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In a nutshell: swashbuckling adventure with added fun (dragons and magic!) Readers of Claire Fayer’s debut Voyage to Magical North will be delighted to climb back on board the Onion with Brine Seaborne and her young crewmates. (If you haven’t read the first, there’s a smartly delivered precis to bring you up to date). They’re sailing West in search of adventure – of course – and to find Brine’s long-lost home. They certainly find adventure, by the bucket load. The book opens with an invasion of giant spiders, and there’re are lots more challenges and enemies to overcome. The action is never less than rousing, and the pages turn as quickly as the Onion at full sail, but there’s still lots of room for humour and proper character development too. Great fun. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the Children's Book Award 2017 - Books for Younger Readers | July 2016 Debut of the Month | In 3 words : pirates – magic - fellowship | In what is hopefully the first in a long series, Voyage to Magical North mixes together orphans, pirates, spells and an evil magician and in a way that feels fresh and sparky. Brine, foundling and servant, and Peter, apprentice magician, both have reasons for running away from what’s called home. They’ve not got far before they run into the Onion captained by legendary pirate Cassie O’Pia. The adventure that follows includes a search for treasure, heroic librarians, exploits in the belly of a whale and much more. Original, packed with excitement, humour and moments of quiet insight too this is a real treat. ~ Andrea Reece Recommended for fans of Jenny Nimmo’s Charlie Bone series.