Begone The Raggedy Witches: The Wild Magic Trilogy by Celine Kiernan
|Begone The Raggedy Witches: The Wild Magic Trilogy by Celine Kiernan|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: First in a middle-grade fantasy series with a quirky, courageous heroine, her baby brother and a crow that talks in rhyme. An absorbing tale of forbidden magic in a magical and occasionally scary world just a few metres away from our own.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: February 2018|
|Publisher: Walker Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Aunty has died. Mup, her little brother Tipper and Mam are driving back from the hospital, and already it seems everything has changed. It was Aunty who kept the family going, who cared for them all and made sure they were happy, warm and secure. But then, as they approach the house, Mup is astonished to see the white, uncaring faces of witches above them, darting from tree to tree as they follow the car. Things are going to change even more suddenly and dramatically than she could ever have imagined.
It's a fairly traditional plot: a major event makes a young heroine realise she has unsuspected powers, just as she is toppled into a dark, frightening world of peril and fear. But don't be fooled: this isn't just any old story. Mup may discover her potential, and the fate of her loved ones may depend on her bravery and ingenuity, but she's not the one with the huge, world-changing destiny. No – that's her Mam, heir to the throne in a magical world from which she was spirited away by that same Aunty to save her from a terrible fate. For many years Mam has lived as an ordinary wife and mother, caring for her two beloved children while Dad works away on the oil rigs, with Aunty always near at hand. But now Aunty has gone . . . well, sort of: you'll just have to read the book to see how that particular mystery works. And Mam is changing, becoming remote and fierce as she learns that the witches have taken Dad to force her hand, drawing her back into that strange, exciting and dangerous world. We see all this through the eyes of Mup as she tags along behind; we feel her frustration and her anxiety as she is kept to one side and told to look after the baby while the adults try to sort things out.
It doesn’t work out like that, of course: Mup, Tipper (who has, for some reason, become a puppy) and a creature who is sometimes a boy and sometimes a crow, but always sulky and rude, find themselves alone as everyone scatters before her grandmother's attacking minions. Mup discovers abilities she had never known could exist, and goes through all manner of adventure and risks as she determines to rescue her father. It's an unusual angle, and a very effective one as readers will so easily identify with the irritations of being small and apparently useless, and there's even a little humour too, notably to do with Tipper's delight at being able to pee in the bushes rather than wear a nappy. It's a really good read with a highly likeable heroine, and readers will be happy to know that two more books are due about Mup and her family.
Magic, wicked villains and worlds like – but not like – our own: there are plenty of examples of the format for eager readers. Bookbag thoroughly enjoyed The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones which like Ms Kiernan's story has a kidnap, an aunt and animals with, to say the least, unusual characteristics. A similar and even darker plot can be found in Fire Girl by Matt Ralphs though it's Mum who gets kidnapped there. Parents have a really rough time of it in these stories!
You can read more book reviews or buy Begone The Raggedy Witches: The Wild Magic Trilogy by Celine Kiernan at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Begone The Raggedy Witches: The Wild Magic Trilogy by Celine Kiernan at Amazon.com.
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