A Pinch of Magic
'A SPELL-BINDING STORY, STEEPED IN MAGIC. I ADORED IT' - Abi Elphinstone, author of Sky Song Three sisters trapped by an ancient curse. Three magical objects with the power to change their fate. Will they be enough to break the curse? Or will they lead the sisters even deeper into danger? ...The enchanting new story from Michelle Harrison, author of the bestselling THIRTEEN TREASURES trilogy  Praise for A PINCH OF MAGIC 'This delightful tale fizzes with magic and races along at a fantastic pace. This book completely charmed my socks off!' Alex Bell, author of The Polar Bear Explorers' Club 'Simply phenomenal! A breathtaking quest for survival and freedom, bursting with brave heroines, enchanted objects and deadly dangers. And at its heart is a powerful and beautiful message of sisterly love and loyalty overcoming jealousy and betrayal' Sophie Anderson, author of The House With Chicken Legs 'Take three sisters, add the cruelest of curses and a pinch of magic, and you’ll have a tantalising tale you cannot put down' Tamsyn Murray, author of  Completely Cassidy Praise for Michelle Harrison's THIRTEEN series: 'A charming and inventive tale' The Times 'You are in for an adventure' Sunday Express 'The very best in adventure and imagination' Waterstones.com

A Pinch of Magic Details

TitleA Pinch of Magic
Author
ReleaseFeb 7th, 2019
PublisherSimon Schuster Children's UK
ISBN-139781471124303
Rating
GenreFantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Paranormal, Witches, Family

A Pinch of Magic Review

  • Sophie Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    Michelle Harrison is an incredible writer, with a huge talent for creating atmospheric, emotive adventures, and this is perhaps the best yet. A Pinch of Magic is simply phenomenal! A breathtaking quest for survival and freedom, bursting with brave heroines, enchanted objects and deadly dangers. And at its heart is a powerful and beautiful message of sisterly love and loyalty overcoming jealousy and betrayal. I LOVED every moment of this gorgeous story, and I know it is going to delight and thril Michelle Harrison is an incredible writer, with a huge talent for creating atmospheric, emotive adventures, and this is perhaps the best yet. A Pinch of Magic is simply phenomenal! A breathtaking quest for survival and freedom, bursting with brave heroines, enchanted objects and deadly dangers. And at its heart is a powerful and beautiful message of sisterly love and loyalty overcoming jealousy and betrayal. I LOVED every moment of this gorgeous story, and I know it is going to delight and thrill readers everywhere.
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  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster UK for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. Trigger Warnings: Suicide 4,5 stars While I don’t read it as often as I like, Middle Grade fantasy books can be such gems. A Pinch of Magic was one of those for me. When I requested this book there was no cover yet so you can’t accuse me of being lured in by the cover which you have to admit is just gorgeous. I was lured by the synopsis of three sisters and three magical objects. While this boo Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster UK for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. Trigger Warnings: Suicide 4,5 stars While I don’t read it as often as I like, Middle Grade fantasy books can be such gems. A Pinch of Magic was one of those for me. When I requested this book there was no cover yet so you can’t accuse me of being lured in by the cover which you have to admit is just gorgeous. I was lured by the synopsis of three sisters and three magical objects. While this book is in theory about 3 sisters it focuses all its attention on the middle sister, 13 year old Betty. With her 6 year old sister Charlie she tries to sneak across the water to a nearby city for the Halloween celebrations. But as they are leaving the harbor of their town on a boat their grandmother, and caretaker, appears out of nowhere, dragging them back. Betty isn’t having any of it anymore though and demands to know why they are never allowed to leave the town. That is when grandma spills the beans. They are cursed. Harrison can write. This books is beautifully written. No sentence is even remotely misplaced. We are swept up in the story with Betty and feel for her when she is so held back by her grandma and then learns about the curse. All her dreams, crushed. The book is full of magic and it is great to read about. While I am rating this book 4,5 stars I do have some complaints. While I think Betty is a rather well rounded characters, I can’t quite say the same for her older sister Fliss who is 16 years old. I feel like she gets the short end of the stick with being characterized as boy crazy and falls very in line to her 3 year younger sisters demands. I can’t quite say that much more about her. That is a shame. I also have one little twitch about the world building as I would have liked a better explanation on how exactly the magical items were created. However beyond that this story is just a great feel good magic filled story. Great for young and old readers alike. I did see on goodreads that there might be a sequel. The current story wraps up fine however and can easily be read as a standalone. I think that is important, especially in middle grade.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Full of adventure with some great female protagonists!
