Writer’s Digest Review

Wilf doesn’t want to be a wizard. He just wants to play soccer. But his wizard father evaporates, his ruby ring transfers to his son’s hand, and magical adventure is afoot. The idea of the Pulch Virus — short for Pulchritude, or beauty — which infects witches, shrinking and erasing their hooked noses and warts is great. The story is a layered mystery. Power and ugliness equate among witches. Those with power compliment each other on their warts! — and those who are pretty don’t have power. The theme of a boy mourning his dead mother and his father’s disappearance addresses deep traumas. Issues of trust and mistrust run through the story especially with Wilf’s shifty half-sister Myra and the nasty wizard Hywel. Rebel witches and back-stabbing wizards fight for control. This war could be seen as an apt parallel fro the war between men and women. Enjoyable aspects include the rain charm; the magical thermals; and Wilf’s struggle to gain power, which builds suspense.

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The Virus of Beauty – Book 1,

C.B. Lyall

by Aimee Ann – Red Headed Booklover. com

Ugliness is power, and The Virus of Beauty has become a pandemic virus causing widespread panic.The witches only hope is persuading a teenage boy to accept he’s a wizard and release the cure from a spellbound journal he inherited from his father. But Wilf Gilvary would rather see his soccer ball fly past a goalie than experience flight by broom. When a young witch he’s befriended contracts the virus, Wilf must overcome his fear of magic to unlock the journal’s secrets – but will it be too late to save her?In this debut novel, C.B. Lyall takes us on a journey to modern day Hong Kong before plunging into an alternative realm of magic.The Virus of Beauty is a compelling read with rich imagery, compassionate and ruthless characters. The story is told through the eyes of Wilf, Katryna and Wilf’s stepsister Myra. Each will be betrayed, manipulated, befriended and tested before they reach the end of this journey. 

The Virus of Beauty is a thrilling novel that will excite readers from start to finish thanks to the captivating story that takes the reader on a breathtaking journey. The Virus of Beauty for me was an engrossing read that enthralled me from the very first page to the very last; I struggled to put this book down because I desperately wanted to know what was going to happen to the novels memorable characters and I felt this way thanks to the author’s incredible writing that compelled me to read. C.B. Lyall is a talented and well-accomplished author, and her work is gripping as well as riveting and holds a host of fantastic characters! Already I have to recommend this novel for you lovely readers to read, but if you need more convincing, then continue to read to learn more about the incredible The Virus of Beauty!

The Virus of Beauty is an exceptional tale that will introduce the reader to the protagonist of the novel, Wilf Gilvary, a teenage wizard who is reluctant to explore his heritage. However, after the vanishing of his father and a spellbound journal he inherits from him, he is forced to explore his heritage and powers more. The reader will follow Wilf as he embarks on this coming of age tale where he learns more about himself, his powers, his heritage, and more of a terrifying virus that is sweeping the globe and hurting those he loves most, and this book lovers is the short premise of the incredible The Virus of Beauty! 

The tale of The Virus of Beauty is gripping, glorious, and let’s not forget breathtaking. This novel truly did astound me with its captivating narration and thrilling plotline in which many twists and turns occur. As well as it being a great coming of age fantasy read, it is also a unique, diverse one which is unlike your typical fantasy novel and I have to say that I adored this because I was getting very tired of reading the same old fantasy books so thank you, C.B. Lyall, for writing a novel that is fresh, exciting and gripping!

C.B. Lyall is a talented author; there is no question about this. Lyall’s writing keeps the reader on the edge of their seat; her suspense, fantasy-filled book takes you on a gripping journey that you will struggle to forget. I was enthralled from start to finish and this is how fantasy books should be! I was thinking, “yes, finally I have found another great suspense-filled fantasy book” so thank you, Lyall, for writing a genuinely captivating and memorable story that will hook fantasy and suspense addicts.

C.B. Lyall can only be described as a talented, accomplished writer who knows what a reader wants in a great fantasy read. As I read The Virus of Beauty I read every sentence slowly so that I could absorb all of the novel’s information; I felt as if I was there and it made for an immersive reading experience. Lyall is an excellent writer who is well accomplished, and her work astounded me from the very beginning thanks to her original plot, as well as her compelling characters that in turn made me invest in the story even more.

