Thank you to Farrago Books for sending me an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You mustn’t go into the Darkwood, children. Not even to get your ball. Leave it. That ball belongs to the Witches and the Beasties, now. Those wicked Witches. Stealing your ball. Magic is forbidden in Myrsina, along with various other abominations, such as girls doing maths. This is bad news for Gretel Mudd, who doesn’t perform magic, but does know a lot of maths. When her clever inventions prompt the sinister masked Huntsmen who run the country to accuse her of Witchcraft, she is forced to flee into the neighbouring Darkwood, where all the Witches and Monsters dwell. There, she happens upon Buttercup, a Witch who can’t help turning things into gingerbread, Jack Trott, who can make plants grow at will, the White Knight with her band of Dwarves and a talking spider called Trevor. These aren’t the terrifying villains she’s been warned about all her life. They’re actually quite nice. Well… most of them. With the Huntsmen on the warpath, Gretel must act fast to help the Witches save both the Darkwood and her home village, while unravelling the rhetoric and lies that have demonised magical beings for far too long. (Goodreads)
A cute middle grade read
This book was adorable! The characters were very enjoyable, and I really liked the story. Gretel was the character I liked the most. Perhaps it was not meant this way but I took it as a bit of a comment on society that a smart girl who was good at inventing things must, of course, be a witch. I loved that the characters worked together and also how accepting the village people were.
The story is also an interesting take on fairy tales. It has that Shrek sort of feel, where a lot of character from different stories are interacting. I both liked and disliked this element. The world building was very good.
This book is great for middle-grade readers, and I would certainly recommend it
Overall Rating: 4