Today is my stop on the blog tour for Amy Sparkes’ brilliant new title ‘The House at the Edge of Magic.’
“Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it.”
Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped ornament from a mysterious woman’s purse, she knocks on its tiny door and watches it grow into a huge, higgledy-piggeldy house. Inside she finds a host of magical and brilliantly funny characters, including Flabberghast – a young wizard who’s particularly competitive at hopscotch – and a hideous troll housekeeper who’s emotionally attached to his feather duster. They have been placed under an extraordinary spell, which they are desperate for Nine to break – and if she can, maybe they can offer her a new life in return…
I read this book in an afternoon – the sure sign of an excellent read! The story centres around an orphan, Nine, who is determined to escape her life as an Oliver Twist-esque pickpocket and head out into the world alone. Outwardly tough and determined not to care for anyone or anything, she seems an unlikely candidate to rescue a household of magical creatures, trapped by a powerful curse. However, beneath that prickly exterior lies a clever, quick-thinking girl who may just have space in her heart for some friends.
I thoroughly enjoyed discovering the rather unusual magical house packed with a host of weird and wonderful habitants as well as some rather ominous-sounding rooms….. The effects of the curse caused some wonderful comedic moments which made this book unlike many of the other fantasy tales I’ve read of late. There were genuine laughs at some of the ridiculous circumstances Nine and her newfound friends (?) found themselves in.
These moments of slapstick silliness were cleverly balanced by a suitably wicked witch and a cellar full of the ‘Sometimes Dead.’ The grimy basement which Nine called home also added a jolt of grim reality.
A great read for those who like their magic silly & mischievous rather than brooding & malevolent, and who like their main characters slightly flawed rather than saccharine-sweet. 8+
*Many thanks to Walker Books for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*