Virginia Burton Stringer is the author of the Just Maagy series and has been a writer for over 40 years. She is also a published playwright. She has also taught theatre art, while also being an actress and director of various plays.
Raising her two daughters was the main inspiration for the Just Maagy series, as these life experiences are just one of the many reasons why this is one of the best fantasy books for young adults.
Just Maagy Synopsis
“As she closed the door, she caught a glimpse of herself in the full-length mirror and saw a young lady where a little girl had always been.”
Just Maagy Book 1 in the Maagy Series introduces the reader to an impetuous little princess who destroys her own bedroom on her thirteenth birthday because there is no spumoni ice cream for breakfast. Her day only gets worse with a food fight at her party. Her exasperated father King Henry knows he needs help. He takes her on an early morning journey to Whitmore Estate, Summer Castle, where an elderly couple with a somewhat mysterious past, Grandpa Kris and Grandma Polly, assists him with her education, as she must take her mother’s crown in five years. She is suddenly thrust into a summit meeting with her father and the leaders of the known world, where her impulsive behavior threatens war. However, her innate negotiating skills avert disaster and collect valuable information for the allies. While exploring the enormous Whitmore Castle and meeting odd creatures along the way, Maagy sees an ancient portrait of a warrior woman with whom she bears a striking resemblance. Her curiosity as to the woman’s identity consumes her. Locked doors confound her. Bladed weapons fascinate her. Follow her journey of exploration, missteps, temper tantrums, lies, and consequences, as her adventurous nature and insatiable curiosity lead her toward maturity and life profoundly changed by her experiences.
Just Maagy Excerpt
… “King Henry called Maagy into his room and shut the door.
“What is this about words between you and the son of Chief Obuku?”
“You heard about that?”
“I did. Would you care to explain?”
“He was rude to Estelí… and I told him it was unacceptable… and he should apologize.”
“The way I heard it, you threatened to invade his kingdom!”
“Not exactly! I threatened… you… would invade,” she said sheepishly. “Daddy, he made her cry! I heard her sobbing on the other side of the wall, so I pulled the bell cord and sure enough she had been crying. At first, she wouldn’t tell me, but finally I got it out of her. He went into his room whilst she was cleaning it. She tried to follow protocol and leave, but he demanded she finish. When she started to leave anyway, he threw something at her! I will not tolerate such behavior, Father!” She explained, as she finished her rant and took that defiant stance he had seen so many times.
“So, you interceded on her behalf. Is that when you threatened invasion?”
“Yes Sir… but not before he was rude and dismissive of me! He said because I was a female he didn’t have to listen to me. That’s when I got really angry and threatened…”
“Maagy you cannot confront people in such a manner! He is the son of an extremely important individual in these negotiations. You must make amends to the boy.”
“I’m sorry to disagree with you, Father, but I shall not do anything of the sort. He is an arrogant brat and I told him such!”
“Maagy, you’ve no idea what you’re doing here. Your behavior could undermine this entire effort.”
“Yes, I do know, Father. Rudolpho gave me a tutorial on the geography and politics of the region. I understand the water rights negotiations are critical… but so are principles. And I will not apologize for doing the right thing. Standing up for Estelí is the right thing.”
“Zinrahwi is looking for an excuse to leave the Summit and go build his dam even higher. He would love to justify an invasion and that is the last thing any of us needs. Maagy, you must back down on this and tell the boy you were wrong.”
“Father… I… I… cannot believe my ears. I cannot believe you would ask me to compromise my ethics and go against what I know is right and honorable to appease those barbarians!”
“Oh, Maagy… you make it so hard to find fault with your reasoning,” he admitted as he paced the room. “The fact is… life is not always white or black. Sometimes it must be shades of gray in the middle. Sometimes we have to swallow our tongues* to keep from speaking our minds in order to achieve the greater good. This conference and the water agreement with Zinrahwi are the greater good, Maagy. This mess is endangering the entire negotiation.”
“I am sorry… but only for making your job… and Rudy’s… much harder. Perhaps I shouldn’t have confronted Owanu, but having done so I will not go back on what I said. He was mean spirited and violent toward one of our own. That cannot… and will not be tolerated by me… and shouldn’t be by you. Daddy, you’ve always encouraged me to be brave and stand up for what I believe. Now, you’re asking me to abandon all that and give in to a tyrant. I just cannot.”
“Oh, Child,” he said, sinking onto a chair, “what am I going to do with you?” …