  • Steph
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliantly written tale of sisterhood, magic, betrayal and revenge. What would you do if you were handed a magical object, but then told you were cursed? Betty has to deal with that on her birthday. Throw in a prisoner who wants to escape, 2 excellently brave sisters and a mysterious legend of a young dark magic witch in a tower and you have this incredible tale. I devoured it in a matter of hours!
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  • Scott Evans (MrEPrimary)
    January 1, 1970
    Sumptuously magical... an exquisitely-enchanting tale in a world weaved with wonder. With hearty heroines who embody the truest sense of sisterhood, prepare to fall under the spell of the story everyone will be wanting to read in 2019.
  • Liam
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved A Pinch of Magic! It is a mesmerising tale of sisterhood and redemption, curses and magic. It's a fantastic, magical adventure, with three endearing sisters. It's as much about family and sisterhood as it is about magic, though both elements are totally engaging and captivating. I loved the use of the three magical items, how they each represented their recipient in some way, and how they were used together to drive the story forward. The setting was enthralling, a glimpse int I absolutely loved A Pinch of Magic! It is a mesmerising tale of sisterhood and redemption, curses and magic. It's a fantastic, magical adventure, with three endearing sisters. It's as much about family and sisterhood as it is about magic, though both elements are totally engaging and captivating. I loved the use of the three magical items, how they each represented their recipient in some way, and how they were used together to drive the story forward. The setting was enthralling, a glimpse into a world I'm longing to explore more. The family relationships are also spot on. The sisters often don't get on, there's a lot of bitching, jealousy and resentment, but ultimately there's sibling love, affection and acceptance.The Widdershins sisters will stay with me for a long time.
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  • Jemima Pett
    January 1, 1970
    Betty is the middle daughter of three, with dad in prison and mum dead. Their overworked and dispirited granny (when she's not been imbibing her spirits) looks after them in her dilapidated bar.  Betty's disgruntlement gets worse as her older sister, who used to be such fun, is now a sour sixteen year-old.  As Betty reaches her birthday, she discovers the reason why.  The curse is upon her and her sisters.Some of the world-building gave me cause to twitch, like the so-called 'blood moon', seen i Betty is the middle daughter of three, with dad in prison and mum dead. Their overworked and dispirited granny (when she's not been imbibing her spirits) looks after them in her dilapidated bar.  Betty's disgruntlement gets worse as her older sister, who used to be such fun, is now a sour sixteen year-old.  As Betty reaches her birthday, she discovers the reason why.  The curse is upon her and her sisters.Some of the world-building gave me cause to twitch, like the so-called 'blood moon', seen in broad daylight.  The terrain confused me, since they were in marshland with mists and fogs, yet with deep channels and rocky coves (and caves) creating a big swell and breakers when a high tide rushing in. But then it is magical-realism, and the terrain doesn't have to be real.The adult characters were reminiscent of old seadogs, although they were mainly old warders and old lags. Everyone seemed to have a criminal past, but then the whole adventure hinged on releasing a prisoner who promised them the secret of breaking the curseI wasn't gripped by this adventure. It was well told, suspenseful, with occasional detours to tell the story behind the creation of the curse. Realising that I was finding it all too easy to put down and forget about, I determined to read to the end in one go.A Pinch of Magic is an easy read, with plenty of interest for a range of ages in the MG genre. It may be better for girls with sisters than those without, as I found the sister-hood bits saccharine. The solution to the curse was a nice twist on what had seemed to be obvious from a long way out.The writing is delightful, and the story well told.  It's very good middle grade fare, and I'm probably being over-critical. I'm just a bit disappointed it didn't create as much magic as the blurb did.Nicely written book with good characterisation and a heightened sense of adventure.
