The Time Witches
by Michael Molloy
The sequel to The Witch Trade
finds the Grand Master of the Ancient Order of Light Witches, Sir Chadwick Street, about to marry his personal assistant, Miss Hilda Bluebell. All the Sea Witches of Speller are excited to host such a prestigious and joyful occasion, in which all the people who helped defeat the head Night Witch, Wolfbane, are involved.
But Wolfbane is not altogether out of commission. While the wedding plans come to their climax, Wolfbane rejoins his stylish mother, Lucia Cheeseman, and sets in motion a plot to avenge himself on Sir Chadwick, and on young Abby Clover of Speller. First Wolfbane raises the ghost of a witch burned at the stake long ago, to learn her forbidden secret to time travel. Then he kidnaps Hilda Bluebell on her wedding day and whisks her back to the year 1894, where he plans to lure Sir Chadwick and Abby to their destruction.
Time Travel, these days, is controlled by the strange and bureaucratic Wizards, who run both the Ministry of Time and the Ministry of Coincidence. These shady agencies get involved somehow, steering Sir Chadwick, Abby, and their friends wrong in order to keep them from confronting Wolfbane before they accomplish another mission... a mission involving one of Abby's distant ancestors, a friend of elves, in a fate that Wolfbane wants to destroy. And if he succeeds, he destroys Abby and all of Speller too.
Woven in amongst the twists and turns of Wolfbane's sinister plot, the efforts of Sir Chadwick and friends, and the background dealings of the Wizards, are more of the amazing magical ideas that made The Witch Trade such fun to read. There is Paddy the Pooka, a mischievous Irish spirit who usually takes the shape of a donkey. On the other hand, there is Baal, Wolfbane's ghastly new familiar. There are tons of new elves, new spells, new thrills and chills, creatures and dangers and messages from swords, and a bit of show business too. As everybody slowly figures out what is really going on, you are swept along with them in a time-traveling, evil-fighting, funny, romantic, magical adventure.
The book is clear on certain things. Friends stand by each other. Some magic (if not all, really) can only benefit those who use it for good, with kind and pure hearts. Pride, cowardice, and evil are closely related. And of course, be polite to Pookas.
Magical Creatures advisory: unicorns make a cameo appearance in this book.
Herbology advisory: has anyone heard of elfberries?
Potions advisory: which is worse-- Bigger Powder, or Carrion Stew?
Occult practices advisory: it should come as no surprise that Wolfbane's spells are really, darkly evil. But it might come as a bit of a surprise to see Light Witches, like Abby and Sir Chadwick, trying to get in contact with the spirit of Ma Hemlock. Occult-sensitive readers, take note.
Recommended Age: 10+
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