Review Blog

Oct 29 2020

Willow Moss and the forgotten tale by Dominique Valente

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Illus. by Sarah Warburton. Starfell book 2. HarperCollins Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780008308445. 297pp.
(Ages: 8-12) Recommended. Willow Moss and the forgotten tale is the second in the Starfell series. Willow is a young witch who has the ability to make things appear but when things start to disappear her mother and sisters really don't help and she loses her confidence. Willow has also been extremely sad since Granny Flossy died on her last mission to find a lost day. However the disappearance of her friend Nolin Sometimes impels her to leave home and go on a new quest to find him. On her journey she is helped by a wizard called Hollaway, a raven/boy called Sprig, Feathering the dragon and Essential a young witch friend, amongst many others. Oswin is her constantly grumbling cat-like companion she carts around in a carpetbag. He doesn't really provide much help but offers much light relief, especially in his efforts to inform people he isn't a cat but a Kobald. They all have some pretty serious challenges to combat as they travel via Wisperia, Library, the Mists of Mitlaire and ultimately the dangers of Netherfell.
This tale is jam-packed with fantastic characters, places and events. At times it is a bit grim and scary but Oswin's humorous asides and the many terrific illustrations help lighten the feel of the story. It will help readers to have read Willow Moss and the lost day to understand places and characters. Willow is a strong girl character who becomes more sure of her magical powers especially when so many put their faith in her. There are themes of choosing to belong to those doing good versus evil and being true to yourself and your beliefs but ultimately this is non-stop adventure. This book has set the situation up for further major battles as evil protagonists seek to have control over all the magic in Starfell and Netherfell. It may appeal to those who liked The legends of Eerie-on-Sea series or Nevermoor series.
Jo Marshall

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