The Time Witches. Full of action, humor, and a charmingly direct style that readers of any age can enjoy, it tells a good clean yarn of a naval and trade war between magical forces of light and darkness.
Nestled on the coast of England is the little town of Speller, once the center of the thriving Witch Trade. There the Sea Witches imported the Ice Dust that England's Light Witches needed for their magic. But the supplies of Ice Dust, deep under the Arctic Ocean, have been used up, and the children of Speller have all been lost in a tragic sea accident, and none of the folk of Speller go to sea anymore. The only children in town now are a girl named Abby, who has lived with her Aunt Lucy and Uncle Ben since her explorer parents disappeared, and Spike, a sea foundling who has no memory of anything before he was found on the beach.
But Abby and Spike soon learn that the whole town, except for Lucy and Ben, is populated by Sea Witches, and that all their children were abducted by the horrendous Night Witches. These foul creatures of darkness have found a new source of Ice Dust in the Antarctic, and are using it to create a weapon that may finally tilt their millennia-long battle against the Light Witches in their favor.
Joined by the Ancient Mariner and the Master of the Light Witches, as well as a very intelligent albatross named Benbow, the children infiltrate the ice-encrusted island known as Mordoc's Land in a desperate attempt to free the enslaved children, save Abby's parents, rediscover Spike's past, reclaim the Ice Dust deposits for the good guys, elude a deadly sea serpent, AND confront the Master of the Night Witches, the demonic Carstairs Wolfbane (né Snivel Cheeseman). And they have to do all this before the Night Witch's fleet of Shark Boats destroys the Sea Witch fleet that has bravely sailed, for the first time in years, to buy them time.
It's quite an adventure, filled with interesting surprises and hilarious twists. Molloy imagines not only witches, but also elves, sorcerers, conjurers, a great magical library, and the amazing Lost Land where things go that you've forgotten about. But in my opinion, his master stroke is the way Sir Chadwick (the Master of the Light Witches) reveals the traitor in their midst. There is a bit of romance, a lot of adventure, and enough outrageous, funny, and marvelous magical ideas and images for three books. To Harry Potter fans hungering for more than the same, this book is more than a taste: it's a feast.
Recommended Age: 10+
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