Publication Date: 7 January 2021
Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped ornament from a mysterious woman’s purse, she knocks on its tiny door and watches it grow into a huge, higgledy-piggeldy house. Inside she finds a host of magical and brilliantly funny characters, including Flabberghast – a young wizard who’s particularly competitive at hopscotch – and a hideous troll housekeeper who’s emotionally attached to his feather duster. They have been placed under an extraordinary spell, which they are desperate for Nine to break – and if she can, maybe they can offer her a new life in return…
Friendships and feuds form the basis for this fantastical book where magic and mayhem rule. Captivating characters, a pacey plot and spellbinding settings create a book that is easy to get lost in.
The characters are carefully crafted, so that as the reader we can see their motivations whilst those around them may not. Nine is a child who has spent all of her life struggling to survive. With no one to care for her, no one to call a friend, and no one she trusts (apart from maybe the librarian), it is easy to understand why she struggles with the conflicting emotions she faces as her adventure brings more than the promise of treasure her way.
The eclectic range of characters give much to delight in, from the feather duster loving troll to the feisty spoon desperate to find his dish, the incandescent books to the skeleton in the closet, they are surprising, warm and fun, with a few not so nice characters thrown in for good measure. Pockets certainly conjures up images of Fagin from Oliver Twist with his utter lack of care or empathy for the children he allows to shelter with him.
I adored the magic of the house, less so the back garden, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself. I did recognise the cupboard of doom though, and I defy any self respecting adult to not have one somewhere in your home, although hopefully slightly less deadly…
The House At The Edge Of Magic would make a cracking class read aloud, or a brilliant independent read for younger readers looking for a longer chapter book. Great for fans of:
- The Train To Impossible Places by P.G. Bell
- Roxy & Jones: The Great Fairytale Cover Up by Angela Wolfe
- The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell
Flabberghast and Eric live in a cursed house, forever unable to have a cup of tea, find the toilet or enter the library. If the witch had cursed me, it would be to have a teapot that always dribbles, a permanently underperforming boiler with lukewarm heating and water, and book deliveries always replaced with that card from the postman saying you weren’t in (even though you were) and to call a permanently engaged number to rearrange delivery. Can you imagine?!
Huge thanks to Walker for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for The House At The Edge Of Magic. Do make sure you check out all of the other stops.