Book Title: Starfell: Willow and the Forgotten Tale (available here)
Author: Dominique Valente
Illustrator: Sarah Warburton
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: April 2020
Most Suitable for: KS2
Reviewed By: Angela Kent
This is the second book in the Starfell series - and my second visit to Starfell was as thrilling as the first!
Willow Moss, not long returned from saving Starfell from the missing day, receives a letter from her friend Nolin Sometimes, who has been kidnapped. Not only do Willow's family not have any recollection of the missing day, but they also do not believe the youngest witch in the family’s recount of events and instead agree she is delusional. In addition to this, Willow is having problems with her magic, as instead of finding things, she has recently started making things disappear – including the letter. This leaves her alone, apart from Oswin - the always complaining Kobold - to save the day again. Willow embarks upon an extraordinary and treacherous journey through Starfell to find her friends, which sees her meeting a rich and colourful cast of characters (funny, endearing or just plain terrifying) along the way. The mysterious and magical world that Dominique Valente has created is beautifully descriptive and convincing, so you will become completely absorbed into Willow’s plight. My favourite place in this book has to be the town of Library, where all the citizens are librarians – I adored this idea and I would love to visit! In contrast, with peril and plot twists, Willow and friends find themselves in the dark and dangerous Neverfell. Will they be able to save Nolin from the grasp of Unbellifer (the Queen of the Undead)? Willow is a charming protagonist – a young witch with a ‘reliable’ finding skill- who befriends everyone she meets, totally accepting of differences or faults and a completely loyal friend. The story is a great resource for acceptance, bravery and believing in yourself. Willow is an ideal role model for young people and I particularly enjoyed the line ‘It felt wrong to mistrust someone just because they were a little different’. I would highly recommend this book to upper KS2. Despite being the second book in the Willow Moss series, this captivating adventure full of mystery and magic does also work as a standalone book and is a fantastical read.
You can order Starfell: Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale online or from your local bookshop or library.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Angela for reviewing it.
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