ARC Book Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman


ashley | I haven’t read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, but I was bewitched by its prequel, The Rules of Magic, before I even knew what it was. The cover is beautiful and the story sounded intriguing whether you had read its origins or not. I was so grateful to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me an advance copy, this was such a magical tale. 

I was quickly bewitched by Franny, Jet and Vincent and their respective love stories. For that’s what this book was, a reciting of the curse and happiness and sadness that surrounded these three witches when they fell in love. It’s full of sorrow and loss, but also moments of pure, absolute happiness, and I think the balance between the two is what makes this such a magical book.  

The characters are rich, each with their own very potent personalities that correspond so complimentary with the personalities of their others. Hard-hearted Franny seems the wise one, Vincent of course is the wild one, but Jet I think was my favourite, with her determination and kindness and how all of that transforms when they experience loss. 

The magic, of course, is a founding part of the story, though it doesn’t overshadow the characters at all. Learning about the history, the family, the rules of this family magic was really interesting, but I liked how it never seemed exploited or became too witchy. There was a real sense of realism here, these were just people struggling to find their place in life like anyone else, they just happened to have some extraordinary powers to help. And when those extraordinary powers happened to manifest, I was a beautiful part of the story. 

The family bond is strong here and I loved the messaging. It is what weaved the whole story together and is what you’re left pondering about in the end. I liked how things came full circle here, how it ties nicely into Practical Magic, but how it also stands strongly on its own.  

This genuinely was a magical book. It left me feeling floaty and dream-like through most of it, even when it dealt with really heavy subjects and sadness that would weigh anyone down. But I never felt like I was drowning in their sorrow and I’m having a hard time letting go of these characters. After sharing in their story, their love and their loss, they feel like family. 


more information
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today! october 10, 2017

copy provided for honest review by