Cassie Morgan has three wishes — to have more books, to go on an adventure, and to see her mother again. So begins the intriguing opening of Skye McKenna’s magical five-book series that’s pitch-perfect for readers who loved The Worst Witch and are ready for something a dash edgier.

Seven years have passed since Cassie’s mother left. At her austere boarding school, she tries to make herself invisible while wondering about the key her mother left. It was “a treasure chest, a secret vault, the door to the home she and her mother would someday return to”. On the verge of being sent to an orphanage, Cassie seizes an opportunity to escape, determined to find her mother.

Soon after her flight, readers are drawn into the realm of the fantastical when a talking cat by the name of Montague saves Cassie from the clutches of “goblin nabbers” who are “in the business of stealing babies to sell to the gentry of Faerie”. Montague takes her to the village of Hedgely, where she meets the family she never knew existed and learns she’s from an old line of important witches - her aunt is the current Hedgewitch and protects England from the dangers of the Faerie realm.

Hedgely is conjured with chocolate-box English quaintness - think cooked breakfasts, sweet treats, village shops, opulent orchards, fragrant honeysuckle and roses. It’s a place lovers of timeless fairy tale worlds will be utterly entranced by, not least when Cassie is confronted by shapeshifters and the threat of the Erl King who wants her mother’s key. With a thrillingly twisting climax, this first book in a quest quintet will leave readers hungry for lashings more magic.


Author, Skye McKenna

What the Shortlist Committee Say...

"Charming magical quest infused with English faerie folklore"