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  • BooksForTopics
    January 1, 1970
    Every so often a book comes along that completely blows me away and Michelle Harrison’s A Pinch of Magic is certainly one of those books. Spellbinding from start to finish, this is an enchanting tale of sisterhood, dark magic and a thrilling meeting of past and present worlds.The story follows the three Widdershins sisters - Betty, Fliss and Charlie - who live with their overprotective grandmother on the isle of Crowstone. Their island is surrounded by unpredictable marshes and is set in the sha Every so often a book comes along that completely blows me away and Michelle Harrison’s A Pinch of Magic is certainly one of those books. Spellbinding from start to finish, this is an enchanting tale of sisterhood, dark magic and a thrilling meeting of past and present worlds.The story follows the three Widdershins sisters - Betty, Fliss and Charlie - who live with their overprotective grandmother on the isle of Crowstone. Their island is surrounded by unpredictable marshes and is set in the shadow of an inescapable prison tower. As if that’s not enough to make the girls feel caged in, they discover an ancient family curse meaning that any Widdershins girl who dares to leave Crowstone will die by the following sunset.Middle sister Betty is a feisty protagonist who has always longed for adventure. Not the type to allow anything (be it grandmother’s strict rules or a seemingly unbreakable ancient curse) get in her way of exploring the wider world, Betty uses her steely determination and strength of mind to try to figure out a way to break the hold of the dark magic that grips her family history. Along the way, the sisters encounter magical objects, mysterious prisoners and perilous boat rides as they embark upon a spellbinding adventure that will change their lives forever. I loved the strong female characters, the convincing magical realism and the thrilling sense of danger that kept me hooked until the end of the story. With some dark themes and hints of romance, this is most suitable for upper primary and lower secondary year groups. If you are looking for an original story that is sure to enchant and thrill its readers, this is the one for you. Full review to appear on the booksfortopics website near to the time of publication. Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an advanced review copy.
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  • T.E. Shepherd
    January 1, 1970
    Michelle Harrison is perhaps best known for her award-winning 13 Treasures books with their dark elves and fairy magic, but beyond that world she has also gone spooky with (the maybe too-often overlooked) Unrest and her last, and delivered the spellbindingly-fantastic book, The Other Alice which blended fairy-folklore and magic with literary references (was it the inspiration for Anna James' debut this year of Pages & Co?). I therefore had high anticipations for, but no idea what to expect, Michelle Harrison is perhaps best known for her award-winning 13 Treasures books with their dark elves and fairy magic, but beyond that world she has also gone spooky with (the maybe too-often overlooked) Unrest and her last, and delivered the spellbindingly-fantastic book, The Other Alice which blended fairy-folklore and magic with literary references (was it the inspiration for Anna James' debut this year of Pages & Co?). I therefore had high anticipations for, but no idea what to expect, with her latest offering. A Pinch of Magic did not disappoint. It begins with echoes of a Repunzal-like tale of a girl held captive in the tower, before fast-forwarding through to time to meet three sisters, Betty, Fliss, and Charlie who live with their Grannie in the Poacher's Pocket. It is Halloween and Betty's 13th birthday but before then she desires to get the ferry to the mainland to experience the fair. And that, is where the magic starts. The three sisters learn of the curse that hangs over lives and the magical gifts that are bestowed upon them. Betty can't let it be, she wants freedom, and to get freedom it means breaking the curse. This is a story with twists and turns aplenty but they are all carefully woven together in a story that unfurls before you with every page turn. Every reveal makes sense, and not every one is expected. There is good and there is evil. There are baddies who are good, and wrongs that are righted. There are curses triggered, and curses to be broken, and every character is needed. A Pinch of Magic ends with a tease that there could be more, but brilliant as it is, I can't help thinking that it might be best if Michelle leaves the reader wanting more... A Pinch of Magic is published by Simon & Schuster on 7 February 2019.
