Book Review: Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan

Friday, April 13, 2018

Title: Begone the Raggedy Witches
Author: Celine Kiernan
Series: The Wild Magic Trilogy #1
Publication Date: February 1st 2018 from Walker Books

Synopsis: "Mup's dad has been kidnapped by withces, 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."

My thoughts: This was quite an atmospheric little read, and I really enjoyed my time with it. I did struggle a little during the first half, but even when I was struggling I could see the writing was evoking the place and characters really well. And Mup is such a fantastic little character - sometimes afraid, sometimes determined, sometimes both. And she has the capacity for true joy and trying to evoke that in others, too, even when she just wants to gather her family together and take them home and have no more to do with Witches Borough.

Speaking of Mup, honestly the characters really carry this book so well. The setting is well-described, but it is the characters that Kiernan has created that really make this book shine - the crows and cats, the witches themselves, and of course Mup's family - all of them lend magic and realness to the story and carry you along so well within the tale. The connections and sometimes disconnections between the characters really pulled at my heart-strings, and one character called Crow, in particular, is so well-crafted that I found myself visualising him and wanting to give him a big hug.

Kiernan also manages to use the tale of Witches Borough to explore some deeper, more intense topics such as war-torn lands, whether it is okay to be happy whilst others are suffering, and the power of family and friendship in an individual's life. Plus, community and how it can drive people together in warmth or in fear. And she does this well.

Plus, Mup has a dog called Badger. How could I not love this?

I highly recommend this little tale, and I am really looking forward to the next instalment.

[I received a review copy of this book from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!]

A favourite line from the book: 'Badger came nudging out of the kicthen, his big flat head pushing the door to one side. He grinned his doggy grin, whining with joy, his butt wagging as fast as his tail.'

You would like this book if: Intense, magical, wonderful tales about a magnificent little girl; dogs called Badger.

Tea to drink while reading this book: Milky, sweet tea for comfort and coziness.

Rating:  9/10

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