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Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – Release Day Book Review

In case you missed my review of Nevermoor, which was one of my favourite reads of last year you can see it here.

Just as magic under the dust jacket

In this follow up to the magical Nevermoor, Jessica Townsend’s heroine Morrigan Crow, now twelve, has passed the entry trials to the Wundrous Society and is looking forward to beginning an array of exciting classes. However due to her ‘very special talent’ which no one can know about, her teachers, Scholar Mistresses Dearborn and Murgatroyd have other plans for Morrigan and they are mostly boring.

It’s only the conductor of Unit 919’s hometrain, the aptly named Miss Cheery and new teacher Mildmay, who makes exploring the streets of Nevermoor exciting, that save Morrigan from having a completely terrible time. Jupiter is always away searching for missing people, half her unit don’t trust her and then there’s the school bully to contend with.

Her loyal friend Hawthorne and Cadence are both back too, along with the madcap residents of the Hotel Deucalion including my favourite the sarcastic Fenestra.

Halloween returns with a spooky seance, as does the evil Wundersmith Ezra Squall. Will Morrigan escape his clutches this time?

I love this series. If you like Harry Potter definitely pick this up. It’s just as magical, Morrigan faces her own daily battles but is part of a wider battle within her world. Much more of the location of Nevermoor is explored and Morrigan and her friends stumble on some nasty places.

The characters are simply brilliant. So vivid and fun. The only problem with this series is that kids will want to keep reading well past bedtime and adults will want to borrow this whilst younger readers are asleep.

Wundersmith is released today – 30th October making it the perfect Halloween read.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend – Book Review

What a jacket synopsis! Intrigued? You should be. Now this is one of the first books that’s been compared to Harry Potter that I feel lives up to the expectations. I loved it.

And just pause again to look at this stunning hardback – as gorgeous naked as with the dust jacket.

Now I received a review copy through Netgalley but I was enjoying it so much and I spotted the beauty that was this edition, and I knew I would regret not owning it, so I bought it and switched to reading from real paper.

Now. Because of the comparisons to Harry Potter there will inevitably be some comparisons made but in my view they are all positive.

Child gets whisked away to a wonderous world from a not particularly pleasant life. Check. Although, unlike the muggle world the world that Morrigan leaves is just as intriguing as the world she moves to. Cursed Children? The Hunt of Smoke and Shadow?

Genial magical man to guide our young protégée. Harry had Dumbledore. Mog, as he decides to call her despite her protestations, has Jupiter North. Is he as conflicted as Dumbledore, only time will tell.

Fierce friendships and fantastical foes. One main friend Hawthorne and some allies who may or may not become closer as the series progresses.

He who must not be named. The Wundersmith has a whole creepy parade float dedicated to him. Take that Voldemort.

The Hotel Deucalion becomes Mog’s Hogwarts with fun rooms to discover. Far too much smoking and lots of whacky residents to engage with.

And what are the trials of which the title speaks? Think of it as the Triwizard Tournament with a Talent Show at the end. All to get INTO the Wundrous society. If she doesn’t the Hunt may come for her yet.

This is a brilliant book full of magical world building, very very colourful characters and a form of transportation previously popularised in Mary Poppins, The Life and Death Brigade (Gilmore Girls) and Practical Magic. Move over broomsticks umbrellas are making a comeback.

Joking aside Harry Potter will Always remain in my heart (I know you see what I did there). But there is room in readers’ hearts for plenty of books. This one is going to snuggle alongside it. The one thing this book did that the Philosopher’s Stone didn’t was grab me from the first sentence. It took the introduction of the Wizarding World to draw me in. Once I was there I loved it. I loved this from : ‘The journalists arrived before the coffin did.’

So as Jupiter North does I invite you to Step Boldy into Nevermoor.

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