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#BookReview: Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan #MPBooks

Begone the Raggedy Witches book coverTitle: Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1)

Author: Celine Kiernan

Illustrator: Victoria Semykina

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Middle grade, Fantasy

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Description:  Mup’s dad has been kidnapped by witches, and Mup – along with her mam, brother and dog – must journey to an enchanted world to rescue him.
Danger awaits them.  Witches Borough is a beguiling place of rhyming crows, talking cats and forbidden magic, ruled by a tyrannical queen and her band of raggedy witches.  And Mam seems strange on this side of the border – striding, powerful and increasingly distant.
Even if they can save her father, Mup knows that nothing will ever be the same again.

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#BookReview: Here Be Witches by Sarah Mussi #MPBooks

Here Be Witches book cover

Title: Here Be Witches (The Snowdownia Chronicles #2)

Author: Sarah Mussi

Publisher: Shrine Bell

Genre: Young Adult/Teen, Fantasy

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Description: All Ellie Morgan wants is to be with her one true love, Henry.
But she’s caught in the middle of a BATTLE as old as SNOWDON itself. A battle between GOOD and EVIL.
A WITCHES’ SPELL, cast high on the mountain, has sped up time and made matters MUCH WORSE. The dragons are awake; mythical creatures and evil ghosts have risen. And nearly all of them want Ellie DEAD.
Thank heavens for loyal friend George, disloyal bestie Rhi, and mysterious stranger, Davey. Armed with Granny Jones’s potions, Ellie and her companions must set out on a journey to REVERSE THE SPELL, stop the EVIL White Dragon and find Henry.
As an eternal winter tightens its grip on Snowdon, Ellie and her friends have just THREE DAYS to SURVIVE and complete their quest.

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#BookHaul: Bookbridgr January 2018 #MPBooks

Hello everyone and I hope your Monday is a good one, especially as many of you may be returning to work or school today.  I have a quick post to show you a fantasy book I’ve received through the post on Saturday.  The amazing thing about this post is that it came just 17 hours after I requested it!  Can you believe it?!  A big thank you to the publishers and bookbridgr! 😀

Here’s the wonderful book in question and I couldn’t help but just love the cover:

The cover is just sooo enticing isn’t it?

The Waking Land by Callie Bates – It’s been fourteen years since Elanna was taken hostage. Fourteen years spent being raised by the King who defeated her traitorous father. A man she’s come to love like family.But when the King is killed and Elanna framed for his murder, she must flee for her life.  Her only hope is to reach her homeland, but her father wants to reignite his rebellion and use Elanna as a figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the goddess Wildegarde reborn, a warrior of legend who could make the very earth tremble.  But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins. And now she must decide whether she’ll use her powers to create peace… or to enact revenge.

This is a YA fantasy book and I can’t help but feel excited to read it, and 17 hours-wow!  What do you think of this book?  Is it one you’d like to read?  Have you read it already?


Let me know all your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 

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#BookHaul: Vertebrate Publishing December 2017 #MPBooks

I was contacted by the lovely people at Vertebrate Publishing and asked if I’d like to review some books.  As usual I jumped at the chance, and books from both them and their imprint Shrine Bell have arrived in the post and I’m already half way through reading one of their books it’s so interesting!

Take a look at these lovely books, a mixture of fiction and non-fiction but all sound very interesting.  Although two books are part of a series , I’m jumping into the middle of each series with the books I have as I’m told they work well as stand alones too 🙂   Tell me if any pique your interest or if you’ve read them before.  And expect reviews for these books soon on this blog 😀

Vertebrate books 2017
Fiction and non-fiction treats! 😀

Here Be Witches (Snowdonia Chronicles book 2) by Sarah Mussi – All Ellie Morgan wants is to be with her one true love, Henry. But she’s caught in the middle of a BATTLE as old as SNOWDON itself. A battle between GOOD and EVIL.  A WITCHES’ SPELL, cast high on the mountain, has sped up time and made matters MUCH WORSE. The dragons are awake; mythical creatures and evil ghosts have risen. And nearly all of them want Ellie DEAD.  Thank heavens for loyal friend George, (disloyal) bestie Rhi, and mysterious stranger, Davey.  Armed with Granny Jones’s potions, Ellie and her companions must set out on a journey to REVERSE THE SPELL, stop the EVIL White Dragon and find Henry.  As an eternal winter tightens its grip on Snowdon, Ellie and her friends have just THREE DAYS to SURVIVE and complete their quest.

North Face (The Everest Files book 2) by Matt Dickinson – Ryan Hart is an 18-year-old adventurer on a mission. To get himself to Mount Everest and check out the truth about the world’s highest peak.  Friends have told him dark stories about the mountain, outrageous things that he wants to see for himself.  Just a few hours after Ryan arrives at Everest Base Camp a lethal earthquake strikes.  Avalanches pound the glacier, burying Ryan’s climbing buddy and killing many others.  A desperate rescue saves Ryan’s friend, but only after a local Tibetan girl Tashi helps with the search.  Stress levels are running high among the climbing teams. The mountain is shut for the season because it is judged too dangerous.  Then a flashlight reveals a clue. Someone is alive, high on Everest’s treacherous north face!  Tashi is convinced it is her 15-year-old brother.  Ryan is prepared to risk everything to help.  Storm clouds gather as they set out on their illegal climb, a do-or-die mission which the local militia will do anything to stop.

The Fight For Everest 1924 by E F Norton – In 1924 Mount Everest remained unclimbed. Two British expeditions had already tackled what was known to be the highest mountain on Earth. The first, in 1921, found a route to the base. The second, in 1922, attempted the summit, reaching a record height of 27,320 feet before retreating. Two years later, a team that included Colonel E.F. Norton, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine returned to the Himalaya.  Armed with greater knowledge and experience, confidence was high. But they were still climbing into the unknown. How high could they climb without supplementary oxygen? Would the cumbersome oxygen equipment help them climb higher? Could they succeed where others had failed, and make the first ascent of the highest mountain on earth? Before they could find out, tragedy struck George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, climbing high on the mountain, vanished into the clouds.  First published in 1925, and reissued now for only the second time, The Fight for Everest 1924 is the official record of this third expedition to Everest. The compelling narrative by Norton and other expedition members, and Mallory s vivid letters home, present a gripping picture of life in the Himalaya. Notes and observations from the entire team show how far knowledge of the mountain and of high-altitude climbing had advanced by 1924, and make recommendations for future Everest attempts.  As well as the full original text and illustrations, this edition reproduces some of Norton s superb pencil sketches and watercolours along with previously unpublished materials from his private archive. These include original planning documents from the expedition, Mallory s last note to Norton, and a moving letter to Norton from Mallory s widow. Together, they add up to complete one of the most fascinating mountaineering books ever written.

I know the last book is a bit different but I like to read many genres and the writing reminded me of something you’d find in some classic books so it has intrigued me!  What do you think of this selection of books?  Do any interest you and again, have you read any already?  Let me know in the comments below, or tell me about something new you’ve received that you’re excited to read 🙂


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#BookReview: Norse Myths Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland &Jeffrey Alan Love #MPBooks

Norse Myths Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki book coverTitle: Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki

Author: Kevin Crossley-Holland

Illustrator: Jeffrey Alan Love

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade+/Older Children’s+, Fantasy (mythology)

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Description:  Fast-moving and ice-bright, these myths of the Vikings tell how the world was created and how it will be destroyed – only to begin again.

The gods, led by all-powerful Odin, and mighty Thor, are caught, in a terrifying struggle for power with the fearsome giants.  They must battle them using all their cunning and strength.  But the god’s greatest enemy lurks among them: the trickster Loki.  Twisted by spite, his scheming will ultimately bring about the final great battle of Ragnarok.

These ancient stories of dazzling magic and thrilling journeys are dramatically retold by Kevin Crossley-Holland, the master of Norse mythology and the winner of the Carnagie Medal, and lavishly illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love.

My Review: This is a truly stunning book and one which will be enjoyed by not only kids but adults too. ‘Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki’ is a large hardback book about A4 in height but a bit wider and is filled with thick matt pages. The paper is the heavy kind making this a weighty book to hold and I’d advice putting it down while reading it. There are stunning illustrations just like the ones on the cover that give this book and the tales told within an interesting and dark atmosphere.

The book begins with a forward by the author explaining where the myths come from, after that there are a couple of double page spreads showing relevant characters, one has the names of all the relevant gods and goddesses, the next dwarfs and giants, and this is followed by a picture of the Norse World and the ash tree Yggdrasill. All these are accompanied with some great illustrations and I especially like the picture of Yggdrasill as this is a key part to the Norse stories and how they all connect and even though I’ve heard of the myths before I couldn’t piece them in my mind so well until I’d seen this picture.

Excellent shadow images of the gods!

The rest of the book is the various myths which should be read in order to get the most out of the stories. Each myth is like a short story, it has its own title and a brief sentence about it before the text of the tale. Although the Norse myths are different and some of them very strange compared to stories of today they are surprisingly compelling to read and I love the way this book tells them. I had some knowledge of the myths before I started reading this but having them in this book, arranged the way they are with the stunning illustrations has made it really easy to remember and I keep wanting to read them again and again.

Every story is interesting to read with some of them having morals to them, in a lot of them though you will read some pretty dark things such as characters being killed or hurt in the most gruesome of ways, every story however is interesting to read and has its conclusion. In some of the stories there’s mentions of things such as the killing and skinning of animals for food but none of these stories are done in a too gruesome way, it’s nothing that wouldn’t be appropriate for kids although the Norse myths themselves are dark in their very nature, especially towards the end of the book such as what happens to Loki.

The illustrations are just amazing and I think it’s really made this book all the more fun and powerful to read! Every illustration is like a shadow illustration, you rarely see any kind of faces, unless it is the silhouette of someone sideways or one or two eyes visible against the black shadows. Given how different and interesting the Norse myths are, these illustrations really do fit the atmosphere of the stories and how the whole book feels. The majority of the images are all black but there are other colours mixed into some pictures too such as blue for the sea, yellow for golden hair and red for Loki’s eyes. There is an illustration on each page or double page spread and many times there is so much black that you get white text on black as the whole images seems to swallow the text. You can only get a sense for the pictures by seeing them, they really are brilliant, and I’m amazed how easy it is to see what is happening when a lot of the time all you see is shadows.

Stunning illustrations portraying the dark atmosphere!

There is a glossary at the back of the book with not only the names of characters but also some words used which some kids may not understand which is good as it saves going backwards in the book to find out who someone is or understand what something is. There is also a contents at the start of the book with all the myths labelled so you can dip in and out of reading a certain tale, although if it’s the first time you really should read them in order to feel the full impact of the stories.

Although this is a book I’d recommend for kids and adults there may be some kids who might find the tales a little scary or gory. The Norse myths are strange and different but there’s also something so compelling about them, they really do make for interesting reading and although some of the stories might be a bit weird or dark, I don’t think it’s anything an older child would find too difficult or unappealing. I really have enjoyed this book and would invite anyone of any age to read this if you are keen to learn the Norse myths as it’s a really exciting read and a great source of learning these tales. Some kids might find some of the stories a little strange to read, given what happens in the tales themselves but overall I would really recommend this book – I can’t stop myself re-reading it!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you enjoy reading about mythology?  What about Norse mythology?  Would you enjoy this book or know somebody who would?  Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂  You can also follow me in these places: 

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#BookHaul: Walker Books (2nd haul) November 2017 #MPBooks

Some of you may know that it’s my birthday tomorrow.  I’m not sure what I’ll be doing for my birthday on this blog yet, I’m not sure if I’ll do much at all to be honest as I really haven’t planned anything but I’m sure I’ll come up with something if it’s even just a poem.  In the meantime, what a wonderful present I got in the post yesterday from Walker Books.  It’s more books!  There’s two books that I’ve been sent and as usual I’m going to review them here as soon as I can.  But in the meantime feast your eyes on these lovely books and tell me if you’re thinking of reading them (or have already!)…

The first is this beautiful book:

Walker November 2017 City of Bones
This book looks sooo good! (ignore the scuffed corner 😮 )

The Mortal Instruments (Book 1): City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – The tenth anniversary of Cassandra Clare’s phenomenal City of Bones demands a luxe new edition. The pride of any fan’s collection, City of Bones now has new cover art, over thirty interior illustrations, and six new full-page colour portraits of everyone’s favourite characters! This beautifully crafted collector’s item also includes a new piece written by Cassandra Clare. A perfect gift for the Shadowhunter fan in your life.  This is the book where Clary Fray first discovered the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world and back to their own. The book where she first met Jace Wayland, the best Shadowhunter of his generation. The book that started it all.

That book sounds amazing but there’s another special book I got, at least it’s like a birthday gift for me!…

Walker November 2017 Julius Zebra
It’s the first Julius Zebra book! ‘Rumble with the Romans’! 😀 😀 😀

Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans by Gary Northfield – So you think you know ZEBRAS, do you?  They’re handsome, eat lots of grass, and um…are always getting eaten by lions.  Let’s face it, they’re a little bit boring and stupid, too.  But a tussle with a grumpy gladiator can soon change a zebra…So cheer on our stripy hero, Julius, as he scraps for survival in history’s deadliest theatre: THE COLOSSEUM!  Just don’t call him a horse! (or Debra…)