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  • legenbooksdary
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story of three sisters who seek to break their family's curse—the Widdershin's curse, magic, betrayal and revenge. It was full of exciting and unexpected adventures. I was immediately hooked into the story until the very last page. It was like a spell pulling me in too deep with the characters and the story as a whole. The first few chapters were a bit slow but then everything was happening from one after another. There were a few incidents that happened and I thought that if it hadn't This is a story of three sisters who seek to break their family's curse—the Widdershin's curse, magic, betrayal and revenge. It was full of exciting and unexpected adventures. I was immediately hooked into the story until the very last page. It was like a spell pulling me in too deep with the characters and the story as a whole. The first few chapters were a bit slow but then everything was happening from one after another. There were a few incidents that happened and I thought that if it hadn't, everything would've changed and I find that to be exciting. This is truly a fun and magical read and will be loved by readers as they weave through Crowstone, finding out the truth and answers to what could possibly change the Widdershin's sisters lives forever.
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  • Jennie
    January 1, 1970
    I genuinely don't know how to begin this review.... Having just finished reading the book my head is as swirly and golden as the cover. This has been one of the most beautifully written, magical, sparkling, epic adventures I've ever read. Jam packed with humour, feeling and delightful twists. It's a must read for anyone who loves a pinch of magic 😉 I cannot wait to share this story with my children and hope one day they will share it with theirs too. A 5* masterpiece by the wonderful Michelle Ha I genuinely don't know how to begin this review.... Having just finished reading the book my head is as swirly and golden as the cover. This has been one of the most beautifully written, magical, sparkling, epic adventures I've ever read. Jam packed with humour, feeling and delightful twists. It's a must read for anyone who loves a pinch of magic 😉 I cannot wait to share this story with my children and hope one day they will share it with theirs too. A 5* masterpiece by the wonderful Michelle Harrison.
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  • Angela Groves
    January 1, 1970
    This could quite have easily been a five star book. The story was as engaging as it was magical. The characters were excellent. Its just such a shame i felt the ending to the story was a little rushed. Fairly certain that wont bother the kids its aimed at that though. Its perfect for any budding fantasy fan.
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  • Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea
    January 1, 1970
    This book is just perfectly magical. Can that be the entire review? No? Okay. But trust me, it is.Betty Widdershins is the middle sister of three, and together with 17 year old Fliss and 6 year old Charlie, she lives with her grandmother (and a cat called Oi!) above their pub on the tiny island of Crowstone. Their mother is dead, and their father is in prison. Betty is itching to get off the island and see the world, but on her thirteenth birthday, Granny breaks some bad news… The girls are bese This book is just perfectly magical. Can that be the entire review? No? Okay. But trust me, it is.Betty Widdershins is the middle sister of three, and together with 17 year old Fliss and 6 year old Charlie, she lives with her grandmother (and a cat called Oi!) above their pub on the tiny island of Crowstone. Their mother is dead, and their father is in prison. Betty is itching to get off the island and see the world, but on her thirteenth birthday, Granny breaks some bad news… The girls are beset with a family curse, and may never leave the island. From there, the story takes some enthralling magical twists, but at its heart it is always a story about loyalty, family, strength, and the power of sisterly love.It’s gorgeous. Opening the book and reading the first page feels like sinking into a bath that’s just the right temperature. The foggy, dark, enveloping atmosphere of Crowstone is almost palpable – and it’s written so beautifully that after a couple of pages I didn’t even notice myself holding the book. I devoured it in one sitting, wrapped in a blanket on a rainy day with Tomte the cat purring on my legs – and if that image sounds tempting, then