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Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two3/5

Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two

Sarah Mussi

Review

Here be Witches is the sequel to Here be Dragons and the second book in The Snowdonia Chronicles series. It catches up with Ellie after the final battle from book one and straightaway Ellie is thrown into some mystery goings on involving her rather irritating friend Rhiannon. Rhiannon is hoping to make George, who loves Ellie and is her best friend, fall in love with her instead and so unbeknown to Ellie has joined a witches' coven. The coven, however, has darker interests than Rhiannon realises and soon the whole of Wales is at peril as the Olde Drake Magicke is invoked. The only one that can save them is Henry, who happens to also be Ellie's one true love - and a dragon. To free him from the witches' curse, Ellie and her friends must travel miles across Snowdonia protected only by Nan's charms, the Druid's way and with the help of certain mythical creatures and animals sent to help them. All the while Oswald (The White Dragon), the witches and dark forces both seen and unseen are doing all they can to stop them before they reach their goal. Once again this book is full of twists and adventure from the start, with footnotes of myths and folklore along the way to explain certain characters and their origins. Both Ellie and Rhiannon can at times be irritating characters due to their obsessions with Henry/George and acting impulsively but that can be true of many teenagers! I did find the book frustrating in parts due to the intricacies of the plot but totally fell in love with the 'knockers', welsh ponies and characters that come to help the friends along the way. The ending seemed slightly abrupt after the hardships and fraught nature of their journey and a couple of things were left unresolved, perhaps for the third book. The teenage characters and fantasy element had great appeal in the first book and this one has not disappointed as a sequel so is sure to be popular. 476 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian.

Reviewed by: Lorraine Ansell


Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two5/5

Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two

Sarah Mussi

This book was about the main character Ellie continuing her adventure to reverse the spell set in the first book in the Chronicles.

Review

Reviewed by: Charlotte


Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two5/5

Here be Witches: The Snowdonia Chronicles: Book Two

Sarah Mussi

Review

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

Reviewed by: Linda Brown