This finale in the Wizard for Hire series was the perfect ending to an adventurous, magical story.

The overall questions of the series were answered, but not in all the ways you might expect. Does Ozzy find his parents? Is there really magic? Read and find out!

The stakes in this last installment were as high as in the previous ones. There is danger around every turn, and Ozzy and his friend Sigi are right in the thick of it. Will Rin come back from Quarfelt to help them? Where is Clark, Ozzy’s sentient mechanical bird, gone off to? How will Ozzy go forward? This book looks at a lot of things – what is family? What is magic? Is magic real? And why would you want to use it? How magical is our own world, after all?

If you are thinking, ho hum, just another orphan story, think again. The overlying narrative to the whole trilogy – Ozzy’s hunt for his parents – is carried to its fateful conclusion here. The story doesn’t lose its way, even though there a lot of added complications. There are characters who have a change of heart, there is redemption, and there is a serious villain.

In fact, the characters are the core of this series. I love Rin – the madcap, earnest wizard – even if he does wear a yellow bathrobe. And I love Ozzy, whose life has been turned upside down for reasons he doesn’t understand. And Sigi provides that common sense, back-to-reality snap that we just can’t get from either Rin or Ozzy. Ozzy is dealing with some pretty heavy real-life stuff, and his sentient mechanical bird Clark provides just the exact right amount of comic relief. He is really something. I even loved Sigi’s mom, and perhaps the sheriff who comes calling more than his duties might specifically require.

I loved finding out more about the whole process of becoming a wizard, as Ozzy goes through it. I am glad he proudly wore his pants! And I loved finding out more about Rin’s story. There were unexpected twists and turns, and some of them were a little sad. But overall, the entire series is a madcap adventure with a real message. It’s about family, and home, and how those two things can be our choice as much as our circumstance. I only wish I could get one more installment, to find out how Ozzy fares as he grows up. I worry about him. He is such a great kid.

I am a real stickler for endings, and I have to say, the final few pages of this really were wonderful. I love it when a tiny thread is pulled throughout a story, and we only get the final tug on it on the last page. That’s what this is. Pay attention. It is lovely.

Highly recommended for any reader who is looking for the Next Magical Story, perhaps after finishing Harry Potter or Rick Riordan. It is older Middle Grade, and full of snappy dialogue, jokes and situations made comical by Ozzy’s complete innocence (which makes sense after growing up in the forest by himself).

You can see my reviews of the previous books in this series here and here. I enjoyed all of them but I had to wait a year between books 2 and 3. You have no such problem! Order them right now from your favorite indie bookstore and keep your brain happy for at least a few days! To be clear, the first book is Wizard for Hire (blue cover), the second book is Wizard for Hire: Apprentice Needed (green cover), and the third book is Wizard for Hire: Magic Required (purple cover), which releases today, April 7. And if you don’t think it’s hard releasing a book in the middle of a pandemic (not to mention simply regularly releasing the third in a series), have another think.

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I am looking forward to getting final copies of all the books (I mean, just look at those gorgeous covers!), and bingeing the whole series from start to finish. This is a series that will bear rereading, and which I’m sure any wizard-loving reader (of any age) will enjoy. And I have the first few books in Skye’s Leven Thumps series, so they are coming up on the docket pretty soon too.