By Author / Illustrator
Welbeck Publishing Group
First in a five-book series for readers of Nevermoor, The Worst Witch and The Dark Is Rising.
Cassie Morgan has run away. After seven years spent waiting for her mother to return, she flees her dreary boarding school and sets out to find her. But the world outside her school is full of hidden magic and children have been going missing. With the help of a talking cat and a flying broom, Cassie escapes to the enchanted village of Hedgely. There she will begin her training in the practical skills of witchcraft with the Hedgewitch, who watches over the Hedge, the vast forest that marks the border between England and Faerie.
'There are only two sorts of fantasy story: the ones that feel fake and the ones that feel real. It's hard to explain the difference but you know the real ones when you read them, and Hedgewitch is one of them.' Philip Reeve.
Cassie Morgan has been waiting for her mother to return for her for seven long years. Now her mother has been declared legally dead and she is faced with going to the orphanage, Cassie decides to run away from Fowell House, the awful boarding school she has been attending, whatever the danger. She finds herself chased by a pack of goblins, but escapes their clutches with the help of a talking cat called Montague on a flying broom to the village of Hedgely. Here, she learns that she comes from a family of witches who protect Britain from the Faerie and that she is the niece of the Hedgewitch herself.
What a fabulous story! In Hedgewitch, Skye McKenna balances the real and magic worlds with skill, creating a rich and well developed story. Cassie is subjected to bullying at her school, victim of the hockey team and their leader, Lizzie Bleacher, who make her life miserable. These pages are uncomfortable reading as Cassie tries to become 'invisible', isolated from any hope of friendship or support from a seemingly complicit staff, yet suffers verbally and physically at the hands of her tormentors.
Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Cassie shows herself to be courageous and resourceful, making firm friendships as she navigates her new life. There is plenty of action and adventure. Montague is a wonderful character, delivering advice in the most cat-like manner and ultimately proving the most faithful familiar! A great read for those who love magic and mystery!
448 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+