The Last Spell Breather is a magical, action packed adventure which had us turning the pages until the end of the book. Mam is a spell breather, her spells keep the village of Penderin safe, and Rayne is her apprentice. But Mam has kept secrets from Rayne, secrets that Rayne uncovers when she is forced to make a dangerous journey out of the village to The Great Library.
The Story: Rayne is learning to be a spell breather like Mam. When Mam suddenly has to go away she entrusts Rayne with her spell book. But an accident with the book puts everybody in danger and brings a monster plague into the village. Only Mam can help fix the damaged book so Rayne and her friend Tom set out on a journey into the unknown…
Rayne and Tom travel with Frank, a fox, who accompanies them on an eventful, sometimes scary, river journey to The Great Library. When they arrive they find Grotesques (mud devils with very sharp teeth!), a long lost relative and a wealth of magical secrets. But can they find Mam, restore the words to the spell book and help the villagers?
Mam breathes amazing spells onto scrolls – the Spell of Energy, the Spell of Sleep and the Spell of Finding. Rayne is being schooled in ancient magic but breathing spells takes practice and Rayne is not very good at it at all!
This is a truly magical tale and we were intrigued by The Great Library with its secret rooms and passages and the magical barrier between Penderin and the wider world. We meet a rich cast of characters, including a purely evil villain, and there were several twists that we didn’t see coming. On one page we got so involved in the action that we were almost shouting at Rayne to tell her what she should do!
Rayne is a likeable character and we were totally involved in her journeys, both the physical journey with Tom but also her mental journey as she learns her family history, discovers secrets from the past and realises how important her role is and who she can trust. Tom is sceptical of magic but when the spell book is damaged both he and Rayne discover just how powerful ancient magic can be.
Magical, action packed and sometimes a little bit scary, The Last Spell Breather is a brilliant, fast paced read which leads to a satisfying end.
Age Range: 9 +
Author: Julie Pike / Illustrator: Dinara Mirtalipova / Cover design: Anna Morrison
Thank you to Oxford University Press for sending us a proof copy of The Last Spell Breather which will be published on July 4th 2019.
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