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A School for Sorcery [Mass Market Paperback]

E. Rose Sabin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 18 2003 School for Sorcery (Book 1)
Winner of the Andre Norton Gryphon Award

Welcome to the Leslie Simonton School for the Magically Gifted. A school where students can expect the unexpected. But be careful. At this school the final exam could be a real...killer.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The teenage heroine of Sabin's 1992 Gryphon Award winner, Tria Tesserell, a country-mouse first-year student at the Lesley Simonton School for the Magically Gifted, is faced with three onerous tasks: befriending her unprincipled and talented roommate, Lina, learning to tame and use her own considerable magical powers and rescuing her love interest from the clutches of second-years Oryon and Kress and their demonic thralls. To make things worse, the faculty have made a deal to stay out of the conflict with Oryon and Kress, leaving Tria armed only with a few tentative friendships and what little she can remember from her sleep-inducing classes. As she and her fellow students-most of whom are little more than plot points with names-go from classroom to school dance to interdimensional corridor, they encounter a number of genuinely interesting concepts and creatures; but Sabin seems determined to fit everything into one book (in a break from recent trends, she ties off every possible loose end, leaving no room for sequels) and the most intriguing aspects of the school end up sadly undeveloped. The story has its charms, but it's so easy to follow and predict that the plot twists don't and the surprise ending isn't. The 12-and-under set will appreciate the uncomplicated tale, snippets of magical boarding-school life and happy ending, but only if they've yet to encounter J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, which outclass this one by a substantial margin.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A “most enjoyable book!”--Joan Aiken

"This is a most enjoyable book! It belongs to a genre of stories I adored when I was young; books such as A Girl of Limberlost and Anne of Green Gables. Tria, the heroine of A School for Sorcery, is faced with an outsized tussle: her elegant, spiteful roommate has a habit of turning into a black panther at times of stress, a hostile male student summons fearsome entities known as the Dire Women, and the whole sorcery course looks as if it will come to a cataclysmic end until Tria manages to call upon unexpected reserves of power. This is an elegant, complicated story, at times running into parallel action to perplex the pursuing reader. E. Rose Sabin is a writer to look out for."— Joan Aiken, author of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

“J. K. Rowling introduced us to the charms and secrets of Hogwarts; now E. Rose Sabin opens up a school for teens who posses equal talents. A School for Sorcery is an excellent study of teens and magic in a very unusual school.”—Andre Norton, SFWA Grand Master

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars This School gets a "C" in my book Feb. 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The title is quick to draw eager Harry Potter fans to its place on a bookshelf, and the whimsical cover may appear quirky and magical, but for fans of other "schools of sorcery", this novel may be disapointing.
A School for Sorcery focuses on an alternate universe based on late 19th century Europe where magic is common. Sabin's characters are original enough, but somewhat undefined; their pasts, though hinted at, are never discussed. Going in depth into an exciting magical world, what Rowling did so well with Harry Potter, Sabin fails to do with School; the reader is left completely in the dark mysterious land.
It begins as Tria and her mother secretly send Tria to Simonton School for the Magically Gifted, for Tria's rare magic to be trained. Her father scorns her gift, and Tria's mother is forced to spend all her savings to pay for tuition. When Tria arrives, the school appears to be in disrepair; everything is dusty and old, and much different than the broshure. The food is bad, her vain roommate randomly turns into a panther, and mysterious students Oryan and Kress have a deadly scheme. Now she must save her love Wilce from the clutches of the Dire Women within a year or Oryan will take over the school and all the students will suffer.
This book teaches an artful lesson about looking beyond the obvious and what's on the inside. Sabin should be acknowledged for her beautiful use of imagery and symbolism, however, the book contained flaws as well. Tria is a strong heroine, but younger readers will not be able to appreciate the intricate plot that brings out these qualities. The plot is both thrilling and darkly brilliant, as Tria discovers herself and her magical powers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Teaches nothing new Nov. 2 2002
In a wave of reprints and new books about wizards-in-training, E. Rose Sabin's "School For Sorcery" is nothing to write home about. With moderately endearing characters and a somewhat underexploited storyline, it fails to live up to its potential. It's not a bad book, it's just not a particularly good book.
Tria Tesserell has always had magical gifts, but living in a small village with a strict father and cowed mother has never given her room to exercise those gifts. So she is thrilled to go to the Lesley Simonton School for the Magically Gifted. Until she arrives, that is -- there are few students, grimy buildings, tiny rooms and stern teachers. Tria breaks an important rule (folding time) within a few hours of arriving, and her roommate is Lina, a charmingly nasty panther-girl who proceeds to make life difficult -- and not just for Tria.
But the two girls have to put their differences aside on the night of a formal dance. There, a pair of male students, Oryon and Kress, bring in beautiful masked women -- who reveal themselves to be demonic Dire Women. The Dire Women snatch up a pair of young boys and escape the school. The Headmistress is unable to stop Oryon or bring back the boys -- and it falls to Tria and her pals to bring them back.
"School For Sorcery" has an adequate plot, adequate writing, adequate characters, and adequate dialogue. The key word there is "adequate." has a lot of the standard boarding-school characters and problems. As a result, it ends up retreading a lot of the same territory as the Harry Potter and "College of Magics" books. The universe that Sabin writes is also rather undefined. Is this fictional world an alternate universe or a separate fantasy world? It's never entirely clear.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaing new fantasy novel Oct. 8 2002
It seems that ever since JK Rowling's fantastic Harry Potter series hit the shelves, we have received book after book of child and teen fantasy novels. It seems that everyone is trying to out-Potter each other. In some cases these "novels" can turn out to be embarrassingly bad. Fortunately this is not the case. A School for Sorcery by E. Rose Sabin is a thrilling novel about what happened if Harry Potter was female, a few years older, and in a completely different world.
Tria Tesserell is a 16-year-old farmer's daughter who has always known that she had had some magic gifts. Unfortunately, because of her close minded father, she has been forced to keep her powers hidden. But when she gets accepted to the Lesley Simonton School for the Magically Gifted she is thrilled. She won't have to keep her powers hidden any longer. But her enthusiasm is diminished when she actually gets to the campus. The buildings are crumbling, the hallway seems to be covered in a thick layer of dust and grime, and the food is old and stale. Tria gets in trouble right away when one of her powers she never knew she possessed works without her even knowing it. To top it off Tria's new roommate is a witch in more ways than one. Tria feels as if she can never learn to love this school. And just when she start's getting used to it and things start looking up a darker more sinister evil takes into play. Oryon, a second year student, has summoned an evil source that has kidnapped two of Tria's fellow students and friends. It looks like Tria is the only one that can save them, but she doesn't even know how.
I was unsure whether to give this book 4 stars of 5. There were many good qualities. The author manages to take a familiar scene (a magic school) and take it in a completely different direction.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I give it 4.5---> Very Good Book
This book was about a coming of age fantasy. Tria has just entered into The school for sorcery and nothing is as she expected. Read more
Published on July 20 2004 by Madi
1.0 out of 5 stars No Creativity and Lack of Beef
This is one of the worst book that I have read for this kind of gender. It is clearly inspired by Harry Potter but not in a good way. Read more
Published on April 11 2004 by BADASSGIRLHEAD
5.0 out of 5 stars Sort of like Harry Potter meets Anne of Green Gables...
A Hogwarts-type school at the turn of the century! What an intruiging idea!
Though this book starts out a little campy, with the main character gathering eggs on a small farm,... Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2004 by TAHINAZ
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Page Turning Read!
I met Ms. Sabin at a signing and couldn't resist buying this book. I also found that I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2002 by A. Wallace
4.0 out of 5 stars witches, after all, are feminine
The strong point of this tale is that it is about a teen-aged GIRL. When my Kipton series of mysteries was published, featuring a teen-aged girl and her teddy bear on Mars, my... Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002 by Charles L. Fontenay
5.0 out of 5 stars teenage Potter-like tale
Tria has resigned herself to working on a farm and marrying a farmer but thanks to the machinations of her mother she is going to the Simonton School for the Magically Gifted. Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2002 by Harriet Klausner
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Plotted than HP books!
With the protagonist being a teenager, this book is obviously aimed at the teens that first cut their teeth on HP but now need more meat. And they get it! Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2002
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