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Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two

Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two

Sarah Mussi
Shrine Bell
ISBN: 9781911342328

Here Be Witches is the second book in the action packed fantasy adventure The Snowdonia Chronicles trilogy. The story begins with an eerie prologue, which makes you want to read on and delve into its pages, with a spell being cast by witches on the eve of St. David's Day that releases the White Dragon of Wessex and taints the heart of Henry (The Red Welsh Dragon). Once again the story is being told from the point of view of the main character, Ellie.

It's been two months since Ellie last saw Henry, she is still heartbroken and the events that happened above lead to her being betrayed by her best friend, Rhi. Ellie and her friends now have to go on a journey to fix this spell that's been cast as it has put her beloved Henry in great danger. On this three day epic journey they face many dangers of their own, but also meet up with characters from Welsh folklore that help them on their way. I don't want to spoil the plot but, when the lambs are mentioned, it becomes a more serious, sinister and gripping story.

As with the first book, there are a lot of references to Welsh folklore that makes the plot more exciting and engaging. This story takes place in an area where many YA readers may have taken a holiday so it may have a familiar feel to it. There are also pages that contain the Welsh language, which looks magical in itself, with an English translation at the bottom.

It's great seeing how the characters develop in this second book. George still brings some of the humour to the plot with his unrequited love for Ellie. Ellie herself has learned a lot from the events in Here Be Dragons, but the author has still maintained her sense of innocence and hasn't made her seem older than her age. Her character is funny with an attitude that many YA readers will engage with.

476 pages that contain mythical creatures, witches, evil ghosts and dragons, (which nearly all want Ellie dead!), it is easily suitable for the 13+ reader. A little warning, there are some scenes of mild gore and violence that may trouble some sensitive readers but the plot is pacy so they are not dwelt upon.

Once again, this would be a great book for bookclubs/reading groups as there are many opportunities for discussion and further reading. My only problem with this book was the ending, it did feel a little rushed, after the journey of danger etc I personally just wanted a little more, it was tied up so quickly leading the reader towards book 3. But rest assured it didn't spoil the experience.

I'm looking forward to the next instalment, Here Be Wizards. I want to go on another adventure with these characters and delve once more into the mystical Welsh folklore.

416 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Linda Brown, school librarian


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