Book Review: Magician and Fool by Susan Wands

Book Review_ Magician and Fool by Susan Wands

A Historical fiction and fantasy book, Magician and Fool, written by Susan Wands, is an exciting novel about the story of a young girl who has the gift of second sight and can see the magic happening around the places to which ordinary people are unaware of.

Reading this book was interesting and exciting right from the start. Reading magical stories is not a forte, and however, once I gave it a chance, I got addicted to it not because of the magic but the way Susan entertained it in the story. The way Susan explained the characters and originated the magical creatures from the tarot card deck was astonishing. It’s not like a bedtime story for children but equally entertaining for adults.

This novel, Magician and Fool, is a story based on art and language. With the help of languages and great art, Pamela illustrates tarot cards that can help any magician possess magical powers. Overwhelmed by these cards, Pamela must learn to possess the magic inside her to use society better and keep the evil magician Aleister away from killing her.

Now without any further wait, let’s dive into the book to learn more about the story of Pamela and Aleister.

Magician and Fool by Susan Wands | Book Review

About The Author

Susan Wand Aythor of Magician and Fool
Susan Wand

Susan Wands is a writer, tarot reader, and actor. A graduate of the University of Washington, she has acted professionally across the United States and on Broadway. Her adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was produced at the Cornish Institute in Seattle. She also wrote plays, screenplays, and skits and produced several indie films. For four years, she was a company member of Rumble in the Red Room, an off-Broadway troupe.

As a co-chair with the NYC Chapter of the Historical Novel Society, she helps produce monthly online book launches and author panels. Wands’s writings have appeared in Art in Fiction, Kindred Spirits magazine, and The Irving Society journal First Knight. She lives in NYC with her husband, actor Robert Petkoff, and two cats, Flora and Flynn.

Book Overview | Magician and Fool by Susan Wands

Magician and Fool by Susan Wands Cover image

Full Title: Magician and Fool

Author: Susan Wands

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

Publishing Date: 2nd May 2023

Page Count: 384

Series: Arcana Oracle Series


This book is a historical fiction and fantasy that revolves around a young girl who possesses some magical powers but doesn’t know how to control them. In this book, we will read her story of struggle and learnings how she gets involved with some of the best stage actors and gets under their wing and learns many life lessons, and soon moves toward another stage of her life where she creates magical tarot cards with the Golden dawn a new occult.

Soon she realizes she is at greater risk by creating such a powerful tarot deck and must control her powers for her and her friend’s sake.

Book Summary | Magician and Fool by Susan Wands

This historical fiction starts with the story of a young girl named Pamela Colman Smith and her cousin sister, who was reading some magical stories on the night of Halloween. Later that night, Pamela tries to copy the action of one of the characters of that bedtime story and starts flying into her room. It was her first experience with magic. She never told anyone not to let anyone think she was insane.

As she got older, she grew talented in art and craft and soon started moving from country to country with her family for her father’s job. While one in London at a very young age, she fell into the river when her hero William Terriss jumped in the river to save her.

After that drowning incident, she went to the Lyceum Theatre, one of the most prestigious ones in London, for the first time and performed with her mother, although no one noticed her. However, her art was allowed during that tour, and her knowledge was greatly appreciated.

In the following years, she moved to Jamaica, where she lived with her nanny while her parents went to their job. She was close to her nanny and often spent most of the day with her. During their trip, her parents died, leaving her alone. After some time, she moved back to London.

London wasn’t very pleasing as it awakened her dead memories with her parents. However, London also proved fruitful when she was chosen in the Lyceum Theatre under the wing of theater hero Henry Irving. Her story during that time is very interesting as she started working at the lower level and soon found herself among the best at her level.

On the other hand, Aleister Crawley was mischievous since childhood due to his unloving mother and her strictness towards him. As he grew, he became more and more troublesome as he couldn’t follow the rules of Christianity.

On the other hand, a Golden Dawn was also created to create tarot cards for possessing magical creatures. They are hiring new language readers and artists to reproduce magic worldwide. During their lookout, some of the founders found Pamela and hired her.


However, by the time Pamela’s talent in art was discovered, Aleister had already become a part of Golden Dawn and was senior to Pamela. Aleister was talented, clever, ambitious, and always jealous of Pamela. Due to his nature, he became aggressive and soon awoke one of the dangerous beasts of the magical world and possessed him to take revenge on Pamela.

Will Pamela be able to save herself and her friends from Aleister, or will Aleister successfully take revenge? How will Pamela overcome this threat?

What Do I Feel About The Book?

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I have always been addicted to Historical fiction stories. However, magic is not my genre, and I rarely like such stories involving magic. The same happened with this book; I would’ve kept this book down. However, after a few chapters, I continued and got the hang of this story.

The role of every character is very nicely poised in this book. Pamela’s role could have been more exciting. Though she is going very well throughout the book, her presence in the Lyceum Theater could have been more than just finishing it in a few chapters.

The role of Aleister is also very short. Even though Susan shortened his story still is a good one writing only the important details of his life and how he became aggressive in his life. However, his introduction to the magical world and how he learned about it left me unsatisfied.

On the other hand, Golden Dawn is described perfectly, but the love between Henry and Ellen left a bitter taste in my mouth. Even though it was beautiful how they both loved each other but for their sakes decided to leave each other and work professionally. It feels sad when one doesn’t get love. Their unconditional love for each melts my heart.


I would give 3.5 stars to this book. I have deducted 1 star because the story was complicated and could confuse some readers in the middle. 1/2 star for some of the character’s story is short, even though it is more than 300 pages.

Conclusion | Magician and Fool by Susan Wands

What’s your opinion of Pamela in this story? Will Henry marry his love? Will Ellen find her love? What will happen to the golden dawn now that Aleister has possessed a demon? Will Pamela be able to control her powers and stop Aleister from killing others, or will the world face some cruelty before it is stopped?

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