Saturday, December 18, 2010

Book Review: Magicus Catonium

Magicus Catonium (Praesidis, book 1) by Udita Plaha.

In the introductory book of the Praesidis series, two fourteen year old girls start a journey to correct the damage done to Magicus Catonium. In the process, they develop abilities unknown to most and finally discover their true identities. Even under the protection of two young but capable wizards, their journey is marked with many battles, not all ending in victory. To really defeat their villain, the girls must learn to distinguish between enemies and friends while under the pressure of a world spiraling out of control. Follow the girls as they rise to their full potential and assume their roles as the next Praesidis of Magicus Catonium.

Ria and Anna are swept away to the magical land of Magicus Catonium...  Magicus Catonium is a fun YA/middle-grade story filled with magic and adventure.  Though the copy I received was in need of additional editing, I found the story highly enjoyable.  Ria and Anna are such good friends, and have lived together for so long, that most people mistake them for sisters.  They soon learn that they have more than just their friendship in common.  Ria and Anna share a past steeped in mystery.  As their origin as children of Magicus Catonium becomes known they are faced with a difficult decision.  Do they return home to the normal human world where they have spent much of their youth, and where their mother's still reside, or do they follow their destiny to defeat the evil Solan?  A fun adventure story that young readers will enjoy.

I recommend Magicus Catonium (Praesidis, book 1) to readers of young adult, middle grade, urban fantasy and especially to fans of coming of age tales and fantasy adventure.

Source: This book was provided by the author or publisher for honest review.

Magicus Catonium on Amazon.
Magicus Catonium on Goodreads.


  1. I have to say that I'm missing the actual review besides the fact that you liked it and recommend it. You're mainly telling what the story is about and that leaves me many questions. Why did you like it? What were the elements in the book that, for example, make this book different from or stand out compared to other YA Fantasy novels? I would also like to know why you recommend it to readers of urban fantasy.

  2. You can find other reviews and more information about the book at

    There is an online book reading today, 12/18, at 2:30pm PST. You can find the reading on USTREAM at

  3. Essord,
    I am sorry you feel this way, however, I have a 'Spoiler Free' review policy and it would be impossible to discuss any of the important parts of this novel without giving the story away.

    I can say that this book is geared toward younger readers (the main characters are about 14-years old)and would be appropriate for middle-grade and young adult readers. The primary paranormal/supernatural element is magic, unlike the growing popular YA paranormal trend of vampires, shifters, and zombies. Personally I think this lends itself to a less violent form of paranormal fantasy that younger readers will enjoy. As to UF references, the settings (again trying not to give anything away) are often urban. Though the copy I received was in need of additional editing, I found Magicus Catonium to be a fun, light hearted read.

    Hope that helps to shed a bit more light. :)

  4. I think it sounds like a great book.

    Good review.

  5. Sounds like a book that my step daughter will love! I'll be letting her know about it for sure. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for the extra information. As for avoiding spoiling, it is not that hard to do as it seems. You just have to stick to general reviewing rules: comparison with books in the same genre; plot complexity; character development; writing style, etc. For a YA novel you could mention if mature readers would enjoy it as well (it may be harder to say so if you're not that old yet yourself). That's the way how I review books myself.

    Urban fantasy is currently a genre where books contain a lot of similar fantasy elements and settings. If you mention it to be urban fantasy, then I would expect those elements, unless you tell what is specific or different in this novel. In my opinion that is no spoiling, but a great help for people who are looking for something with, for example, no vampires or zombies in it.