this is the book for you.Betty is a fabulous main character, full of pluck and big ideas, but all three of the sisters are wonderfully drawn. I loved that Charlie wasn’t written at all patronisingly, despite being quite a small child, and I loved that Fliss wasn’t at all ashamed of enjoying her own flirtatiousness. There isn’t a single character in this book that doesn’t feel completely real. The magical objects which the girls take possession of are so clever, and well-suited to them (no matter what Betty might initially think!) – actually, all of the magic in this book is so perfectly woven into the setting of Crowstone and the personalities of the Widdershins family. It almost gives it the feel of a fairytale or a legend – something about the story just feels right.I know I would have fallen head-over-heels-in-love with this book as a kid, so if you know a young reader who’s a fan of Diana Wynne Jones, The House With Chicken Legs, or even E Nesbit, make sure to get them a copy of this when it publishes in February. For older lovers of MG fiction, this is ideal – it’s a book to be rushed through once to discover the ways the story unfolds, and then to be read again slowly and savoured. I’m going to be buying everything else Michelle Harrison ever writes. An absolutely certain five out of five cats.
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  • Laura Danks
    January 1, 1970
    My daughter (10) loved this book. The magical elements were intriguing and she loved the story into the story (sorry trying not to give any spoilers). The details of the curse were absolutely amazing and that was her favourite part of the book. Michelle Harrison's writing is engaging but still accessible and she can count my daughter as one of her fans. A well-deserved 5 stars read.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I am very excited to be involved in the blog tour for the glorious, A Pinch Of Magic by Michelle Harrison! Today is publication day, so if you haven't got a copy yet, you can grab one today!! Where to begin? I adore Michelle Harrison and her books, The Other Alice blew me away, so when I was sent a proof copy I was delighted ( and did a happy dance around the kitchen! ) Fliss, Betty and Charlie Widdershins live with their grandmother on Crowstone island. Our story centres around the middle siste I am very excited to be involved in the blog tour for the glorious, A Pinch Of Magic by Michelle Harrison! Today is publication day, so if you haven't got a copy yet, you can grab one today!! Where to begin? I adore Michelle Harrison and her books, The Other Alice blew me away, so when I was sent a proof copy I was delighted ( and did a happy dance around the kitchen! ) Fliss, Betty and Charlie Widdershins live with their grandmother on Crowstone island. Our story centres around the middle sister, Betty who is thirteen years old and all she dreams about it travelling and living a life of adventure. What she is about to find out is that her family is trapped by an ancient curse. Three magical objects hold the key to their future, can the sisters work together to free themselves from the curse, or will it prove itself unbreakable? I loved every moment of this adventure. Michelle Harrison gives us intrigue and mystery, a terrifying ancient curse, determined and defiant sisters, sinister villains, three magical objects, an otherworldly setting, a young boy just wanting to survive, a strong-willed grandmother wanting nothing more than to protect her family and Sorsha Spellthorn, wronged and hellbent on revenge! All these elements combine to create an enchanting story that weaves it's magic and leaves you spellbound. The love the sisters have for each other, despite their differences, is wonderful. Their determination to work together, to defeat the odds and save each other is the heart of the story and is in sharp contrast to the relationship between Sorsha and her sister Prue.From the opening page, the fog and magic of Crowstone will draw you in. You will find yourself living each moment with Betty, Fliss and Charlie, trembling in fear when you hear the crows, sobbing with frustration when things go wrong, shouting out when you see the danger seconds before the sisters do, hands shaking when uncertainty overwhelms you. This is a journey you won't want to abandon, and will need to stay with the girls until the very last page. Happily, there are more adventures to come, so when you reach the end of the book, do not despair, we will get to visit the Widdershins again! A Pinch of Magic is a story of sisterhood, sacrifice, belief, magic and revenge. A stunning adventure that you won't want to miss!
