A Witch Come True

Authored by James Nicol
Published by Chicken House

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A Witch Come True is the finale in the Apprentice Witch trilogy and in this book we find Arianwyn juggling her day to day work as Lull’s witch, with dark magic challenges and strange disappearances.

The war is done, her father is home, and Arianwyn is busy discovering the secret of the quiet glyphs. In addition, she is continuing her work in Lull, as winter sets in and the town is busy reviving Yule traditions that the Mayor insists she helps with. However, dark magic forces are not far away. Soon Arianwyn, Salle and Colin are involved in a desperate race against time to save someone they all hold dear while trying to defeat the ‘hex magic’ that is threatening the town. Can the three friends triumph, or is it too late to save Lull?

Even if you have not read the first two Apprentice Witch books, this is a good stand-alone read. The setting was an old fashioned, almost retro, one but this only added to the other-worldly feel of the book and reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones or Jill Murphy. There is an interesting fantasy element to the prose, including the names of mythical creatures, spirits and glyphs, but these do not overpower the core narrative. At heart, this is the story of three friends working together to try and save the day; where the peril is unsettling rather than terrifying. Overall, it provided a cosy escape to a magical world, while I was on a long train journey, and I can imagine that readers would also be hooked into that world for the duration of the book.

A Witch Come True is an excellent book for a classroom library, and I would recommend it to children as an introduction to fantasy or magical genres. I think it is most suited to 7 – 9-year-olds, but it will still have appeal for children in the upper junior years.