THE LITTLE GREY GIRL, by Celine Kiernan, Candlewick Press


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In the second book of the Wild Magic trilogy, courageous young Mup and her family are trying to heal and restore the kingdom when they uncover an ancient and powerful anger.

The old queen and her raggedy witches have fled Witches Borough, and Mup’s family has moved into the cold, newly empty castle. But the queen’s legacy lingers in the fear and mistrust of her former subjects and in the memories that live in the castle’s very walls. While Mup’s mam tries to restore balance to a formerly oppressed world, Mup herself tries to settle into her strange new home with her dad, Tipper, and Crow. When an enchanted snow blankets the castle, Mup’s family is cut off from the rest of the kingdom, and the painful memories of the old queen’s victims begin to take form, thanks to a ghost whose power may be too much for even Mup and Mam to handle. Celine Kiernan weaves a timely and essential truth into the second book of her trilogy: that dismantling oppression means honoring the pains of the past, and perhaps the most potent magic of all is encouraging joy and hope wherever possible.

Out September 2019

224 Pages Approx.

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

I read the first book of this series, “Begone the Raggedy Witches” which blew me away. So, I didn’t hesitate when given the chance to read the second book of the series. When taking on a trilogy over the years, I’ve often encountered a situation where the second book is more of a filler than an actual stepping stone for the story’s tension to continue building. Many authors fail with their second book than with the first and third and why extra care should be taken when creating a trilogy. I often tell my students to make sure their book can’t be written as a standalone before taking on more than one book series. If they find themselves with so much information hanging over the edges, squishing through the seams and bunching in the middle, then they need to add more books to even out the delivery.

This series is a perfect example. Book one was incredible, introducing fantastic characters facing off against fantastical creatures and learning backstory and history, about the setting and what conflict they all faced and why. There was plenty left for the mystery portion of the story which then brought us to the second book which continues right where the first had ended.

At the beginning, you see the characters catch their breath only long enough to refocus on their next problem, an ancient stirring evil. As restoration efforts begin, now living in their new home both strange and filled with hidden secrets, Mup (what a crazy fun name), must take on a new threat to her happiness and family well-being. Oppression and control is challenged in this book using joy and hope.

I was concerned about how some of the topics of this book such as death and grief would be handled but the author does this with a genuine expertise shown through her writing which is skillful and eloquent.  Her author voice draws you into Mup’s world, entangling you in its mirth and wonder. Mup is a cleverly drawn character of layers and complexities, some frailties and flaws, enough to give you a fully developed character that will grow around your heart-strings.

Mup’s world is unique and exciting. There’s mystery all around and suspense to keep you turning pages and, the adventure is just still building. Love this book and can’t wait until the next.

I gave this book:

5-Star-Logo-2

 

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