Any Way the Wind Blows, the third and final book in the Simon Snow series by Rainbow Rowel, was released recently on July 6th, 2021. This YA fantasy trilogy is one that I adore, and I have been looking forward to reading this installment for over a year. Since the feelings of admiration I have for this series have been reignited due to the publication of this latest book, I wanted to recommend this series to others.
This series begins with the novel Carry On which follows the young magician Simon Snow, who is a student in his last year at Watford School of Magicks. Snow has always struggled with summoning and controlling his magic. Despite this, he has been deemed the Chosen One by the Magickal World and has been tasked with defeating the Insidious Humdrum. While Simon is trying to conquer the biggest threat to magicians, he is also forced to put up with his roommate and enemy, Baz Grimm-Pitch. As Simon comes closer and closer to battling the Insidious Humdrum for the last time, he starts to realize that the world around him and magic in general might not be the way he initially perceived them to be. The rest of the books in the trilogy, Wayward Son and Any Way the Wind Blows, also center on Simon Snow’s struggle with being the Chosen One and what that title truly means.
If the plot of Carry On comes off as similar to Harry Potter, that’s because it is. The Simon Snow series originates from a standalone novel by Rainbow Rowell titled Fangirl. Fangirl is about Cather “Cath” Avery, an introverted college freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who struggles with social anxiety. Cath has grown up a fan of the fictional Simon Snow series—the novel’s version of Harry Potter, written by the fictional Gemma T. Leslie—and is an avid fanfiction reader and writer. As she attempts to realize her identity in college, she reexamines fandom as a whole and what it truly means to be a fan. While Carry On and the subsequent novels are inspired by Harry Potter and the Fangirl Simon Snow series, this trilogy is distinct and separate from both J. K. Rowling’s and Gemma T. Leslie’s work. You do not have to read Harry Potter or Fangirl prior to beginning the series.
The Simon Snow series has memorable, lovable characters, interesting settings, a lovely romance, and a unique magic system based on the power of words and language. If you’re interested in a fun, young adult fantasy trilogy filled with adventure, magic, and excitement, then this is the series for you. I hope that Simon and his story can capture your heart as much as they have mine.