Published by Simon & Schuster on 7th February 2019
Genres: Children's, Fantasy
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: Simon & Schuster sent it
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Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse.
Three magical objects with the power to change their fate.
Will they be enough to break the curse?
Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? ...
The enchanting new story from Michelle Harrison, author of the bestselling THIRTEEN TREASURES trilogy
Reviewed by Alex
A Pinch of Magic is a book about three sisters who each have a magical object that looks like an everyday item but has magic powers. The girls are cursed and they can’t leave Crowstone, which is where they live.
Betty is sure there is some way to break the curse as she wants to explore the world and become famous. She is sure hers and her sisters’ magic items will help.
I really liked the part where she used the dolls to scare Seamus Fingerty by pretending she was a ghost.
I really enjoyed the book and kept wanting to read more. I took the book to school with me so that I could read it during reading time at school.
I felt excited when I read A Pinch of Magic because I wanted to see if they broke the curse or if they died from it while hearing the crows in their head.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books with magic in them and I would give it 5 stars as I really enjoyed reading it.
THE PRISONER GAzED OUT OF HER WINDOW. It was one of four in Crowstone Tower, the tall stone cage in which she was being held.
Here, if she kept her eyes up, she could pretend that the prison walls far below did not exist, and that she was looking upon the world from a castle, or perhaps a mountain.
But today she was done with make-believe; pretending she was in a dream, pretending someone was going to save her. The girl wrapped her arms more tightly around herself, against the cruel wind that whipped through the bare windows. It smelled of the marshes: briny with a whiff of fish. The tide was out, leaving only a vast expanse of mudflats stretching before her. In places she could see gulls pecking at stranded fish, tussocks of marsh grass, and a battered, abandoned rowing boat. A tendril of her long, tawny hair flew in between her lips. She tugged it free, tasting salt, and leaned over the cold, scratched stone sill as far as she dared.
The windows were not barred; they didn’t need to be. The height of the tower was deterrent enough. The noise of the crows circling outside was constant. At first she had thought of the birds as friends, chattering to keep her company. Sometimes, one would land on the sill. Pecking, watching, unblinking. The caws began to sound less friendly. Accusing, mocking. Marsh witch, the crows seemed to croak, in the voices of the villagers. Came in off the marshes, she did, killing three of our own.
She had never meant to hurt anyone.
The scratches in the stone stretched the length of the windowsill, one for each day she had been imprisoned. Once, she had known how many there were, but she no longer counted.
She walked a lap of the circular tower room, tracing her fingers over the stone. There were more scratches in the wall’s surface: some shaped into angry words, others deep gouges where she had thrown things. Chipping away, but never breaking free.
A pale red moon had appeared in the sky yesterday, which had set all the warders’ tongues wagging. The moon being visible in daylight was a bad omen at any time, but a redmoon was worse still. A red moon was a blood moon, a sign that wrong-doing was afoot.
The girl explored the rough stones until she found the small gap in the mortar which she had discovered when she hadn’t long been in the tower, assessing the walls for possible footholds. When she had still had hopes of escaping. In the crevice she had wedged a broken chunk of stone, hidden from the prison warders. It was too small to be used as a weapon, but the warders would no doubt confiscate it if they knew about it.
She worked the stone loose and held it in her palm, hardly recognising her own hand. Her once brown skin was dirty and grey, her nails ragged. Using the stone, she scratched on the inside walls as if she were writing with chalk. She wrote out a single word: a name . . . the one who had wronged her. With each letter she focused, thinking dark thoughts, before letting the stone fall from her fingers. She didn’t need it any more. This was the last thing she would write.
She stared across at Crowstone. At high noon, a boat was to take her across the water, to the crossroads. There the gallows were being prepared at this very moment. It would be her first and last journey to the mainland. Her last journey anywhere.
It was there she was to be executed.
She wondered how the warders felt about transporting a supposed witch across the marshes. She would be shackled in irons, of course, which reputedly rendered witches powerless, but even the most fearless warder would be unsettled to be near her once she was out of the tower. Especially under a blood moon.
Her eyes drifted to the marshes, where it had all begun on a little boat one stormy night. Where three lives had been lost.
‘I never meant to hurt anyone,’ she whispered, gripping the sill with numb fingers. It was true, she hadn’t wanted to cause anyone harm then, but now, revenge was all she could think of.
And she would have it, even though she knew it would not save her.
Mum has said that we can offer a copy of A Pinch of Magic as a giveaway! It’s open to anyone in the UK and we’ll pick a winner on Friday 15th February after we’ve finished school for the holidays!
All you need to do is leave me a comment and tell me this: If you had a magical item, what would it be and what power would it have?