Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn, and his secrets will come to light.
This is a sweet narrative about the value of asking questions and the benefits of giving people (especially children) a chance to be safe, protected, and themselves, regardless of what assumptions one might glean from, say, reading their case file. The world is harsh—magical people are required to register with the government, and there are quite a lot of rules—but the orphanage is a place where perhaps there is room for people to understand one another instead of blindly fearing the unknown.
Lambda Literary Award–winning author Klune...has a knack for creating endearing characters, and readers will grow to love Arthur and the orphans alongside Linus. Linus himself is a lovable protagonist despite his prickliness, and Klune aptly handles his evolving feelings and morals. The prose is a touch wooden in places, but fans of quirky fantasy will eat it up ... A breezy and fun contemporary fantasy.
Quirk and charm give way to a serious exploration of the dangers of complacency in this delightful, thought-provoking Orwellian fantasy from Klune ... By turns zany and heartfelt, this tale of found family is hopeful to its core. Readers will revel in Klune’s wit and ingenuity.