Six impossible things

Frontier Magic


Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book One) from Scholastic Books, 2009

This is the first book of a trilogy narrated by Eff Rothmer, the “thirteenth child” of the title. Book One covers her childhood, from the age of five (when her parents move west to the edge of the expanding U.S. frontier) to shortly after her eighteenth birthday.

Growing up in Mill City, Eff is constantly aware of the settlers heading west to homestead the dangerous lands on the far side of the Mammoth River. For in her world, Columbus discovered a New World populated solely by dangerous wildlife, both natural and magical.

Only modern magic has made colonization possible, and while steam dragons, mammoths, spectral bears, saber-tooth cats, and other deadly animals have been cleared out of the eastern states, they are still a formidable obstacle in the unsettled territories of the West.

Eff and her siblings, like everyone else, learn traditional magic at school, but even with all Lan’s power behind it, traditional magic won’t be enough when new threats begin moving in from the unexplored regions of the Far West.

Read a sample from Thirteenth Child.

Across the Great Barrier cover

Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic Book Two) from Scholastic Books, 2011

Eff is back in Mill City, while her powerful twin Lan and her best friend William are off to school in the East. Things look to be fairly quiet for a while. Then Eff is asked to accompany a new professor doing a survey of the wildlife in settlement territory, west of the Great Barrier Spell.

Traveling through settlement territory, Eff and Professor Aldis Torgeson face obstacles ranging from the aggressive wildlife to the varying attitudes of the settlers themselves. The survey takes them out to the very edge of the settled areas, bringing new discoveries, new friends, and new challenges.

Read a sample from Across the Great Barrier.


The Far West (Frontier Magic Book Three) from Scholastic Books, 2012.

The discoveries that Eff and her friends made out in settlement territory didn’t end when they got back to Mill City. More revelations follow, and the Frontier Management Department decides to send an expedition to the Rocky Mountains to settle, once and for all, just what is out there. The only trouble is, no one who’s ever gone all the way to the Rockies has ever come back!

Read a sample from The Far West.

Map of Mill City and environs

Map of North Columbia

Michelle Wood‘s video trailer for the Frontier Magic series.

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