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Review: A Storm of Sisters by Michelle Harrison

A ghostly winter adventure for the Widdershins sisters based on the Alfred Noyes' poem The Highwayman for ages 8+.

"One day, almost forty years after it had been stolen, the crystal ball sensed a new presence and it was an intriguing one...Three sisters with their own pinch of magic."

A Storm of Sister is the fourth adventure of the intrepid Widdershins sisters, adventurous Betty, gentle Fliss and brave Charlie, and this is every bit as magical and adventurous as their previous outings.

Michelle Harrison's Pinch of Magic series is one of my favourite middle grade series of all time and she continues to produce tales which thrill the reader. The imaginative landscapes and mythologies she creates for each story have made each book feel very different, but her cleverly drawn characters and mystery plot lines are consistent and I enjoy returning to the world of the Widdershins sisters each time. This tale is inspired by The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, a haunting poem that is still a firm favourite in primary schools.

After their father's cousin Clarissa breaks her ankle, the girls and Granny set off the remote town of Wilderness to help their grumpy relative. It is deepest winter and the town of Wilderness, covered in ice and snow, is preparing for their famous winter festival: the girls cannot wait to explore the market stalls selling snow globes, hot chocolate and all manner of wintery delights. Fliss is thrilled to hear there is also a masked ball at Echo Hall where the sisters will be staying. Mystery and ghostly goings on soon occur, as the girls learn a local legend of a highwayman, the ghost of his young love who haunts the hall and a stolen crystal ball at the bottom of the lake. The romantic tale has a dark side to it, however, as legend has it that if you see the ghost at a window of the Hall, it foretells the death of a loved one...

The place names in the book are alluring and intriguing - Dead man's Curve, Echo Hall, Shivershock Lake and Chill Hill - providing readers with a fairy tale setting which is as enchanting to them as the wonderful characters. Melissa Castrillon has produced yet another stunning cover which is complimented by sprayed edges if you get the Waterstone's exclusive edition.

The excellent website Authorfy also has some fantastic free teaching resources for Michelle Harrison's work. Take a look at my blog posts for A Sprinkle of Sorcery and A Tangle of Spells, plus my more in-depth video reviews available on YouTube:

A Storm of Sisters is published on the 3rd of February and I was thrilled to read an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Simon and Schuster in exchange for my impartial review. I cannot recommend this entire series highly enough!

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