(AD) Good Morning! Today I have a review for you for The Virus of Beauty by C.B Lyall. I would like to thank Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours and C.B Lyall for giving me this opportunity.
Ugliness is power, and the Virus of Beauty is spreading causing panic throughout the witch population. Wilf Gilvary is a teenage wizard who is terrified of using magic. When his father dies under mysterious circumstances, Wilf is plunged into the middle of a political struggle between the witches and wizards in the Magical Realm. He’d rather play soccer than practice magic, but he’s forced to make a choice between the life of a normal Hong Kong teen and one of wizardry after a powerful virus begins to decimate the witch community. The cure is spellbound in a journal Wilf inherited from his father and when his friend Katryna contracts the virus, Wilf understands that he must overcome his fear of magic to unlock the journal’s secrets – but will it be too late to save her?
The Virus of Beauty is a book that had me intrigued from the blurb. Initially I thought it might have been a book perfect for the younger audience given the way it is about football, teenagers etc but I was wrong. While it would be suited to that audience it should not be dismissed by young adults and adults.
What you have read about magic before, the way the systems work and how it is used? yeah, forget all that. Lyall brings in a fresh and exciting magic system. How it is used and the way it differs between genders is something I have not seen before and it made a refreshing difference.
Wilf can be a little bit of a whiner at first, I found his attitude just like that of a stroppy teenager, unable to see beyond himself, something I guess was the point. It all adds to his character arc. By the end of the book Wilf is not the same teenager he is at the beginning.
One thing I found really good was the parallells drawn between our society in real life and those in the magical society.
The books main theme is gender equality, men (wizards) are the dominant ruling class and women (witches) the the lesser class. Some witches, however, form their own society and this book sees the battle between the two factions.
Another parallel is the idea of the ‘virus of beauty’ unlike our world, those who are considered beautiful are the ones without the power, the uglier you are the more power you hold in the magical realms. While I am a firm believer that your looks do not equate your power, it was nice to see this been thrown on its head and re-wrote upside down.
This book was really well written. I loved the new fresh approach to magic and the underlaying themes it presented.
CB Lyall grew up in Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England. Since then she has lived in India, Belgium, Hong Kong and the United States. She currently resides in the Hudson Valley, north of New York, with her husband. She has three sons and one grandson.
Twitter. : @cblyall
Thank you for reading,