Fans of magic and adventure will find a great read in Celine Kiernan’s first book of The Wild Magic Trilogy: Begone the Raggedy Witches. It is an exciting read right from the start. This book is one of those reads that provides adventure left, right and centre; perfect for quest-loving fans.
It opens on an ordinary night with Mup and her younger brother, Tipper, riding home in the car with their Mam. But when Mup looks out the window, she sees the witches, with their pale faces and black eyes, flying next to the car. Immediately she remembers what her Aunty Boo had said – to tell her, not her Mam, when the raggedy witches appear.
The news brings fear to Aunty Boo’s heart. The appearance of the witches means only one thing – they’ve come for Mam, ending the normal life they have been living in Ireland.
Mup has been living in relative peace with Tipper, their dog Badger, Mam, Aunty Boo and Dad, who works in an oil rig most months. As it turns out, Aunty Boo has been keeping a secret from her all this time. When her Mam was only a child, Aunty Boo took her away from her mother, the evil Queen who is also Aunty Boo’s sister, to protect her.
Their escape to the mundane world meant that the Queen has ruled the magical land according to how she sees fit, filled with cruelty and punishment for those who stand against her. Mup’s Mam has no interest in taking on the throne but they have no choice – they have to cross the border to save Mup’s father who was kidnapped on his way home.
The moment the family steps into the world of witches, the action never stops. They escape one trouble after another and meet good and evil witches alike. Mup learns about her mother’s heritage and the world she left behind. The magic that she never knew existed within her manifests itself and Mup is exhilarated by how it makes her feel.
As Begone the Raggedy Witches is the first book in a trilogy it sets the universe up beautifully for what is yet to come. From the women that turn into cats and the men that turn into ravens, the world that Kiernan created is one that kids and adult alike will love to immerse themselves in.
Mup is a clever and brave little girl that sets a great example for young readers. Despite being scared of the troubles ahead, she pushes on, taking care of the creatures she loves and fighting for what is right.
Even before the end of the book you will want to know what is in store for Mup and her family in book two.
Kristyn M. Levis is a freelance writer, author and photographer based in Sydney. She is currently the managing editor of Her Collective and creative director of 3C Digital. Her first novel, The Girl Between Two Worlds, was published in 2016. Book Two, The Girl Between Light and Dark, is out now.