Reviews for Magickeepers: The Chalice of Immortality

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Skateboarder Nick is an ordinary American kid. Then he finds out he's a Gazer, child of prophecy and the lost prince of a Russian tribe of Magickeepers. The Magickeepers reveal themselves to Nick on his birthday and train him to perform in a Las Vegas show. Though the themes are pat and predictable, the setting is original. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 April #1
Thirteen-year-old Nick Kirov has a sort of wizard's Bar Mitzvah in this, the third outing in the Magickeepers series. His desperate search for a fabled magical chalice that will save the life of his father, bespelled during an attack by the evil Shadowkeepers, takes the young visionary from the (sadly defunct) Liberace Museum's warehouse in his hometown Las Vegas to Stratford-on-Avon, then to a climactic showdown in a Russian ice cavern with the evil Rasputin. As in past episodes, the parade of historical figures continues in visions and flashbacks, because in its long history the life-giving chalice passed through the hands of such luminaries as Shakespeare, Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart. Nick's relentlessly entrepreneurial uncle Crazy Sergei puts in occasional appearances for comic relief, as well. By the end, Nick has (seemingly) vanquished Rasputin, saved his father, buried the dangerously intoxicating chalice in a deep hole and, and keeping with an unusually specific Prophecy, been elevated to Prince of the Magickeepers. "You," his uncle Theo informs him, "became a man." After its strong start in The Eternal Hourglass (2009), this series has been treading water, but fans may still be willing to take a dip. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #1
Though grounded in Russian history and stocked with the customary swords, magical artifacts, a prophecy and shadowy foes, this fantasy earns style points for being set in modern Las Vegas--in a hotel whose residents include polar bears, giant Siberian tigers and Princess Anastasia herself. To this hotel comes 13-year-old Nick Rostov, discovering to his amazement that his dad may be just a second-rate stage magician, but the horde of cousins on his dead mother's side are real ones, hiding in plain sight as performers in a world-renowned show that uses actual magic. Nick turns out to be a powerful spellcaster--good thing too, as the Magickeepers are locked in a struggle for power with a clan of Shadowkeepers lead by none other than the cruel, scary Rasputin. Female characters seem bland next to the colorful, distinctive males, but everyone has active roles to play, and Kirov gets Nick through the climactic confrontation on quick wits as much as magical talent. A pleaser for fans of Michael Scott's Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 May #2

Kirov sends the Magickeepers series off to a promising start with this adventure starring a boy whose life takes a dramatic turn on his 13th birthday. Gazing into a crystal ball at a magic shop, Nick, who lives with his father in a Las Vegas hotel, discovers he can see into the past and then learns that his late mother belonged to a family of powerful Russian magicians dating back to ancient Egypt. Nick is taken in by her eccentric kin, who train him to perform in their elaborate magic show at an enchanted casino. The intricate, well-paced plot involves ancient spells and riddles, historical figures including Rasputin and Harry Houdini, and sinister Shadowkeepers seeking precious talismans, including the crucial ingredient of an hourglass that can stop time. Readers will hear intermittent echoes of another young hero with a magical legacy who is targeted by dark villains (in the magicians' casino, images in paintings move, Hogwarts-style). Still, with dashes of Russian culture and language, Kirov's story feels plenty original, and kids will be charmed by her brand of magic. Ages 9-up. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 July

Gr 5-8-As the son of a third-rate stage magician, Nick is familiar with theatrical illusions. On his 13th birthday, however, he discovers that magic is real. He learns that he is one of the ancient Magickeepers, charged with finding and guarding arcane artifacts from the evil Shadowkeepers. Apprenticed to Las Vegas star magician-and chief Magickeeper-Damian, Nick moves into the clan's palatial casino headquarters to begin his training. Although he is impressed by their opulent lifestyle, he feels a bit cramped by the family's almost obsessive devotion to their tsarist Russian heritage-formal dress, caviar crepes instead of cheeseburgers, and no TV or video games. Nick's talent as a Gazer enables him to see into the past. Rasputin, their most powerful enemy, has spent nearly a century hunting the secret to the Eternal Hourglass, a mystical relic with the power to stop time. Now they find that the mad monk and his Shadowkeepers are in Vegas, and he knows that Nick has the key. As the first in a projected series, the book devotes considerable space to background about the Magickeepers and their nefarious rivals. While these passages occasionally slow the pacing, the action is generally suspenseful and the historical references add to the atmosphere. Nick's efforts to introduce the family to American-style food and activities add a touch of humor to the proceedings.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

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