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  • Whispering Words...
    January 1, 1970
    A PINCH OF MAGIC was a sweet read that I loved from start to finish. Focusing hard on sisterly friendship, this story is packed with so much adventure that you just won't be able to stop turning the pages. The book follows three sisters, Fliss, Betty and Charlie, as they rush to break an ancient curse that keeps their family confined to their island home. Yet when their plans to end the spell only make it worse, they find themselves in a race to save their own lives. Now they begin a dangerous j A PINCH OF MAGIC was a sweet read that I loved from start to finish. Focusing hard on sisterly friendship, this story is packed with so much adventure that you just won't be able to stop turning the pages. The book follows three sisters, Fliss, Betty and Charlie, as they rush to break an ancient curse that keeps their family confined to their island home. Yet when their plans to end the spell only make it worse, they find themselves in a race to save their own lives. Now they begin a dangerous journey, one that will lead them to escaped convicts, magical objects, and dark family truths. But can they break free before the clock strikes midnight… or before their grandmother finds out what they’ve done?One of things I loved most about this book was that it contained a story within a story, and more than one set of characters lives were at stake. It kept me in a constant state of curiosity as the secondary tale is scattered like breadcrumbs through out the book, containing a mystery I was dying to solve. However the story mostly unfolds via the middle sister, Betty’s perspective. She is the most independent of the siblings, while the oldest, Fliss - despite her flirtations - is the meeker of the three. Charlie, the youngest is absolutely adorable! A total tom boy character. What really caught my attention about these sisters - aside from the strong bond they shared - was that I think all readers will find something relatable in all of them.However the girls’ grandmother is one of the most interesting characters I’ve come across in a long time. She is no sweet little old lady - but a tough woman who enjoys a drink, a smoke, and will beat down anyone who dares harm her precious granddaughters. I love that she owns a pub where the girls all help out. Then there was the idea of magic and the three gifts given to help the sisters on their quest. I love what each unique object does, and I found it realistic that while magical, each item had its limits. Along with the world building and setting - all the place names are suitably gloomy and fairytale like - I was just fully absorbed into this world.The ending though - while complete - left a few things open. Enough to leave me curious as to what happened to two characters in particular, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be a sequel!Regardless, I cant wait to see what Michelle Harrison writes next. She is one of my auto-buy authors. I have adored all her books to date and A PINCH OF MAGIC was no exception. This author has such an old school, story-by-the-fire voice that she just draws you into these magical worlds… and doesn't let go! A magical journey that tugged the heartstrings, A PINCH OF MAGIC is a 5 star read!
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  • Kathryn Miller
    January 1, 1970
    The plot is so well managed and the setting so satisfyingly fresh and competent, that the book earns its four stars despite falling short in a number of other ways.Really this feels like reading the penultimate draught of a good book. It could have done with another pass to deal with some major elements that aren't given enough time or attention and themes and threads that the author alludes to but never quite included in this version.Most of the problems are in the first third of the novel. Aft The plot is so well managed and the setting so satisfyingly fresh and competent, that the book earns its four stars despite falling short in a number of other ways.Really this feels like reading the penultimate draught of a good book. It could have done with another pass to deal with some major elements that aren't given enough time or attention and themes and threads that the author alludes to but never quite included in this version.Most of the problems are in the first third of the novel. After a cracking opening with really effective tension and mystery, building to a great surprise, the novel gets bogged down for a while before the plot kicks in to save the second and third act.The action pauses for a good deal of exposition, which is not in itself a problem, but it does the heavy lifting here rather badly. Probably the main problem is an extremely common one in children’s writing at the moment: I’ve read several novels in recent months where the author spends the first chapter or so managing the dispensing of information very well, building to a great surprise - and thereafter loses and will/ability to be restrained and allow for inference at all. The narrator here just can’t wait to fill us in about every detail of backstory and minute emotional reaction. The characters can barely get out a line of dialogue for the