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Krispen is an exciting holiday adventure about Maagy’s loss of faith in everything and everyone around her. However, an unlikely visitor in the middle of the night and a clandestine journey to save a sacred tradition for the entire world, prove to be life-changing for Maagy. She must muster her non-existent courage, and cunning to save him and herself from certain disaster. She begins to realize that there is magic in the world around her, after all, and that the unseen is as real as that which is seen and can be proven. While a fun holiday adventure in the beginning, later chapters are fraught with darker undertones that lay groundwork for Maagy’s tumultuous future. As Maagy continues her quest for academic excellence and stretches her adolescent wings toward maturity, a devastating surprise and a broken heart on her fifteenth birthday catapult her in a direction no one could have predicted.


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.

Krispen Teaser

… “Believing in Father Krispen is having faith in things you cannot see. It’s having faith that those you can see hold great magical power.” …

Maagy has said goodbye to Mary for winter holiday. Krispen is just around the corner. Maagy has settled in for the long carriage ride home to Avington Palace and has fallen asleep to the rhythmic sound of the horses’ hooves. Suddenly, something terrible happens and she is left with overwhelming fear and mistrust. She falls into a deep depression and will not eat or even come out of her room. The situation is exacerbated by King Henry’s sudden absence.

An unlikely stranger awakens Maagy in the middle of the night with a hand over her mouth. He is seeking her help for a clandestine undertaking with implications for the entire world. Terrified and against her better judgment, she agrees to embark upon the harrowing journey where they encounter an unexpected detour along the way. Maagy’s mettle is tested, as she shows great strength and bravery in the face of bone chilling fear. After several scary encounters with beings always thought to be mythical, the oddly paired cohorts continue their mission which leads Maagy to make a startling discovery she never could have guessed.

Maagy embraces her journey toward maturity working tirelessly to finishing Upper Levels in school. Her Début on her fifteenth birthday is her official introduction into society and signals her coming of age. She is full of excitement and great expectations for the future when her world is dashed again. Maagy’s path takes a sharp turn in the most unlikely direction. Krispen leaves the reader hanging on every word just before her sixteenth birthday.

Krispen Excerpt

… “Maagy’s heart pounded faster as she descended the stairs. She stayed in shadows and crept along the wall to the back staircase, which led down the north side of the palace where McTavish was waiting. Her excitement grew as she hurried along the dark corridors. She began to sweat under the layers of wool and fur. Finally, she reached the bottom and stopped to make sure the way was clear. One last dash across the hallway and she was at the service entrance, which opened to a road mostly used for delivery. She put on the coat, hat and gloves, and quietly unbolted the door, giving it a gentle push. A blast of frigid air hit her face. The wind whipped wildly and the door almost swung out of her hand. She was able to hold on… preventing it from crashing against the wall… and wrestled it closed without a sound. She breathed a sigh of relief, but almost lost her breath when she looked toward the road and saw no sleigh or diminutive driver. Her mind raced. Had she dreamt it all? Was she standing in the frigid night air for nothing?
“Psst… Psst, Princess Maagy. Here we are… down the hill.”
Her heart quickened again, as she realized it had not been a dream. She was embarking upon a secret mission to save Krispen.
“Coming,” she said. “I’m coming!”
She crunched through the snow and slipped and slid on ice all the way to the sleigh. She could hardly believe her eyes when she saw it gleaming in the moonlight. It was solid black with gold trim and comfy red velvet seats that were more like elegant couches than carriage benches. She recognized the two horses harnessed to the sleigh. One was dear old Parker whom she had worked so hard to rehabilitate after the barn fire that past summer. The other was Primrose, a big strawberry roan mare, who often pulled the small carriage to Berryville when Grandma Polly and she went on their shopping trips. Both horses were wrapped in the warmest fur blankets and their feet were protected from the bitter cold by fur-lined suede boots that came to their knees. They looked like huge wooly mammoths in the moonlight.
“Parker, Primrose!” She exclaimed, as she went to them with hugs and pats. “It’s so good to see you. If I’d known you two were here I’d have brought you an apple.”
“Princess Maagy, we must be off. The hour is gettin’ late, and we have a long journey ahead of us.”
“Of course, Sir… right away.”
She climbed onto the seat next to him, and he threw a large fur cover over her knees.
“Bundle up, dear lass. It promises to get even colder where we are goin’. Gee! Get up there team! Take it home!”
He turned the horses and sleigh round and started down the mountain. The narrow, slippery road leading from the back of the palace wound down along the top of steep rocky cliffs, which dropped off… hundreds of feet… on either side. Somehow, huge trees managed to grow out of them, giving cover to those who might try to attack. It was an arduous and dangerous path usually only traveled on horseback in daylight, rather than by carriage… or sleigh… and never at night… in winter. She had heard her father say it was the only vulnerable access point to Avington, but had not understood what that meant until that moment. Then something very disturbing occurred to her.
“McTavish… how did you get through the back gate?”
“Pardon me, Yer Highness?” He whispered, just as they approached the wide-open portal.
“These gates are always… I mean always… closed… locked… and heavily guarded. How did you get in?”
“I… drove through…” he said, not committing to too much detail.
“But… how?”
“They… were… open… when I got here…” again, intentionally vague.
“That cannot be,” she whispered, almost to herself.
She began to panic. Her body tightened. Her mouth went dry. Chills and sweat broke out… at the same time. She looked from side to side, as her breathing got more rapid and shallower.
“It is all good, Yer Highness.”
“But… the guards… how did you get past them? Where are they? I don’t see them!”
“I believe… they might be… takin’ a short nap…”
“Oh, good heavens! A nap! If Father… finds out… they were… sleeping on their watch… he’ll have them… beheaded!”
“Then… Princess Maagy… perhaps… ya should not tell him. I can assure ya… I swear upon me own life… which I am rather fond of… there is no cause for alarm. No nefarious* persons have entered the castle walls. The gates will close as soon as we are through them, and the guards will be wide awake and at their posts… none the wiser.”
“How do you know this?”
“Ya must not ask questions I cannot answer… Yer Highness.” …

The Maagy Series is the quintessential fantasy book series that focuses on the maturation of young girls to adult women.

Princess Maagy begins as a spoiled, privileged brat who learns valuable lessons through wonderous adventures and the wisdom of those around her. Throughout each book, Maagy takes more steps toward her destiny and develops into an extraordinary young woman and warrior who will one day take on the mantle of queen. Following Maagy through these tumultuous stages offers perspective and guidance that young adults can relate to and enjoy. The Maagy Series provides an opportunity for readers to explore a new world, while also watching a character transform before their very eyes. This series captures the imagination and is perfect for readers of any age!

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