I write the weekly childrens book column for The South Wales Evening Post. I review childrens books from picture books, middle grade fiction, non fiction and young adult books. I am officially a bookworm.
Twelve-year-old Hazel Hooper has spent her whole life trapped in a magical Glade created by her mother, Hecate.
She's desperate to meet new people and find out about the world. And, more than anything, she wants to be a witch. But when her mother is kidnapped by a demon - everything changes ...Suddenly Hazel is alone in the world.
Well ...not quite alone. For it turns out that Hazel does have magic - she's just not very good at controlling it. And she may have accidentally created a grumpy familiar in the form of a dormouse called Bramley. Determined to rescue her mother, the young witch and her mouse set out to track down the demon and find Hecate.
However, it turns out that life outside the Glade is far more dangerous than Hazel ever could have imagined.
Witch Hunters are everywhere - and the witches are using demons to fight back! Luckily for Hazel she manages to enlist the help of a handsome boy called David, and his drunken master, Titus White, who are expert demon hunters. And witch finders ...Fire Girl is a fantastic new magical adventure from Matt Ralphs - perfect for young readers with a taste for the extraordinary!
This is a historical magical adventure about friendship, loyalty and bravery. Set in an alternative Cromwellian England Ralphs cleverly mixes fact with fiction full of witches, demons and magic.
Hazel, is struggling to find her magical powers but when her mother, a powerful witch, is kidnapped by a demon, she quickly finds out she is a fire witch. On Hazel's thrilling quest to find her mother we meet her familiar, a grumpy dormouse called Bramley who I especially loved, mostly for his sarcastic humour!! I found their bond one of the lynch pins of the story and really hope their strong bond grows in the next book. Hazel also teams up with two witch finders while trying to keep her true identity a secret. But will they help or betray her?
A gripping fast paced read great for confident readers and as a bedtime story. There's enough depth and bite to keep parents interested as well as the children. Ralphs builds up a powerful magical world and there are definitely a few scary bits. Hazel is a lively, strong character who learns from her mistakes as she goes along. Cleverly there are some unanswered questions such as who is Hazels father? Why is it a secret? These are just some of the twists and turns in the plot that will have you chomping for the next installment. Aimed at a younger audience with shorter chapters and no sexual or overly violent content its great for boys and girls
This book was kindly sent to me by Pan Macmillan in return for an honest review.