Reader Reviewed The Beginner's Guide to Curses Spellchasers by Lari Don

The Beginner's Guide to Curses Spellchasers

Written by Lari Don
Part of the Kelpies Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: Magic riddles | Narrow escapes

Five very different characters enrol at Mrs Sharpe’s curse-lifting workshop, and it’s a life-or-death last chance for each of them. Their training is practical rather than classroom-based, a series of challenges to be met and riddles to be answered. Lari Don tells her story with pace and wit and the plotline fairly crackles with excitement. Like all really good fairy tales, reaching a happy ending depends as much on character and integrity as on strength or cunning and our cursed heroes become a real team, despite initial rivalries and resentments. Firmly based in traditional myth and legend but with a thoroughly contemporary feel this will keep young readers on the edge of their seats to the last page. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews here.

  • Beth de Lotbiniere - 'A magical book about strange curses, colourful characters and most importantly how great friends can work together. Out of 10, I'd give it 11!'
  • Richie Upchurch - 'This is a magical adventure story about teamwork and friendship. I'd definitely recommend it to my friends and I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.' 
  • Rose Hopkins, age 10 - 'It shocks, it scares, it makes you gasp in horror and sadness.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 11 - 'A girl who turns into a hare when a dog barks, dark magic, curses and an adventure. What more could you want from a book?'
  • Judith, age 10 - 'Without a doubt, this book was one of the best I have read in years. The writing involved had me in a trance of never-ending emotions and I was unable to release the book from my grasp.'
  • Emily Golding, age 9 - 'I really enjoyed this book...The story was exciting, thrilling and breath-taking.'
  • Toby, age 9 - 'I loved this book! It was exciting, fun, full of adventure and had a lot of surprises! I got caught up in the story and kept wanting to read on and on.'   

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The Beginner's Guide to Curses Spellchasers by Lari Don

Molly Drummond is cursed: whenever a dog barks, she turns into a hare -- which can make life quite dangerous...So she does the sensible thing and attends a curse-lifting workshop, run by a local witch. She tumbles into a world of magical beings, all desperate to reverse their curses. But will the power that feeds on the curses prevent them from returning to their normal lives?

By the author of the bestselling Fabled Beasts Chronicles series, this is the dramatic first instalment in the brand new, long-awaited Spellchasers trilogy. The Beginner's Guide to Curses will be followed in spring 2017 by The Shapeshifter's Guide to Running Away (book 2) and The Witch's Guide to Magical Combat (book 3) in autumn 2017.


'Among the most exciting books of 2016 for 8-12 year olds.'

'A lot of action and adventure as well as a good dose of magic and mystery. This is a great read and I look forward to the next two books.'

/5 Stars -- Margaret Pemberton, Books for Keeps 'I enjoyed The Beginner's Guide to Curses immensely! It is a very clever and well thought out book filled with lots of witty dialogue... The book is thoroughly enjoyable and I would (and will be) recommending it to other children.

'This book is an exciting fantasy quest with a lot of twists. Reading all of Lari Don's books has made me love books more than ever. The end is super exciting and I can't wait for the next one because there's some things I want to find out.'

'This is a great book for those who enjoy a heart-racing and mythical story.'

'Absolutely brilliant. An exciting novel, extremely magical.'

'This feast of magic and fantasy will enthral. Friendship, mythical creatures and gripping adventure with plenty of twists will keep you hooked.'

'Very nicely entertaining tale about curses, and about unselfish behaviour. Or selfish behaviour, if you wish. I'm expecting more books, as there is plenty more magic to be sorted out.'

'The next big thing in children's books.'

'A magical book about strange curses, colourful characters and most importantly how great friends can work together.'

'It shocks, it scares, it makes you gasp in horror and sadness.'

'A girl who turns into a hare when a dog barks, dark magic, curses and an adventure. What more could you want from a book?'

'Without a doubt, this book was one of the best I have read in years. The writing involved had me in a trance of never-ending emotions and I was unable to release the book from my grasp.'

'The story was exciting, thrilling and breathtaking.'

'This is the first compelling volume in the Spellchasers trilogy, where magic sits convincingly alongside everyday life. Packed full of good and dark magic, sacrifice and treachery, friendship and loyalty, this exciting page-turner will have readers gripped from the start.'

'A rollicking introduction to a fantasy trilogy set in Scotland... From the first word, readers are dropped straight into the lively action, with nary a breather until the final page turn... A real treat.'

'This is an instantly engaging and gripping fable set in Speyside, with strong and likeable characters on an exhilarating quest with plenty of twists and a fast-paced narrative drawing on mythological creatures from Scotland and beyond.'

'Molly is a great protagonist, brave, honest and loyal and I greatly enjoyed reading this story. [...] An excellent introduction to the world of magical stories, suitable for younger more confident readers.'

'I really like books about magic and the supernatural and this was another book I really enjoyed. Molly doesn't think she has been cursed but soon finds out how wrong she was. This book also showed how we can all help each other out and that friends should stick together.'

About the Author

Lari Don

Lari Don is an award-winning author and storyteller who loves sharing traditional tales from all over the world. Lari was born in Chile, and brought up in Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh with her family. She has worked in politics and for the BBC, but now spends her time passing on old stories and making up new ones. She is a traditional storyteller, as well as an award-winning children’s author; her fiction is inspired by her love of myths, legends and fables.

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272 pages


Lari Don
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Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books

Publication date

18th August 2016




Publisher Profile

Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books is an imprint of Kelpies


Kelpies Books celebrate quality children’s books with brilliant authors, engaging stories and a Scottish twist! They create books that capture children’s imaginations at all ages. Under 6s will have loads of fun with Kelpies picture books, 9 to 12-year-olds will be whisked away by Kelpies and young teens will be gripped by KelpiesTeen novels.

Follow @DiscoverKelpies on Twitter or find them on Facebook at

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