By Author / Illustrator
Simon & Schuster Ltd
Paperback / softback
***Pre-order Abi's latest adventures, EVERDARK and THE CRACKLEDAWN DRAGON, now!***
Twelve-year-old Moll Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare - the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life.
Because Moll is more important than she knows... The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher's dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure.
Catapult into this page-turning adventure from the author of Sky Song, perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Harrison and Eva Ibbotson.
'Abi Elphinstone's glorious novels make you feel as if you're living the adventure yourself. They're pure adrenalin and joy' Lauren St John, author of The White Giraffe
'Fast paced and full of charm' Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild
'No one does edge-of-seat action like Abi Elphinstone' Emma Carroll, author of Letters from the Lighthouse
'Abi Elphinstone's books are full of adventure, wit, heart, and, above all, bravery' Katherine Rundell, author of The Explorer
'Abi Elphinstone is proving to be a worthy successor to CS Lewis' The Times
'A gifted storyteller... one of today's greatest children's authors' LoveReading
You can watch the magical trailer for Abi's book on her website: www.abielphinstone.com
Also by Abi Elphinstone:
The Shadow Keeper
The Night Spinner
Winter Magic (anthology)
Everdark (World Book Day)
The Crackledawn Dragon (coming 13 May 2021!)
This is an extraordinarily confident first novel, beautifully written and planned out. Moll Pecksniff lives with the gypsies but never feels she belongs. One night when she had planned to try to rescue her cob Jinx who had been stolen, she wakes from a dream to find herself out in the forest, on her way to cross the river to rescue Jinx from Skull's camp. Moll finds she is not alone as Gryff, the wildcat is with her. This starts the story off and draws the reader into a world of dark magic and fear, good and evil. Oak has to tell her the truth about her past and that Moll is the next Guardian of the Oracle Bones. The Oracle Bones have foretold that Moll and Gryff alone can fight the Dreamsnatcher's dark sorcery. The book's ending leaves the story finely poised for the sequel. The plot is clever, a variation on many fantasy stories, but neatly done and well-paced, sometimes leaving the reader quite breathless with excitement! Moll is a sturdy heroine with great courage. The reader feels that she is alone, so is instantly on her side, although the gypsy families rally round her to protect her and Alfie, who was originally with Skull's camp. The story does begin with a frightening scene in which Melantha has her hands put in the fire to burn off her fingers, and there are some violent scenes in the story which some readers might find frightening and upsetting. The cover is so wrong - it depicts a childlike figure with a stripey cat which Gryff most certainly is not. It is such a shame that this exciting story may miss its true audience which is 10 years and up, because of this misleading cover. 278 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian
Suggested Reading Age 9+