Archive Reviews

Archive Review: Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Modern day witches aren’t common. But when Jarrod walks into Kate’s classroom and performs a feat of nearly impossible magic, she knows she can’t stay away from him. In trying to track down the root of his powers–which he seems blissfully unaware of–they discover an ancient curse on his family. With very little knowledge, and even less control over the situation, Jarrod and Kate make the decision to go back to the past and discover why his family was cursed and what it may mean for his future.


What is Old Magic about?

Old Magic is about a coming of age, a paranormal romance, and a family mystery. Jarrod and Kate must shoulder the responsibility of moving forward with unraveling the curse on Jarrod’s family, and they grow up and find themselves–and each other–along the way.

Genre: Fantasy

Pretty self explanatory this one, that this book is a fantasy novel. It also is described as a paranormal romance, but I think since much of the story is focused on the magic and the curse.

Tropes: Time Travel! Curses! SEVEN!

There are a lot of cool fantasy elements in this novel. I can’t remember all of them considering it’s been a while since I read it and my copy is in Hawaii, but what I do remember is this. There’s magical time travel (my favorite kind as I’m not a scifi fan), incredibly complex curses that manifest in crazy ways, and the significance of the number seven in magic which is one my favorite traditional fantasy elements.

Plot: Surprisingly romantic

Despite the premise of Kate and Jarrod’s attraction being a little cliche, the presentation of it was interesting in my memory. Kate sort of takes command of Jarrod early on when his powers begin to manifest, and lays down the law for him not only for his own good but her protection as well. And there’s this feeling of mutual respect as a result that bleeds into their budding romance.

The Good

From what I recall, I enjoyed the writing of this book very much. From the way the first meeting of Kate and Jarrod is written to the unraveling of the family curse, I was enthralled. Enough so that a few years later I purchased a copy of my own to reread! So much of this book has stayed with me even in bits and pieces. The way the curse got around Jarrod being an only child, and the beginnings of the curse being what they were still intrigue me. Not to mention magical time travel.

The Okay

I do remember finding the villain a bit cartoonish for my taste, and alternately a little skeevy. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember which impression is more recent or more correct (I’ve read this book at least twice across a few years) and I’m reluctant to make any statements of opinion without a fresh reread.

The Bad

I don’t really have anything for this section. I rated this book 5 stars on Goodreads some time ago, and I imagine for good reason!

Final Thoughts

I cannot emphasize enough how much this book impacted me when I was younger. Something about the story captivated me, and stuck with me in my reading and writing preferences as I grew. I read this at a relatively impressionable age. Though I already had been introduced to fantasy books and had a few preferences, I do think this book helped define some of what I seek in a fantasy novel. I loved this book enough to buy a copy of it later, and though I remember being surprised by certain elements during the initial reread (partly because the copy I borrowed from the library featured the original Australian slang and school years, which confused me at the time, and the copy I bought had been edited for American readers) I also remember finding it just as enjoyable when I was older and more in touch with my tastes as reader and writer.

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By Catherine

I'm a lover of books, coffee, wine, and bees. Happy to join the ranks of book bloggers everywhere!

One reply on “Archive Review: Old Magic by Marianne Curley”

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