Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic #1)

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Celine Kiernan (text), Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic #1), Walker Books Australia, 1 April 2018, 288pp.,  $16.99 (pbk),(pbk), ISBN 9781406366020

This book is captivating and thrilling! The moon was strange the night the witches came and Aunty died. Who could not continue reading? Cleverly drawn into the story with this first sentence I traipsed along with Mup as she leaves the mundane world and sets out on a journey through Witches Borough to free her father, discovering her heritage and the hidden heart-rending truths about the people closest to her.

Nothing will ever be the same for Mup. Our main character, Mup, or Pearl to her great aunt, has such a delightful personality. She is thoughtful and kind, funny, unique and brave; a wonderful role model for readers. Her little brother Tipper, is adorable as a puppy, adding a touch of innocence to the story. But I couldn’t empathise with Aunty Boo or Stella, Mup’s mother. Their characters didn’t seem to have enough depth to be the reasoning behind Mup’s adventure and created a discordant note to the emotions I was feeling during the story.

With the promise of more adventures to come, this is amongst the loveliest of all the children’s fantasy books I have read. The action speeds along, with lots of surprises and aha! moments, ending in a frightening confrontation with the queen, in which Mup’s compassion, thoughtfulness and trust in the world around her triumphs.

Begone the Raggedy Witches is the first book in a new trilogy by Irish author Celine Kiernan and will be fantastic for readers 9yrs+ who enjoyed Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend.

Reviewed by Sharon Smith

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