE WIZARDS OF ONCE by Cressida Cowell science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsThey’ve also got their parents to contend with, who have decided to temporarily put aside their enmity to track down their children – though as we found out in the last book, Encanzo and Sychorax were once in love, and there’s every chance that those feelings might rekindle if they spend too much time together.

I was under the assumption that this would be the final book in this series, though it’s apparent by the end that there’s at least one more on its way. And I can’t say that I mind spending a bit more time with these characters. They’re all quite lovable in their own ways, from arrogant Xar (who is improving) to compassionate Wish (still struggling with her magical eye) to Bodkin (who messes up in this book, then struggles to make amends).

Cowell beautifully describes the world of Ancient Britain, in all its danger and mystery, and fills her story with songs, jokes, poignancy and her own quirky illustrations. What else can I say? I’m invested, and can’t wait until the next book.

Published in 2019. From the author of How to Train Your Dragon: Two young heroes fight to save their beloved homes in the next thrilling installment of the internationally bestselling Wizards of Once series. Xar and Wish are heroes with a huge task ahead — confronting the Nuckalavee is not for the fainthearted. But with Magic and Iron together, they might just have a chance of saving their beloved homes from those who seek to destroy everything they hold dear. The third electrifying book in The Wizards of Once series fizzes with magic and introduces us to a host of glorious new characters: bears and piskies and magical pins and needles to name but a few. Beloved bestselling author Cressida Cowell once again brings her trademark wit and stunning combination of action, adventure, humor, and incredible artwork to this epic new adventure, sure to transport and enchant readers. Stunningly written, magnificent in scope, hilarious and thrilling, Knock Three Times immerses you in a world you won’t ever wish to leave.


  • Rebecca Fisher

    REBECCA FISHER, with us since January 2008, earned a Masters degree in literature at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her thesis included a comparison of how C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman each use the idea of mankind’s Fall from Grace to structure the worldviews presented in their fantasy series. Rebecca is a firm believer that fantasy books written for children can be just as meaningful, well-written and enjoyable as those for adults, and in some cases, even more so. Rebecca lives in New Zealand. She is the winner of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best SFF Fan Writer.

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