Grisha is a dragon in a world that's forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she's perfectly ordinary. They're an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone's forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.
This slow-building, fantastical journey from Weyr (My Heartbeat) examines the effects of magic and mystery in a world where magic is waning. The story takes readers through some of the darkest times in world history, as seen from the perspectives of a dragon and an 11-year-old girl. At the end of WWII, Maggie is living an unconventional life in Vienna, Austria, with her widowed father. Grisha, a 140-year-old dragon, is one of the few magical beings left in the world. Grisha is pulled by a mysterious sound to Vienna, where he remains as a refugee in the city under tight control of soldiers and a megalomaniac magician. Drawn together by unusual circumstances, Maggie and Grisha form a tight friendship and, through their connection, work to free the world's dragons from their cruel imprisonment. In dense, intriguing detail, Weyr integrates historical events into her fantastical storytelling, resulting in an affecting, melancholy story that asks intriguing questions about the costs of power. Ages 10 up. \n