Review: Starfell Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale

Published by Harper Collins
Published on 2nd April
Illustrated by Sarah Warburton

Oh, me greedy aunt!  Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale is an utterly glorious return to Starfell, following on from the first in this spell-binding series, Willow Moss and the Lost Day.  It is a story which completely enchanted me from start to finish with its magical world-building, warm humour, action-packed plot and truly wonderful characters.

Willow Moss, a young witch with the ability to find lost things, receives a leaf-mail letter from her friend, Nolin Sometimes, to tell her that he will be kidnapped in less than ten minutes!  No problem!  Willow can find lost things!  Problem?  Willow is having some difficulty with her magic and things are more likely to disappear than appear!

Willow seeks help from her much more powerful family but, unfortunately, they think she is being delusional as they can’t remember anything that happened during the Lost Day – a Tuesday to be precise – you’ll need to read the first brilliant book, Willow Moss and the Lost Day to find out more!  Please do – it’s a brilliant read too!

A rather unsupportive family can’t hold Willow back for long.  She is a very loyal friend and one very determined and brave young girl, so she sets out with her best friend Oswin, the cat – I mean, kobold – to get help from the most powerful witch, Moreg Vaine.  Things don’t go quite according to plan and so begins an incredible adventure with new and old friends, an adventure brimming with discoveries, dangers and twists – and a bathtub boat! The plot really is just so very clever:  it twists and turns as it wanders through Starfell and into a dark new land where a sinister enemy awaits … but will it be too late to save Nolin?

The world-building is truly superb with gorgeously rich and beautiful description, painting a world that completely fascinated me from the Tower to Wisperia to Netherfell to Library!  Oh Library! I so want to visit Library! Living in this world are a brilliant assortment of both new and known characters who enchant, endear and frighten … reading this story really does feel like greeting old friends again, and getting to know new ones. 

And then there is Willow … she is an incredibly endearing young girl:  she is dealing both with her own grief, and her family’s lack of faith in her, yet she doesn’t let this deter her from immediately going to the aid of her friend.  She is kind-hearted, courageous even when overcome with fear and incredibly resilient.  She has a real sense of justice and fairness and engenders deep loyalty and friendship from others.  Willow is willing to put her faith in others, and is tolerant of differences.  What a completely amazing young girl who is a brilliant role model for younger readers.

It felt wrong to mistrust someone just because they were a little different.

And then there is Oswin … I NEED to dedicate a whole paragraph to Oswin who is my absolute favourite animal character – ever!  He is DEFINITELY not a cat (although he does look rather like one – just don’t tell him I said so!) and he’s just brilliant:  sharp-witted, hilarious with the best one-liners and a rare talent for insults – with an interesting turn of phrase!  He even has his own Oswin to English Dictionary, but I’m such a fan, I didn’t need it as I TOTALLY understood him!  Despite his tetchiness, he is deliciously adorable, and an incredibly loyal friend.  Fear and complaints may be ever present, but he always comes through when needed.  I SO want an Oswin! 

Sarah Warburton’s illustrations are stunningly glorious – from the dustjacket to the hardback cover to the black and white illustrations interspersed throughout the book!  I mean, they really are just incredible:  a perfect complement to a perfect story!

Everyone, regardless of age, should treat themselves to this heart-warming, enchanting story filled with adventure, warmth and humour:  a treasure of a story that sparkles with a special kind of magic that captures and holds the reader under its spell!

Thank you to the publisher Harper Collins and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.  I have also bought a signed hardback book which was released slightly earlier than the publication date of 2nd April.

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