The Lost Witch

The Lost Witch

By Author / Illustrator

Melvin Burgess



Age range(s)



Andersen Press Ltd




Paperback / softback




Bea has started to hear and see things that no one else can - creatures, voices, visions. Then strangers visit Bea and tell her she is different: she has the rare powers of a witch. They warn her she is being hunted. Her parents think she is hallucinating and needs help. All Bea wants to do is get on with her life, and to get closer to Lars, the mysterious young man she has met at the skate park. But her life is in danger, and she must break free. The question is - who can she trust?

Carnegie Medal-winner Melvin Burgess returns with a powerful, thrilling fantasy for young adults about magic, myth and following your instincts.



Bea is an ordinary teenager travelling home with her family when they are caught up in the middle of a hunt between quad bikes, cars, people, dogs and three hares. Surprised to find she can hear the thoughts of a hare that has sought sanctuary in the car, she starts seeing people in the clouds and is found by a strange girl who claims to be the hare she saved. Events soon escalate as Bea discovers she is a summoner, a very powerful witch. With the authorities and hospitals dangerous places to be, and parents that don't believe her, how will she escape from the Hunt and keep her family safe?

From the beginning, this story is fast-paced and frightening. At the same time, the magic of the 'second world' that Bea can now see is captivating and beautiful. The story flows easily and once caught up it is a surprise when the book turns dark and disturbing, with the language and events aimed at a much older audience. Issues such as abuse, drugs, conspiracy, religion and murder are all covered, often in grim detail and are not for the faint-hearted.

The plot of The Lost Witch surprised me more than once but perhaps this was because I was swept up in the magic. The ending is left for the reader to draw their own conclusions and fill in the empty gaps, something that does not sit well with me but perhaps a sequel is on the cards. Recommended for mature older readers.

325 pages / Ages 15+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian.

Suggested Reading Age 14+


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