Middle Grade readers are in for a treat with this hilarious fantasy adventure – The House At The Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes.
And while we all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, Ben Mantle has done a wonderful job of illustrating the extraordinary house which is just bursting at the seams with surprises for both the reader and the occupants of the house themselves.
If you look closely at the windows, you will see the wizard Flabberghast, Eric the house-keeping troll with his beloved feather duster and Dr Spoon. Hang on. Nope. The sword-wielding, kilt-wearing wooden spoon must be holed up in his lab. (Yes, you did read that correctly.)
If on top of these wacky characters we add Nine to the equation – that’s the name of the orphan protagonist, not the number – then the results promise to be as explosive as the mysterious Dr Spoon’s experiments.
Indeed every turn of the page, just like every door and room and toilet of the house, brings about something entirely unexpected; even unassuming tea cupboards are definitely not to be trusted.
And while Flabberghast wouldn’t say no to a hopscotch competition, it’s not all fun and games.
As you might have guessed from Nine’s name, she’s not at the top of anyone’s priorities. Nine is desperate to make a new life for herself away from Pockets’ Nest of a Thousand Treasures and the other thieflings.
But The House at The Edge of Magic with its strange, and sometimes downright terrifying inhabitants, isn’t quite what she had in mind – especially when a witch has placed it under a very sneaky spell which Nine is expected to break it. Because Nine doesn’t want anyone to depend on her. Nine doesn’t want to get involved. Nine doesn’t care – or so she tells herself.