Hey little ghost fam!
It's less than a week until My Name Is Magic comes out, our queer, young adult, urban fantasy set at a Finnish magic school, and we couldn't be more pumped for the first day of class!
In anticipation of the release we're counting down five reasons why you will absolute-fricking-lutely want to add My Name Is Magic to your TBR.
1. An enby main character and a whole crew of disaster queers.
Taika Turunen is out main protagonist, they are the descendant of a long line of powerful mages, the child of the school principal, and they're non-binary. One other defining feature of Taika is their lack of any magical capabilities whatsoever! Through the book they wonder if their lack of magical power has anything to do with the fact that they're neither a boy or a girl. It's safe to say that this is not the reason behind their missing magic, but it plays a large role in their own self-image, which throughout the book we see Taika struggle with but also develop and strengthen. Along with Taika there are a number of other queer characters. Natalie, Taika's crush and former best friend, identifies as a lesbian, while their new friend and accomplice, Morgan, doesn't like labels but is 100% queer.
2. Heavily based in Finnish mythology.
Xan van Rooyen, the author of My Name Is Magic, while South African by birth, is now a Finnish local and has been enraptured by the little known intricacies of Finnish mythology since their arrival. Unlike Greek or Egyptian, Finnish mythology hasn't often been explored in contemporary media and not a lot is known about the stories Finn's would tell back in the day. Most of what is known comes from the heroic epic Kalevala and Xan has taken elements from this story to incorporate into their own. Like all mythologies, Finnish is full of wondrous creatures, dark spirits, benevolent and devious deities, trolls, fairies, witches, and boggles. And you can meet lots of them in the pages of this book.
3. A magic school setting that is inclusive and refreshing.
There are a few magic schools knocking about in the public consciousness, some more problematic than others, and one looms larger than most. There's nothing like the pairing of magic and fantasy with the trials of adolescence and the struggle of keeping to an academic calendar. In these pages you'll find a magic school with queer, gender noncomforming characters, supportive teachers and parents, but you'll also find a magic school unlike any you've been to before. Xan was careful to mix in elements of real Finnish schooling, which is unique to other international school systems. So whether you're looking for a new magic school not mired by it's problematic author or simply looking for a fresh take on the genre, this is a book you'll want to read.
4. Elemental magic and new school houses to sort yourself into.
Who doesn't love a complex and detailed magic system based in the five elements: earth, wind, water, fire, and aethyr? The magic used by the mages in My Name Is Magic is drawn from nature, which is complicated when you use too much. But because of this all mages specialise in a specific elemental type of magic, and thusly the school's houses represent one of each of these groups. So are you a fire mage? Or an earth mage? Or maybe you belong with the air mages or water mages? Controversially, the fifth house, aithyr, was shut down long ago because it was thought the mages in this house used magic that was too close to that of the chaos mages who brought havoc to the world. They usually include shape shifters, shamans, and people with a connection to the spirit realm. Does that sound like you? If you love elemental magic and a school house system you should definitely grab a copy of this book. Additionally, if you're curious about which house you might end up in, head on over to the My Name Is Magic book page where you'll find a quiz that will sort you into a school house! https://www.tinyghostpress.com/my-name-is-magic
5. A dark and dangerous mystery to solve.
It wouldn't be a dark urban fantasy without some nasty goings-on and a puzzling mystery to solve. When Taika's former best-friend and current crush appears to them as a liekkiö, it quickly becomes apparent that Natalie and a number of Taika's other school mates have gone missing, taken by someone, possibly someone involved in chaos magic. The adults don't seem to want to hear what Taika has to say and so it's up to them to solve the mystery, save their classmates, and uncover the chaos mage! Will you be able to figure out the mystery?
There are plenty of other reasons why you should read My Name Is Magic and by doing so you'd be supporting an indie press trying our hardest to provide representation for LGBTQ+ kids and publish queer stories. Your support has meant the world to us so far and we're really proud of this book, so grab a copy and discover the magic that's waiting in the world.