narrator’s voice filling us in of exactly what the context of the remark was, or just how the main character’s mood shifts at each new sentence.This is part of what I mean when I say this reads live a non-final draught. It's the kind of front-loading and telling that the author or editior should have realised was too heavy and cut way back.In the rush to info-dump, not only does the tension and mystery drop out of the novel but the grandmother character , who had such a strong start, becomes weakly drawn as she becomes a mouthpiece for the writer's urge first to info-dump and then the need to be close-mouthed in order to set the girl's invesitgation in motion.However as the action moves into gear, we get a world, plot, and stakes that are gripping. Harrison's prose is not sparkling, but it is neat and coherent and she controls pace and atmosphere to build a tense and intriguing plot which keeps the reader guessing while building to a satisfying conclusion.As mentioned, some of the characters are undercooked, or come across so due to their use in the plot. Most more-or-less serve but one is pretty glaring, a major character who really doesn’t earn his keep in the book and lacks a real conclusion.It’s frustrating to see a potentially great book let down in a few ways that could have been corrected with a better guided edit, but this ends up being a very enjoyable and mostly satisfying read.
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  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    I got off to a rocky start with this one because I found the writing very clunky and awkward. It put me off reading it so I dipped in and out of it and it just took me ages to get into it. I also couldn't work out if it was set in the modern day or in a 'ye olde' fantasy world. It sounds daft but it really threw me that I couldn't work it out. I am glad I persevered with it though because the story is actually rather lovely. It's about 3 sisters who find that they are living under a curse - if t I got off to a rocky start with this one because I found the writing very clunky and awkward. It put me off reading it so I dipped in and out of it and it just took me ages to get into it. I also couldn't work out if it was set in the modern day or in a 'ye olde' fantasy world. It sounds daft but it really threw me that I couldn't work it out. I am glad I persevered with it though because the story is actually rather lovely. It's about 3 sisters who find that they are living under a curse - if they leave the island where they grew up they will be dead within a day. Not particularly nice, but they also have a gift of magic objects - normal, everyday items that enable them to move vast distances in the blink of an eye, become invisible and talk to anyone they want whenever they want.The bond between the sisters and the way they work together whilst bickering and falling out made this book for me. It brings back memories of growing up with my sister and having adventures together even though we didn't always get on.After about the first half of the book, the story starts to flow better and even the writing improved. It's also quite dark at times and I was pleased that it didn't try to sugar coat the world - I don't think that ever works, even in children's books. We're all of us smarter than to be taken in by that.So if you're looking for a children's book that is full of adventure and sisters supporting each other you could do much worse than this.I received a free copy in return for an honest review.
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  • Amy (Golden Books Girl)
    January 1, 1970
    This focuses on Betty Widdershins, the middle sister of three, as she and her sisters Fliss and Charlie set out to break the family curse that keeps them on their island by the unconventional means of trusting a prisoner who claims to know how to help them do so. I loved all three sisters and the bickering relationships they share, and I thought Betty was especially fantastic: her determination and love for her sisters and thirst for adventure were all great traits to read about, and they made m This focuses on Betty Widdershins, the middle sister of three, as she and her sisters Fliss and Charlie set out to break the family curse that keeps them on their island by the unconventional means of trusting a prisoner who claims to know how to help them do so. I loved all three sisters and the bickering relationships they share, and I thought Betty was especially fantastic: her determination and love for her sisters and thirst for adventure were all great traits to read about, and they made me really root for her as a heroine. I also thoroughly enjoyed learning about the history of their island and the curse, which is partially revealed in flashbacks leading up to the curse being cast, and this slow reveal made the book a super intriguing read. The magical heirlooms they discover are so great too, and it was really fun to learn the real functions of the items, and see how they aided Betty, Fliss and Charlie as they try to break the curse. The sisters` adventure itself is perfectly paced too, with lots of twists and turns and an ending that I wasn’t expecting, but thought was such a clever way to resolve things. Michelle Harrison never fails to come up with fascinating worlds and stories, and I`m so excited to read whatever she writes next. 4.5/5