Having come to the Julius Zebra series from the second book and read both ‘Bundle with the Britons’ and ‘Entagled with the Egyptians’ I’m so excited to be able to read the first book that started my love of this funny series!  I also hear there’s going to be a fourth book in the series too, set in Ancient Greece! 😮  I’m making a prediction of that cover being green (seeing as we’ve got a yellow, red, and blue cover already :P)

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books before or plan to, or even look forward to my reviews  😍


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#BookReview: The Wonderling by Mira Bartók #MPBooks

The Wonderling book coverTitle: The Wonderling

Author: Mira Bartók

Illustrator: Mira Bartók

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle grade/ older children’s fiction, fantasy

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Description: Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, run by the evil Miss carbuncle, a cunning villainess, who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer.
For the Wonderling, an innocent one-eared “groundling” – a mix of fox and boy – the Home is all he has ever known.  But when unexpected courage leads him to protect a young bird groundling, Trinket, from being bullied, she in return gives him two incredible gifts: a real name – Arthur, like the good king in the old stories – and a best friend.
With the help of an ingenious invention by Trinket, the two friends escape from the Home and embark on an extraordinary quest into the wider world and down the path of Arthur’s true destiny.

With its shimmering language and richly imagined plot, The Wonderling is a spellbinding adventure that will leave readers with a head full of wonder and a heart full of song.

My Review:  This is such a beautiful and magical tale, it’s the perfect story to read no matter how old you are. ‘The Wonderling’ follows the story of Number thirteen, a very shy one eared half-fox half-human boy who lives at Miss Carbunkle’s Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. The orphanage is an unpleasant place, there is no space for the young groundlings (the half-animal half-humans) to have fun, and poor Number Thirteen is so shy and alone that he doesn’t have any friends or even a proper name. But one day he’s forced to do something brave, an act that begins his journey to his destiny.

The book is quite large for a children’s book, at around 460 pages for the hardback, and contains some beautiful old-fashioned looking illustrations throughout. The hardback I have has an outer sleeve covering an old fashioned style dark green book (beautifully bound), and the sleeve has some beautiful images (like the ones found inside) along with some lovely shiny copper embellishments which can’t be seen easily from the above picture. The book is separated into three parts with each part being given a brief description along with some illustrations. There is also a lovely map at the start of the book which all together gives this book such an old-fashioned and beautiful feel.

The story is so easy to get into and I was enjoying it from the very first page. There is a real adventure feel to this as well as a magical Dickensian vibe. The story is set in the Victorian age, given the way the characters look and the technology they have, but it is firmly a fantasy world where groundlings exist. Number Thirteen, or Arthur as he is later known is such a sweet character, very timid but also with a heart of gold. It was so easy to like him straight away and like many magical children’s stories I think kids will warm to his character straight away. As the story progresses chapters occasionally switch to different characters. The whole story is written in the third person but you sometimes find out what is happening elsewhere in the story. This switch is never confusing and is often very interesting as sometimes characters are not just described by their names but in a more outward way, such as one scene talking about what two birds are doing in a house, mentioning them as birds rather than using character names. It gives the book a very magical feel and an almost movie quality to each scene.

An example of the style of illustration found throughout the book (I didn’t want to include any more images as it would spoil the story to see them)

A lot happens in the story and I really don’t want to spoil it by explaining as it’s really a magical adventure that Arthur and his friend go on. But I will say that this book really kept me reading on and on and it sucked me into this magical world that is so beautifully imagined. The Victorian style world where groundlings exist as well as some magical and powerful creatures is just amazing. The pictures really add to this magic too. All of the pages have some beautiful embellishment, even text only pages have some decoration around the page numbers, and when there is an illustration it wraps beautifully around the text. The pictures have a slight brown/sepia tint to them, with a hint of orange being used in pictures of Number Thirteen. The illustrations are really beautiful, you have to see them to see the beauty. They really enhance some of the images you create in your mind when reading the book and I can’t help but feeling a twinge in my heart when I see a picture of the little fox groundling or of his friend who I can’t help think looks like a very cute Kiwi bird.

The ending of the story is satisfying and it feels like the perfect tale to read at Christmas, as the date is significant in the story. I feel like I’ve been on a magical journey after reading this book and I wouldn’t be surprised if this book was one day turned into a magical movie as it’s just so wonderful a read. I would recommend this to anyone of any age. Of course it is aimed at older children but I doubt anyone older, who enjoys magical fantasy stories (especially ones featuring animals) would be able to resist enjoying this book!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think of this magical story?  do you enjoy reading magical/fantasy stories?  What about tales with animals in them?  Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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