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A Tale of Magic Summary & Study Guide

Chris Colfer
This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Tale of Magic.
This section contains 664 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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A Tale of Magic Summary & Study Guide Description

A Tale of Magic Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer.

The following version of the book was used to create this study guide: Colfer, Christopher; A Tale of Magic. Hachette Book Group, New York, NY, 2019. Kindle AZW file.

Brystal Lynn Evergreen is an extraordinary girl living in the suppressed society of the Southern Kingdom where girls are not allowed to read anything other than recipes and signs. Moreover, they are expected to want nothing other than to become wives and mothers. Brystal, however, is harboring a secret love of reading. She devours every book her brother can sneak in for her. When her brother gets his first job, Brystal knows he will no longer have the opportunity to bring her books from the library. Her dismal world becomes even more hopeless. When Brystal sees a sign advertising for a maid at the public library – a building she would not ordinarily be allowed to even enter – she applies. Each evening, she rushes through her work and takes a couple of books home with her to read. When the practice almost lands her in trouble, she decides she will only read while at the library. She is soon spending most of every night there as well.

One night, Brystal's exploration takes her into a room that is designated for Justices only. There, Brystal discovers a cache of banned books that have been banned because they are far outside what is allowed in the Southern Kingdom. One of those is a book about magic, written by Madame Celeste Weatherberry. The book contains two spells – one that reveals if the person casting the spell is a witch and another reveals if the person is a fairy. According to Madame Weatherberry, witches use witchcraft and fairies use magic, an important distinction. Brystal is shocked when the spell reveals that she is a fairy with magical powers. Brystal is caught performing magic and reading a book, and thrown in jail. Hours later, Brystal's case is rushed through the kingdom's justice system. She would have been executed on the spot except that her father intervened. He was able to get Brystal transferred to a labor camp instead, but he made it clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her.

Brystal is at the camp only a short time when Madame Weatherberry arrives, having struck a deal with King Champion of the Southern Kingdom. Madame Weatherberry helps Brystal and several other young magicians begin to harness their power, but Brystal can tell something is wrong. Though Madame Weatherberry claims she is going to the Northern Kingdom to fight an evil witch, the Snow Queen, Brystal and the other students discover that Madame Weatherberry has been lying about several points. The first point is that there is a difference between witches and fairies, and the youngsters discover that doing good or doing evil is a personal choice that each must make. The next point is that the Snow Queen is Madame Weatherberry's alter-ego, formed because of the hatred she feels toward those who have persecuted her for having magic. Madame Weatherberry wants Brystal to kill her, showing the world that a girl with magic power saved everyone from the evil Snow Queen in the hope that people will begin to look more favorably on people with magic power. Brystal knows she cannot kill Madame Weatherberry, even if Madame Weatherberry has done evil deeds. Brystal sends her to the far North instead.

Brystal and her friends then reach out to the monarchs of the four kingdoms, including King Champion of the Southern Kingdom. They demand some changes. King Champion agrees. Brystal has a brief encounter with her father and makes it clear that she is no longer afraid of him and that she has grown into a confident young woman. As Brystal and the others return to the magical estate Madame Weatherberry created, they are joined by hundreds of other people with magic. All are happy that they have a place they can live without fear of persecution.

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