Find your magic.
For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Yet, the children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the memorable aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.
“Life is a mystery, and it should be so, for the sorrow that accompanies being human and the choices one will have to make are a burden, too heavy for most to know before their time comes.”
I honestly didn’t expect to like this one as much as Practical Magic. I expected even less to like it even more than I liked Practical Magic. See, The Rules of Magic was released twenty two years after Practical Magic. I wondered why. Why would this be written? Why would it be a prequel? Yet, I came away glad that it was written, glad I got to see this side of the story. This is why I read things that I don’t expect to like – because it may surprise me.
Even though this is a prequel and I think it better than the first, I sincerely recommend reading Practical Magic first or not at all. I really appreciated the way the end unfolded in Practical Magic. I you read this first, I feel like you would spoil that ending or the buildup to that ending. This can definitely be read without Practical Magic, but I think you would spoil the feeling of getting away with learning something that I got when I read this. See, the aunts are a mystery in Practical Magic, and in The Rules of Magic, we learn who they are. I felt like i was learning a secret and getting away with it.
The first half of The Rules of Magic follows a lot of the same paths that Practical Magic does. I was afraid for a while there that this would just be a rewrite of the first, in order to try and bring some of the popularity over for new sales. I’m glad that after it refamiliarized us with all the things we knew that it became its own story. It makes sense, even, that things were repeated somewhat. In Practical Magic, it was clear that history was repeating itself. It is still the same world. No two stories are alike.
The Rules of Magic have three siblings this time, and each one has an ending of heartbreak. I’m actually much more emotional after reading this than I was Practical Magic. The first book relied too much on love at first sight to make me believe that the characters loved each other. It cheapened the effect and I really didn’t have any emotions at all outside of what the family held for each other, because that was the only true thing in that book. This time around, the love is different. It is fleshed out more. I feel the loss more. It works.
See, for as much love at first sight has in Practical Magic, I think this is the true romance novel. The siblings just want to be able to find love. For as much as they want to find love, they are as cursed to lose it. That is what this book is about, finding love and finding a way to hold on to that love.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Practical Magic series page!