Thea Winthrop, the girl who couldn’t do magic, grows up to become the greatest mage of all time
“For readers suffering Harry Potter withdrawal, this series might just suffice” – VOYA
What gods and mythological figures are specific to different North American tribes? There are equivalent mythological figures in many different cultures, can you think of any similar to these?
Thea meets an Anasazi shaman. Who were the Anasazi? Where did they live? When? What happened to them? What does a shaman do? What is his importance? Can the shaman be a woman?
Worldweavers has often been compared to Harry Potter. For example, VOYA said “For readers suffering Harry Potter withdrawal, this new series might just suffice.” How are these series different? How are they the same?
Gift of the Unmage
Thea is a major disappointment to everyone, including her family, because she is not the magical master she was expected to be. How does she deal with this? How does she change through the course of the book?
Under the tutoring of Cheveyo, Thea learns to weave light, her first magical ability. How does that affect her?
Thea’s Aunt Zoe sees the world in a very different way. What is synesthesia? How do you think seeing sounds or hearing colors would change your own perceptions?
How does Thea use all that she had learned to defeat the “Nothing”? Do you agree with her choices?
The kids at the Wandless Academy, and a lot of people outside it, cynically call their school The Last Ditch school For the Incurably Incompetent. Why?
Thea Winthrop Has been called Every Teen, the girl next door. Do you agree? Why, or why not?
How does Thea’s ability to use computer magic affect her relationship with others? How does her relationship with her family and friends change? With the FBM and Humphrey May?Cheveyo and Grandmother Spider?
Lorenzo de los Reyes and Thea were both children who were expected to do great things and ‘failed.’ How do they deal with those expectations? How are their relationships with their families alike, and how are they different?
One of the most valuable tools in Thea’s magic-using universe had been protected by hiding it in a place where magic was forbidden. Why do you think this choice was made? Do you think it was justified?
When Thea discovers who is behind spellspam, she is surprised at her feelings toward him — first fear, then empathy and even attraction. What changes her mind? Why?
In the end she has to make a terrible choice. Would you have made the same choice? If not, what would you have done?
The real Nikola Tesla was sometimes called ‘The New Wizard of the West.’ What achievements gave him that nickname?
Thea is asked to give freely of something that is precious to her. Why is there such power in a ‘gift freely given’? Would you have made the same choice in Thea’s place?
In the third book of the series, the lines between Good and Evil get blurred. Some characters who Thea had thought of as friends turn out to have their own agendas. How does Thea figure out who her real friends are?
In the beginning, Thea was ‘The Girl Who Couldn’t.’ By the end of Cybermage, she is someone quite different. How does she change over the course of the series? What has she learned about herself, about her world? How does power change her?
How do Thea and her group of friends change and influence one another? What have they learned from each other? How important is friendship in the end?
Dawn of Magic
Thea’s relationships are changing. Her brothers all have their own reaction to her identity as an Elemental mage. She has been torn from her Last Ditch School friends and even her relationships with Corey the Coyote, Tawaha the Sun God, Cheveyo, and Nikola Tesla are different. Explore how things are changing for Thea – and how the way she is perceived by others may change the way she perceives herself.
Nikola Tesla comes up with an explanation of the way he, Thea, and Corey are connected – the Memory/Hope/Dream ‘avatars’ that they each map to. Discuss how these three concepts work together in order to fulfil the destiny of both Nikola Tesla and Thea in the book, and how such an idea might work in the lives of ordinary people. How would such an equation (memory+hope+dream) work as building blocks to your own identity and personality?
The Alphiri steal the core of human magic in order to ensure their own eternal survival – but there are hints that they have tried similar things before and failed. Why do you think that is? Discuss the idea of immortality as obtained by stealing someone else’s life, soul, or achievements. Is it always wrong, or do the ends sometimes justify the means?
Trust and sacrifice – both are needed at the crucial moment (for both Tesla and Thea) in order to achieve their goal of rescuing the human core from the Alphiri. These are common tropes in many stories. Where else have you met such ideas? What would you be willing to sacrifice if asked to – for a compelling reason? What would you never sacrifice, for any reason?
It is sometimes possible to go back and start again, and sometimes not. The severing of the witch/familiar relationship between Zai and Waxy the crow is an example of a loss like this. Zai fears that it may not be possible to reinstate that relationship even if magic returns to the world. What do you think? If it is restored, would it ever be the same again?
“…combines elements of magic, culture, and spirituality with a firm grounding in the real world of Thea as she struggles to find her identity in her family and in the world of magic….” —Teri S. Lesesne, VOYA (starred review