Review Blog

Nov 23 2018

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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Nevermoor book 2. Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9780734418227
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Magical realism, Fantasy, Coming of Age, Missing Persons. Jessica Townsend's second book is a richly rewarding read, fast-paced, brimful of powerful magic, foreboding dark forces and amazing wonderfulness. Twelve-year-old Mog's life is about to change, she's beginning her academic journey at the elite Wundrous Society. Her confidence and loyalty are tested as she develops her Wundersmith powers and tries to make friends with her Unit 919 brothers and sisters. Luckily her best friend Hawthorne Swift's part of the unit, his unswerving belief in her helps during some of the most difficult times she faces.
Morrigan's left to fend for herself, as she struggles with her school life. She only has one class, the History of Heinous Wundrous Acts which frighteningly relay all the 'missteps, blunders and fiascos' enacted by former Wundersmiths. With her patron Jupiter North busy investigating the mysterious disappearance of Wunsoc members, she doesn't have any adult to confide in and help her in the difficult times. There is a dark side to the city of Nevermoor, villain Ezra Squall and his eerie Hunt of Shadow and Smoke return, holding Ghostly Markets selling the most frightening goods. A devious blackmailer is determined to break up Unit 919 and lure Morrigan away from safety, delivering her into Squall's clutches so he can use her for his nefarious plans.
Townsend's fast-paced narrative is powerful; the world of Nevermoor is wonderfully detailed and descriptive. Travelling by brolly rail, delicious feasts and the quirky, funny Deucalion Hotel characters will be delightfully familiar to the fans of Nevermoor. As we venture down Tricksy Lanes and discover evil forces at play, the author opens our eyes to the malevolent powers at play. Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow continues to reveal the strength of the protagonist's character, her depths, insecurities and her determination to right the wrongs she encounters.
Jessica Townsend's much awaited second novel is powerful and relatable, resonating with themes of friendship, loyalty, inclusiveness, activism, happiness and humour and the power of good and evil.
Rhyllis Bignell

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