Do you believe in Fae and magic?
Stella lives on the outskirts of the Winterspell Forest, where there is mystery and magic. She has her Imp, Peg and her ghostly Nan for company; who try to keep her safe but Stella wants friends, to be a normal girl and that means going to school.
So, Stella enrols herself into school without her family knowing and at first she is terrified by the amount of people, but then she meets Yanny and Zara, who she hopes will become her friends. Even though school is not what it seems.
There are dark forces everywhere and who can she trust? Stella is aware that, when the time is right, she will have to go into Winterspell Forest to find the Shadow King – her father. He is bewitched and he has dark shadows, which are suffocating and sucking the light out of the Forest. Yanny and his family, the rest of the Fae community, trees and animals are slowly dying. Stella needs to go deep into the forest to fight her father and save Winterspell so she can free all in the fae community that call it home.
I enjoyed this book; it has an interesting twist from the usual fantasy books I’ve read. It is easy to read and Stella, her Imp Peg & Teacake her kitten, are easily likable characters from the outset. Yanny and Zara are also well defined and the reader quickly becomes absorbed into the trials and adventures of Stella. I liked Nan – a feisty ghostly character who is trying desperately to cling onto reality long enough to protect her granddaughter from the dark forces lurking in and on the edge of the forest.
This book has a heart-warming message about friendship and self-belief; it would be a lovely book for a parent to read to their children, for a teacher to the class, or as an individual reading alone – there is magic on every page.
Anyone who enjoys fantasy books will I think be immersed in this novel.
Shadow of Winterspell is published by Macmillan Children’s Books and is available here.
Amy Wilson has a background in journalism and lives in Bristol with her young family. She is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing and is the author of the critically acclaimed novels A Girl Called Owl – nominated for the CILIP Carnegie medal – and A Far Away Magic.
Reviewed by Amanda Brightman
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