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The Night of the Solstice
Wildworld Series – Book I
L J Smith

Simon and Schuster
October 2010 / ISBN 0857070509
Tweenage (8-12)/ Fantasy / Contemporary / California
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

In a spooky old house where the four Hodges-Bradley children have been told never to set foot there are many mirrors. But these are no ordinary looking glasses, but portals between this world and another more magical realm. The children realize that there is something special about the house when a vixen speaks to them, and they are plunged into an adventure to save the sorceress Morgana from the clutches of evil sorcerer Cadal Forge.

This author is better known for her teenage paranormal romances, but before she wrote those she wrote this, her first book. Aimed at younger readers, this is somewhat different to her later style and is sure to go down well with anybody who enjoys stories about children exploring magical places. This is an update for today’s young reader on the Enid Blytonesque tale of a group of youngsters finding the way to a Fairyland filled with creatures benign and malign while exploring the group’s own dynamics. There’s sensible older sister Alys, dreamy artistic Charlie, solid and determined little Claudia and enigmatic, prickly genius Janie who come up against some rather nastier characters than Ms Blyton would have thought suitable. As an adult who has read a lot of this type of thing in my time I can say that I’ve read both better and worse, but for a child of this age this seems about right in terms of depth of character, complexity of plot and scariness. If you enjoy this one there is a sequel coming out soon. Enid Blyton for the Harry Potter era.

Reviewers Note: US edition is different || Holiday: Halloween

Reviewed 2011
© 2011