Thank you so much to Lorraine Keating and Kids Welbeck for inviting me to be part of the Blog Tour for Hedgewitch.
As part of my stop on the Blog Tour, I am hosting a #Giveaway over on my Twitter account (@marysimms72)where you can find entry details. The prize is a gorgeous hardback copy of Hedgewitch which will be posted from the Welbeck Office. The Giveaway is open to anyone in the UK and Ireland. Good luck to all those who enter!
Hedgewitch is a gorgeously bewitching adventure that completely enthralled me: an adventure brimming with witchy delights, Faerie tricks and nature-inspired magic.
Twelve-year-old Cassandra Morgan is not allowed outside the boundary of Fowell House, a boarding school where she is unpopular, bullied horribly and alone. Cassie’s mother had left her there seven years previously, asking her to wait for her return. When she is called to the Headmistress’s office, Cassie is informed that she is being sent to an orphanage the next morning as her mother is presumed dead.
Booklover Cassie has always found adventures from between the pages of her secret library of books, but is now determined to seek her own adventure by escaping from Fowell House and finding her missing mother. However, could she be entering a world of danger as children from all over London, including a first former from Fowell House, have gone missing?
It is not long before trouble finds Cassie when she is chased by a gang of creatures carrying knives and nets. Just as she is about to be kidnapped, she hears a voice telling her to get on the broom she has lifted to defend herself. Imagine her surprise when she discovers that the voice comes from a cat who has been sent to find her, and that the broom is a witch’s broom which flies them both to safety. Montague informs Cassie that he has been sent by her aunt, Miranda who has only just learned of her existence. Oh – and her aunt just happens to be a witch.
Cassie soon finds herself in the village of Hedgely where her aunt is the current Hedgewitch, protecting humans from the faeries who live on the other side of the Hedge, the largest and oldest wood in Britain, situated at the edge of the village. Whilst Cassie is welcomed by the friendly housekeeper, Mrs Briggs, her aunt Miranda is unfriendly and cold and sets out some rules she is expected to follow, including not entering the Hedge alone. When she asks about her mother, it is clear that her aunt is not willing to help, so Cassie determines that she will search for her mother on her own.
So begins an incredibly exciting, action-packed adventure as Cassie is drawn inexorably towards the Hedge which holds both nature-filled magic and mesmerising danger. She finds both friends and enemies in the local coven where she begins her witch-training. In her search for her mother, will Cassie uncover the truth behind the missing children? Will she find something that has been missing in her life: a home, friends and family? In searching for what she has lost, can she find herself?
Just wow! This is an utterly captivating story that completely entranced me, reaching the tendrils of its magic from the pages and drawing me into a world that felt irresistibly real. I adored that the magic was imbued with the beauty and wonder of nature; and, I loved that the Faerie creatures were tricksy and deliciously dark. The unexpected twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat; the danger and deceit gripped me; and, the revelations – oh my goodness: the revelations!
Cassie is a wonderful young protagonist. She is determined, curious and courageous. She is prepared to break the rules for what she believes in, and take risks to help others. Her kindness towards others is rewarded when she needs help. I loved the friendships that she forms with her coven friends, Rue and Tabitha. And what can I say about Montague – tetchy, sarcastic – and brilliant!
The chapter header and interior illustrations are absolutely stunning and really capture the symbiosis between nature and magic, complementing the story perfectly.
Hedgewitch is a thrilling, magical adventure that is sure to become a firm favourite with readers of 9+. I absolutely cannot wait for Cassie’s next adventure, Woodwitch.
Do check out the other stops on the Blog Tour: