The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike

TheLastSpellBreatherA rip-roaring adventure with an unusual branch of magic…

The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike, published by OUP in July, is a seat grabbing adventure packed with an unusual branch of magic.

Young Rayne is no ordinary girl – she’s an apprentice Spell Breather, destined to look after her village folk through the power of word magic just as her mother does. By breathing the words from her mam’s spell book over people, she helps heal them of their ills.

There’s just one problem: Rayne is rubbish at Spell Breathing.

It’s the last things she wants to do so when her mam leaves the village setting off for the Great Library after a mysterious visitor tries to enter, Rayne is left look after the villagers herself with disastrous consequences. Dropping the spell book she breaks the words and all the spells cast on the villagers, turning them into monsters.

She has to find Mam to get her to fix the book and everyone she loves. Just one friend is still human, Tom, who doesn’t believe in word magic and has never had a spell breathed on him unlike his now monster parents.

Rayne and Tom embark on a quest to find Mam at the Great Library and meet many other monsters but some friends along the way. Frank, a talking fox, is my favourite character. But of course, as with all good adventures, nothing is quite as it seems. Rayne and Tom must ride the twists and turn that take them to the library whilst navigating it’s dark secrets and an evil inhabitant.

Julie has created a truly unique, magical system within an almost medieval world inhabited by some fresh, imaginative characters. The Grotesques, little mud monsters that dwell in walls and bite anyone who crosses them, are great fun. And the scene where the villagers transform into monsters is really quite deliciously frightening.

That said, I’d pitch The Last Spell Breather at the younger middle grade reader and think that by the end, they’ll be itching to write their own spells!

The ending leaves the door wide open to a sequel and I’m certain Julie has more plans for the wonderful Spell Breathing world she has created.

[Book supplied by the publisher for possible review on MyBookCorner, according to our policy. We review the books we love.]


Julie Pike
Oxford University Press

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