This book is an absolute delight from beginning to end – I’ve spent the past three days or so completely under its spell, and enjoyed every moment of it! I can’t really say much more about the plot without spoilers, but the story felt really fresh and original to me, and the pacing was just perfect – I felt like I was being drawn along with the adventure and there was something happening all the time without it being overwhelming. The tension built really nicely, and I think Croggon does an amazing job unfurling the story from a bunch of different perspectives, switching between them in a really natural feeling way, rather than the abrupt jolt you can sometimes get when the perspective changes mid-story.
The characters were fantastic. I liked seeing the contrast between Pip and some of the characters from inside the palace, and I think that the way the book pokes at the issue of whether money and power makes people happy was really well done. I particularly enjoyed when we started to meet some of the witches and the characters they hung out with – I’d actually love to see another book set in this world just so I could spend more time there with them!
I thought the writing was absolutely perfect. It felt accessible and relatable for the target audience (upper primary/ 9 yrs and up) but still felt really sophisticated, which gave me a sense of respect for the reader from the author (if that makes sense?). I think this makes for a great read for young fantasy lovers, and one that grown-ups will be wanting to borrow from their shelves too!
I gave this one somewhere between 4.5 and 5 stars, and am looking forward to diving into some of Croggon’s backlist soon!
The Threads of Magic by Alison Croggon
Out now from Walker Books
Source: I received a free advance copy from Walker Books (Thank you!)
Category: Middlegrade/upper primary (ages 9+) historical fantasy adventure
Themes: magic, friendship, power, revolution