Magic Shop Books
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (December 2008)|
The Magic Shop Books are a series of children's fantasy novels by author Bruce Coville. The books revolve around the mysterious magic supplies store run by an old man named S.H. Elives. Each book follows a child who stumbles into the store and acquires a magical being or object of tremendous magical strength and abilities.
The Monster's Ring (1989)
A boy named Russell Crannaker enters Elives' Magic Supplies while running from a bully and is given a magic ring that can turn him into a monster and back.
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (1992)
While running from two bullies and a girl who wants to kiss him, Jeremy Thatcher finds the Magic Shop and leaves with a mysterious, magical crystal orb. The orb turns out to be a dragon egg, which hatches into a female dragon that Jeremy develops an unusually strong empathic/telepathic connection with and whom he names Tiamat.
Jennifer Murdley's Toad (1993)
A plain and unattractive girl named Jennifer Murdley encounters the Magic Shop and is given a wisecracking talking toad, Bufo, who gradually reveals his complicated history and its relation to a growing danger in the present and the secrets about the magical, mystical Jewel of Perfect Happiness in his forehead.
The Skull of Truth (1999)
Charlie Eggleston, a notorious liar, comes into the Magic Shop and unintentionally steals the Skull of Truth, the wisecracking remnant of the jester Yorick that bears a dark curse, forcing anyone around it to tell the absolute truth.
Juliet Dove, Queen of Love (2003)
The Greek goddess of strife Eris breaks into the Magic Shop while Mr. Elives is away and gives the shy but acid-tongued Juliet Dove a crystal amulet containing Cupid that causes every boy she meets to become truly, madly and strongly in love with her. With Elives himself unsure of what to do, Juliet is forced to team up with the rats Jerome and Roxanne to prevent Eris from causing worldwide discord and chaos.
Short stories about Elives' Magic Supplies store have appeared in Coville's Oddities anthology books. These stories include:
- The Metamorphosis of Justin Jones
- The Mask of Eamon Tiyado
- Mr. Elives - A mysterious and crotchety old man who runs a magic supplies store. He is implied to be capable of great magic, though his exact origins and capabilities are left very vague.
- Roxanne and Jerome - A pair of talking Immortal Rats. They are introduced at the end of Jennifer Murdley's Toad when a cursed witch spews them from her mouth, and serve as Elives' messengers for much of the rest of the series. Jerome is often shown to be more gruff and easily offended while Roxanne is portrayed as more warm, caring, kindly and motherly.
- Hyacinth Priest - A librarian and storyteller who appears throughout the four-book series. She is implied to be a close friend and associate of Elives, giving the children the necessary information about their purchases and occasionally serving as a more levelheaded offset to Elives' gruffness.
- Russel Crannaker - a boy obsessed with Halloween who is given a magically powerful ring capable of turning him into a vicious monster every full moon.
- Jeremy Thatcher - an under-appreciated artistic prodigy who hatches and develops a telepathic/empathic connection with his pet dragon.
- Tiamat - Jeremy's female pet dragon, named for the chaos monster in Babylonian mythology. She has quite a strong physic connection to Jeremy and is invisible to almost everyone but him. She is largely portrayed as naive and childlike, though she occasionally displays mischievous streak when her master is in discomfort.
- Mr. Kravitz - Charlie's art teacher. He is mostly portrayed as hostile toward Jeremy and unappreciative of his artistic skills, though he at one point admits that Jeremy is his most talented student, lacking only proper discipline, and it is suggested that he is actually jealous of Jeremy's talent.
- Charlie Eggleston
- Jennifer Murdley
- Juliet Dove
- Bruce Coville website http://www.brucecoville.com/books.asp