By Author / Illustrator
Simon & Schuster Ltd
Paperback / softback
From the bestselling author of A PINCH OF MAGIC comes another spellbinding Widdershins adventure that will take your breath away and make you believe in magic.
A missing sister, a secret island and ... a sprinkle of sorcery.
The family curse has been lifted and the Widdershins sisters: Betty, Fliss and Charlie are free to leave the misty prison isle of Crowstone. But when a mysterious girl arrives at the Poacher's Pocket with a pocketful of hagstones and accompanied by a will-o'-the-wisp, it seems another adventure has landed on their doorstep. And when Charlie goes missing, it's up to Betty and Fliss to journey through misty marches, past wisp catchers and on to a secret island that doesn't exist on any map...
Hurrah! The Widdershins sisters are back! Fliss, Betty and Charlie, whom we first met in Michelle Harrison's 'A Touch of Magic' return in a new action-packed adventure in the sequel 'A Sprinkle of Sorcery'.
The girls are still living in The Poachers Pocket, the run-down pub they share with their Granny and father Barney, on the island of Crowstone. The pub is up for sale and the family are looking to move on to better things. Then one evening, the sisters find a frightened and exhausted child, Willow, in the yard behind the pub. She is accompanied by a ball of light, or will-o-the-wisp, and is being hunted by Warders from the nearby island of Torment.
Using her set of magic nesting dolls, Betty makes Willow invisible so as to keep her hidden. However, when the Warders arrive, they mistake Charlie for Willow and kidnap her. Willow tells Betty and Fliss that her father has been falsely accused of murdering his friend and is about to be executed for his crime. To save her father, Willow believes that she needs to travel to an island which, up to now, has only existed in local folklore.
With the aid of an old map and a hagstone, Betty, Fliss and Willow set off to save both their beloved Charlie and an innocent man. So begins a rollicking tale of pirates, shipwrecks, witches, talking crows, hidden islands and enchanted treasure chests.
This is another wonderfully enjoyable story. The characters are beautifully drawn, and leap off the page. Betty, as ever, is the leader, brave and resourceful and, with the help of Fliss, willing to stop at nothing to reunite her family. The description of Betty's dive to the sunken wreck is perfectly judged - spooky and exciting, just frightening enough to scare, but not terrify, the reader!
As with her previous book, Michelle Harrison emphasises how important the bond of family is. Even when the sisters are bickering among themselves, there is a tone of tenderness and we never lose sight of how much they love each other. I particularly enjoyed the section of the book where the treasure is found; when they look into the treasure chest, each character sees something different - Spit sees a family.
Again, the book reaches a satisfying conclusion; the pub is sold and the Widdershins family are moving on - hopefully to another amazing adventure! I can't wait!
384 pages / Reviewed by Beverley Somerset, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 9+