A Tangle of Spells
A Tangle of Spells by Michelle Harrison
Everyone knows that magic and trouble go hand in hand...
A dangerous spell cast over an unsuspecting village.
An enchanted painting locked in a hidden room.
A desperate race against time to break the spell before it's too late...
It should have been a fresh start for the Widdershins. Finally free from the misty gloom of Crowstone and beginning a new life. But all is not as it seems in their postcard-pretty village. Their neighbours are acting strangely, and why do they flinch at the mere mention of magic?
The Widdershins sisters have their own secret: a set of enchanted nesting dolls with the power to render their user invisible. The sisters must use their wits - and their magic - if they're to break the dark hold over the village, and save one of their own . . . but have they met their match this time?
A Tangle of Spells is the third book in the Pinch of Magic series, which features the Widdershins sisters: Betty, Fliss and Charlie. I have really enjoyed this series and I have to say that this book is the best one yet. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day.
The Widdershins finally get to leave Crowstone and leave their old life in the shadow of a prison for good but they soon come to discover that the picturesque village of Pendlewick is not as it appears. There is something off about the village, from Blackbird cottage, the family's new home, to the people of the village themselves and their legends of witches (and their reluctance to talk about magic). I don't know if Michelle Harrison deliberately picked a village name so close to that of a famous witch trial or not (I suspect she did) but that just serves as a subtle nod for me of what was to come in the book.
There is a mystery to Pendlewick that is gradually revealed as the story develops: what is the truth behind the witches? Why do people behave so strangely? Who lived in Blackbird Cottage before the Widdershins family and what happened to them? I could go on, but I don't actually want to reveal too much of the story as there is so much mystery that hooks you in from the start and there are some delicious moments as things are revealed that are often as unexpected and surprising as they are thrilling.
Simply put, I loved this book. It is a fast paced mystery, thrill seeking ride which kept me wanting to read on right from the first chapter. There are some moments of genuine tension and suspense in the story as the subtle clues that 'something is wrong' build up to exciting moments for the Widdershins sisters. There were times in the story were I was worried about what would happen to characters I have come to know and care about over 3 books.
The style of the story was a bit of a step away from the previous two books for me. It still has the familiar elements of the brilliant family dynamics and the fast paced adventure with a pinch of magic at its root but this book was more suspenseful than the others and had moments of real threat and dread-which I loved. I think this is what elevated it to being the best of the 3 for me (although all three books are fabulous).
This is a great middle grade adventure mystery story, it would suit children from 8 and above perfectly-particularly those who have read the previous stories (although like all good stories it can easily be read as a stand alone, you don't need to know anything about the previous books t enjoy it).
If you are interested in buying the book it is out on 4th February 2021.
Here is a link for you to pre order: