The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic

by Avi

Hardcover, 2005

Call number




Disney-Hyperion (2005), 203 pages


The Book Without Words appears to be a volume of blank parchment pages. But for a green-eyed reader filled with great desire, it may reveal the forgotten magical arts of making gold and achieving immortality. For generations, its magic has been protected from those who would exploit it. But on a terrible day of death and destruction, the Book Without Words falls into the hands of a desperate boy.

User reviews

LibraryThing member MissTeacher
Let's just call this the Middle Schooler's Philosophical Primer. Burdened by an extremely dreary beginning, the last third of this short "fable" really popped with imagery, suspense and enough Meaning-of-Life posturing to bring anyone back from the dead. Just before the book faded like a wisp of
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alchemical smoke, I found myself biting my nails, screaming "No!", and asking myself just what does it mean to live and live well. I could see myself having some very good discussions with the students about some of the issues raised. If you have a few minutes to spare (some to be bored, and some to be thrilled), read this book.
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LibraryThing member mrsdwilliams
This mysterious tale takes place in medieval times. Thorston uses a seemingly blank book as part of his evil plot to become young again. An old priest, a young servant girl, a green-eyed boy, and a talking raven join forces to stop Thorston. If he succeeds, Sybil and Odo will die.

The best part is
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this quote: "A life unlived is like a book without words."

Not my favorite book by this author, but good for younger readers.
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LibraryThing member heidilove
This was delightful. I wonder if we are going to see more of these characters. One hopes so.
LibraryThing member zannybuck
Pretty good, kinda creepy, over all a little boring, but I liked it. Hard to describe.
LibraryThing member LynnHarp
The title of this book is what made me want to read it. A book without words. I wondered what kind of book could not have words. I was hooked from the first sentence.
LibraryThing member Litfan
A quick read that's full of atmosphere. This is a good read for those cold rainy days when you'd like to curl up with something and be totally absorbed in a different world. Avi calls the book a "fable," and it is reminiscent of that as it's embedded with lessons about greed, loyalty and power.
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Every now and then Avi slips in some dry commentary about those in power who perhaps shouldn't be, with subtle irony and humor that's almost reminiscent of Dickens in the way it calls attention to social injustice. I would recommend giving this little book a try.
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LibraryThing member MSLMC
This book, set in medieval England, is filled with arcane magic and alchemy. The story involves a 13-year-old girl, a talking crow, and their evil master who is determined to live forever by exchanging his servants lives for his own.
LibraryThing member simply00complex
This was a random find in the bargain section at Borders. The cover had a very Edgar Allen Poe sense about it so I bought it. It was a quick read, definitely for kids, I would say ages 8-12. It was a good solid story taking place in medieval England. It's about alchemy, magic, and talking birds. I
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enjoyed it. I'm just disappointed the bird didn't say, "Nevermore" at any point in the story. That would have made my month!
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LibraryThing member HippieLunatic
This was certainly an easy book to read, but I admit, it wasn't all that quick for me. I was not drawn into the story; I didn't much care for the main character of Sybil. I didn't feel any compassion toward her or her plight, and therefore, I was not pushed to turn pages as I often am in children's
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novels. There was very little heart in this story.
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LibraryThing member Krumbs
It rather seemed like half the story was missing. None of the characters were that interesting, nothing much happened, and the end kind of fizzled. It was my first try for a book by this author, but I'm not sure I'm going to try any others given this let down.
LibraryThing member VhartPowers
An interesting tale for children about a book of magic that only certain people with green eyes can read the words.
A story about greed and selfishness.
You get out of life what you put into it.
LibraryThing member RobertaLea
I love this man's works. I am glad he is still writing.
LibraryThing member JalenV
Although the spells involved are different, Sybil's predicament in The Book Without Words reminds me of that of Stephen, the orphan taken in by his cousin, Mr. Abney. Like Mr. Abney, the wizard who took in the orphaned Sybil has a sinister plan in mind for his young charge. Sybil and the wizard's
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talking crow need someone with green eyes to be able to read the Book Without Words.
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