To conclude my thoughts on the thrilling novel that is The Virus of Beauty, I would say if you are bored with the same old fantasy cliches then take a chance with this gem because you will not be disappointed. It has everything you would want in a great novel, and that is spine-tingling good content, dynamic, memorable characters, and a brilliant author. This excellent book gets five stars from me!   

Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much. 

Goodbye for now book lovers,


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A short story based on the Jack and Jill Nursery Rhyme.




Witches are falling victim to a magic-killing virus, and their only hope for a cure is to convince a teenager to accept his wizard heritage.

In this debut YA fantasy, 15-year-old soccer star Wilf Gilvary, living in present-day Hong Kong, wants nothing to do with magic despite his stern wizard father’s efforts to make his son use his gifts. After his father’s sudden death, Wilf still refuses to explore his powers when his 20-year-old stepsister, Myra, insists that they leave the normal world for new lives in the Magical Realm. A visit from a repulsively ugly and desperate witch forces Wilf to reluctantly accept that he is indeed a wizard. She informs him that the cure for the Pulch Virus, an illness that drains witches of their magic (and makes them distressingly beautiful as the disease progresses), resides only in his father’s journal, a work Wilf inherited. Unfortunately, he will be unable to read the formula for the cure unless he learns how to harness his abilities. Wilf ends up in the Magical Realm after all. There, his stake in events increases as he grows close to Katryna, a young witch infected with the virus, and as the journal and Wilf’s potential for performing potent magic place him in the sights of an unscrupulous wizard. In this promising series opener, Lyall skillfully deepens her world of wizards and witches with gender war elements. A magic Veil separates the domain of each group: Witches in wizard territory wear bracelets restricting their autonomy; unauthorized wizards in the witches’ realm face death. The characters’ believable motivations in this fast-moving tale range from self-interest, guilt, and fear to a desire for power and vengeance. Wilf deals with complicated and intriguing family relationships—Is Myra who he thinks she is? What painful secret from his past has blocked him from his magical potential? Other tantalizing questions include: Who is fomenting conflict between the Wizard Council and the Witch Council? What is the origin of the virus? What will happen to the balance of magic if the cure can’t be accessed?  

An engaging fantasy with creative worldbuilding and authentically conflicted teen characters caught in a magical power struggle.

Kirkus Reviews

Pub Date: July 31st, 2019ISBN: 978-1-64378-066-5Page count: 240pp Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers LLCProgram: Kirkus Indie Review Posted Online: Nov. 5th, 2019



A young wizard faces magical repercussions after he heroically helps some witches in this YA fantasy sequel.

In the first book of this lively series, fledgling wizard Wilf Gilvary, a soccer-playing teenager in Hong Kong, used newfound powers to cure witches of a magic-killing virus. Unfortunately, the magical Veil, a spell separating the witch and wizard domains, was corrupted in the process. Now, the Council of Wizards expects its witchy counterparts, newly headquartered in the Hong Kong store formerly owned by Wilf’s father, to turn Wilf over to them to undo the damage. The wild ride that ensues in the crumbling Magical Realms encompasses the protagonist’s changing relationship with young witch Katryna Wakefield; his eerie, seemingly impossible connection with the Guardian of the Veil; his fugitive stepsister, Myra Picton; and chilling experiments by Katryna’s wizard father and his assistant, Malik, to create an alternative to the Veil in the “normal” world. Lyall skillfully juggles each fantastical plot point while shifting perspectives between Wilf and Myra. Along the way, the author never loses sight of the grounding, real-world dilemmas faced by her characters, including addiction, betrayal, gender conflicts, and, significantly, the issue of consent when Malik forces Myra to bond with him using a magic bracelet. Throughout, Wilf continues to struggle with his identity as a wizard, which he’d never sought for himself: “He had never thought of magic as surrounding him before….He had thought he could escape, walk through a door, and exit this life. But that wasn’t true. His every breath was touched with magic.” The novel ends with a suspenseful teaser of what’s to come in the next installment.A dynamic YA series entry that continues to combine realistic adolescent issues with imaginative, magic-based fantasy.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2020 ISBN: 978-1-73600-272-8 Page Count: 201 Publisher: Hazel Publishing Company, LLC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021 Review Program: KIRKUS INDIE



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