Inspired by author and illustrator Tim Tilly’s childhood, spent roaming in what he refers to as a “ghost forest” in Braunstone, Witchstorm follows Will, a Fenland boy. After his mother disappears while on the hunt for a lost witch treasure, the appearance of another witch who arrives in the eye of a storm turns Will’s world upside down.
The prose in this unusual and captivating narrative is elegant and pared back, and the novel is peppered with minimalistic black and white illustrations which harmonise with the focal points of the novel, without interrupting the flow of the story. Witchstorm has a distinctly haunting quality to it, and contains scenes of genuine magnitude and excitement. As such, this novel is guaranteed to interest any young fan of Neil Gaiman or Philip Pullman.
While the first person narration is at times not entirely convincing, and the dialogue somewhat lacking in authenticity, the storytelling and gripping fantasy elements shine through. While falling firmly into the fantasy genre, Witchstorm contains a strong environmentalist message, with the magical elements of the story conveying an ecological twist about the importance of caring for the earth. A timely and original tale, Witchstorm is the ideal novel for fantasy lovers and budding environmentalist alike.