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Gosh, I pulled an all nighter to finish this as could not stop thinking about how the girls would manage to break their family curse once they found out about it. Three sisters live with their Gran in Crowstone, their mother died years ago and their father is in the jail on the island of Repent. The eldest, Felicity has changed since she turned 16. Betty, the middle tumultuous child misses the closeness they used to share, little Charlie likes animals and tempts them into the family pub. One ni Gosh, I pulled an all nighter to finish this as could not stop thinking about how the girls would manage to break their family curse once they found out about it. Three sisters live with their Gran in Crowstone, their mother died years ago and their father is in the jail on the island of Repent. The eldest, Felicity has changed since she turned 16. Betty, the middle tumultuous child misses the closeness they used to share, little Charlie likes animals and tempts them into the family pub. One night Betty takes her sister to visit the fair on another island. However, they are stopped in the most unlikely way and soon their family predicament is revealed. I loved the sisters' close relationships, the youngest not getting listened to but having an understanding of what she was able to do. The main sister is Betty though and as she finds out more about their history and it's attachment to the strange tower on Repent, she vows to end the curse and live life the way she has always wished for travelling the world, she finds during her adventures some things are more important and not everything is as it seems.
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  • Leonie Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    Synopsis: three sisters, one curse, three magical objects. Betty, Fliss and Charlie are three sisters under a terrible curse, they cannot leave the island where they live or they'll die by the following sunset. But Betty is desperate to leave the island and go exploring so when they're offered the chance to break the curse she seizes the chance. But has she put them all in mortal danger? I was initially attracted to this book when I saw it's gorgeous cover in the window of Waterstones, in all ho Synopsis: three sisters, one curse, three magical objects. Betty, Fliss and Charlie are three sisters under a terrible curse, they cannot leave the island where they live or they'll die by the following sunset. But Betty is desperate to leave the island and go exploring so when they're offered the chance to break the curse she seizes the chance. But has she put them all in mortal danger? I was initially attracted to this book when I saw it's gorgeous cover in the window of Waterstones, in all honesty it is more middle grade than YA which isn't usually thing but I found I really enjoyed it. It's a nice little story full of magic, enchantments and curses and the plot was really interesting. I loved learning about the curse's origins and the history of the Widdershins family. The story really was about the bond between sisters and though all three sisters had some annoying traits I really liked their love for each other and the way that they were there for one another. All together a light and enchanting read and a beautiful book as well!
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  • Orláith
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t often read middle grade fiction but I’m so very glad I picked up a copy of A Pinch of Magic. It’s a wonderful tale of magic and curses but the heart of the story is about family.Despite being quite dark at times, I found it to be a wonderfully warm book that will be loved by anyone who reads it, old and young alike.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Just brilliant. Three sisters find out they have three magical items that can achieve so much but are trapped on Crowstone because they are cursed. Why? Can it be broken? A tale of sisterhood, unlikely friendships, family, mystery and of course, a pinch of magic. However, you don't need to know any of this cos the cover sells the book, you want to read it.
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  • Anouk
    January 1, 1970
    Ah how refreshing to find a children's botm that's actually good fun! Characters are cool, setting is nice, story's intriguing and fun. Perhaps not the instant classic the reviewers are making it out to be, but a really solid 9-12 read!
  • Latkins
    January 1, 1970
    An enjoyable, magical tale of three sisters trying to break an ancient curse. Set in a well-realised world, with strong characters, and a plot which involves a prison break, the use of magical objects and a spot of time-travelling. Excellent!
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this! Read it almost in one go. Forgot to update on here!
  • Chrys
    January 1, 1970
    A wonderful story of adventure, secrets and family. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
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