Title: Witch Wars
Author: Sibéal Pounder
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
About the book:
When Fran the Fabulous Fairy turns up in Tiga Whicabim’s shed to tell her she’s a witch, Tiga doesn’t believe her. Or at least not until Fran points out that TIGA WHICABIM is actually an anagram of I AM A BIG WITCH and magics her away down the drainpipes to compete in Witch Wars †“ the competition to crown the next Top Witch of Ritzy City.
Filled with silly spells, delectable dresses, ridiculous riddles and a serious shoe problem, Witch Wars is a witch story like no other. Although if you enjoyed The Worst Witch, you’ll love this too!
What I Thought:
You may have recently seen my goddaughter Hannah share a list of her ten favourite books, one of the ones to feature in her list was Witch Wars, so when I discovered it via Edinburgh Libraries on the Overdrive app I simply jumped at the chance to read it!
Below the pipes in Sinkville a special event occurs every nine years, where nine witches, each nine years of age compete in Witch Wars to become Top Witch. The witch who will rule over Ritzy City and all of Sinkville. Tiga is a young girl from above the pipes who has no idea she’s a witch until a fairy called Fran appears and leads her down the sink to Ritzy City, revealing she’d been nominated to compete in this year’s Witch Wars. The book follows Tiga as she makes friends, and an enemy or two, while exploring Sinkville and competing to become Top Witch!
Witch Wars is such a fun book to read! The story all takes place over a relatively short period of time and as such it feels wonderfully fast paced as Sibéal introduces us to all of Sinkville along with Tiga! From Brews the most sort after fashion store, to Clutterbucks the most exclusive drinking spot and on to the rollercoaster at Pearl Peak the magic is never ending!
Witch Wars is filled with the most wonderful characters, with fantastic names which are sure to make readers young and old smile. Our central character is Tiga Whicabim “I Am A Big Witch” unfortunately for Tiga at the beginning of the story she has no idea she’s a witch! Not great when you’re about to enter a competition to find a new Top Witch! Tiga does not have the best life above the pipes, spending most of her time hiding in a shed from her not very nice foster parent. However Tiga is the sweetest little girl, understandably surprised by this new world that exists below the pipes, she is kind, very quickly making two fantastic friends and ultimately making a huge sacrifice to ensure a friend gets what she deserves.
One of the first people Tiga meets once she travels down to Sinkville is Peggy Pigwiggle, Peggy is a sweet girl, who is perhaps not the brightest witch but has a heart of gold! She doesn’t come from the poshest part of Sinkville but from the beginning she offers to teach Tiga anything she can despite the fact they’re officially competing against one another once Witch Wars starts.
Fluffanora Brew is the daughter of the famous dress designer Mrs Brew. Always wonderfully dressed, I was a bit concerned at first she’d be a little entitled but she quickly bonds with Tiga over her above the pipes jeans and shows herself to be a loyal friend to Tiga and Peggy.
Felicity Bat and Aggie Hoof are delightfully nasty! Felicity comes from a long line of bad witches and is clearly the leader of the two, with Aggie her faithful follower. It’s a little sad to see how Aggie can’t see that Felicity really couldn’t care less about her, she just enjoys having a minion to boss about…
Finally Fran the Fairy needs to have a mention, I think if I was faced with someone like Fran in reality she would start to irritate me within the hour, however in the book I loved her!
It was fantastic to follow Tiga and Peggy as they travelled through Sinkville solving the Witch Wars clues. I can certainly see why Hannah picked this as one of her favourite books, it’s such a fun read. A special mention must also go to the illustrator Laura Ellen Anderson whose pictures really bring Sinkville and its inhabitants to life, they really are delightful! Witch Wars contains lots of relatively small chapters so perfect for new readers gaining confidence in their own ability, or for a chapter or two, or more, to be read each night as a bedtime story. I’ll be picking up the next couple in the series for Hannah but I think I’ll need to give them a read first!
About The Author
Sibéal has written for publications including The Guardian, fashion trend forecaster WGSN, Vogue.com and The Financial Times, where she was the resident philanthropy columnist for the How To Spend It section for six years. She studied Modern History at St Andrews and Quentin Tarantino film at Yale.
Her bestselling debut Witch Wars has been translated into 10 languages so far and was shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award and the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize.
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As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?