Step into Magic (Portals to Whyland Book 1) – Day Leitao


Not special. Not chosen. But she’s got magical shoes.

14-year old Karina doesn’t know what she wants, but knows what she’s found—fascinating silver shoes. Fascinating, dangerous, and potentially evil. On the upside, they do bring cool visitors. When a princess invites her to go to Whyland and save her kingdom, of course she accepts. There’s that little “let’s destroy the shoes” detail she’s not crazy about, but hey, free trip, alternate world.
But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how. 
To make matters worse, as much as the princess is fierce, determined, and brave, she’ll jeopardize everything just to reconnect with her boyfriend, almost boyfriend, or whatever. And that might just be their doom.

Step into Magic is a fun YA portal fantasy adventure. If you like books with strong heroines, friendships between girls, subtle romance, and some mystery, you’ve found your book.


This story starts with a completely normal girl named Karina who falls in love with some silver shoes in a garage sale. She didn’t buy them at first but once she got home she felt the urge to go back for them.
For some reason Karina decided that she wanted nobody to see the shoes and hided them in her closet as her special secret. The problem was her best friend Zoe who found the shoes and decided to “borrow” them for a dance. While Karina got furious seeing her friend with her shoes, Zoe suddenly slipped and fell from the stairs breaking her leg. Although it seemed stupid, Karina was sure it happened because she had wished her friend would take the shoes off. So, the shoes were magical and really dangerous but for some reason she didn’t throw them away.

The shoes – and what they seemed capable of doing – sent shivers down her spine.

One night a woman entered Karina’s room claiming to be the real owner of the shoes and offering a wish in exchange from them as they could not be stolen like Zoe tried.

No harm in trying. “World peace.”

“No, no, no, you have to wish something for yourself.”

“Why? That’s a good wish.”

“It is. But you see, you cannot mess with other people’s free will”.

Oh well, that meant there would be no new era on Earth thanks to her.

The woman, Lylah, said she came from another dimension and couldn’t stay long, so she would be back the next day which was more than a week later in her dimension.
After she left, Karina went to sleep and woke up as she felt somebody in her room again. This time were two girls, Cayla and Ayanna, princesses from Whyland, the dimension where also Lylah came from. They needed the shoes and Karina for destroying them as they were Lylah’s fount of power and she was an evil witch that put their realm in danger. So Karina, eager for knowing about other dimension agreed to go with them to destroy the shoes and become a heroine. Unfortunately the first part of the mission seemed to be quite easy and boring.

Perhaps that was what real adventures were like: they felt ordinary and mundane when one was in the middle of them. Only later, when looking back, people would realize what it had been, which was sad because it meant nobody ever truly lived an adventure, only remembered it as one.

“Luckily” for Karina, she found out really soon that things would be harder than she expected as there were real dangers in this world and she knew nothing about it.


There clearly are more important characters that take part in this story but I’ll just talk about the ones that I felt more important.

  • Karina: A normal girl eager for knowledge and adventure until she finds out that adventures where more dangerous than she expected. Most of the book is from her perspective so we are as clueless as she is about this realm we are brought into. Even though she gets easily scared in this new world she never quits in her mission and decided to be brave so she can help her new friends.

    More than anything, Karina hated to be wrong. Wait. There was something worse: admitting she was wrong.
  • Cayla: Stubborn teenager princess. Bad combination but she’s not that bad. Her life style made her brave at a point that could be crossing the line for being reckless but she’s a really good person inside.

    Cayla looked at the girl. She stared as if examining her before answering. “People in the castle are not like you”
    “What do you mean?”
    Cayla had a half smile. “They are not dumb.
  • Darian: I spent most of the book trying to understand what side was he into. Darian is the “friend maybe more but not” of Cayla. He’s the son of the king’s general but was raised away from the castle. He was born with the talent of influencing people and he really gave it a use.

    “I’m sorry for my part in it. But I did tell Cayla it wasn’t safe to go wandering on her own. I offered to go with her, but no.”
  • Lylah: I don’t really know what to say about her. It’s clearly the most powerful person in the kingdom and she’s an evil witch. But, is this true?

    “I was hoping this would be the day,” Lylah said. “Have you ever considered that most of what you heard in your life were lies?”
  • Sian: I wasn’t going to mention him as he’s not really protagonist in this story and actually we don’t really get to know him. Sian is Darian’s older brother, but they are in opposite sides of the war. However, his honest and funny personality caught me immediately.

    “You don’t talk much, do you?” He smiled. “I like it! My favorite type of conversation partner. I can hear more of myself.”

In summary I loved reading this book. It’s full of small secondary stories and has friendship, a little of romance, adventure, magic and some hilarious parts. I guess I should add that if you’re of the kind that likes to get an explanation for everything, this may not be your book as lots of things just seems to happen. Anyway, this is just book I so there’s plenty of time for getting this answers.
After thinking about it I believe this book it’s a lot like old fairytales, as we get immerse in a realm where we follow this girls and their companions to their destiny while our hearts get filled with magic. I recommend it a 100%.

I got the opportunity to hear the audiobook and to be honest it gives even more vibes of a fairytale. The narrator is super clear and easy to understand, but I hated the attempt to do some voices, particularly Odell’s and Nia’s. And general Keen sounds like a snake ?. Anyway I loved this audiobook.

Bye bye ?

PD: Don’t buy strange shoes in a garage sale.

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