Review: The Spellbinding Secret of Avery Buckle

This is our favourite read of the year, so far – a fast-paced, magical adventure that takes readers to iconic settings in the company of characters who are memorable, endearing, and so much fun!

Avery’s daily life seems quite normal (apart from her shimmering guardians and the fact that she is half cat) until, at the school Halloween disco, she is pursued by shadows and discovers that her best friend Low has feathers.

Guided by an enchanted peach stone, the pair flee to a witches’ hideout at the National Library of Scotland, but danger catches up with them even there. If she is to protect her friends, new and old, Avery must discover who wants to kill her – and why.

There are so many lovely touches to this story, from a flying tandem named Sparrow, to Orkney’s fiddle-playing stone giants, and even its darker elements are exposed with a gentle touch (which we value, having read several too-scary stories recently). There is a delicious shiver of danger that keeps us turning pages, but it never creeps into nightmare.

The Spellbinding Secret of Avery Buckle is a tale about courage, friendship and belonging. While lost in its pages, we felt we belonged with Avery and her extraordinary companions, and certainly hope to be spending time with them again before too long.

The Spellbinding Secret of Avery Buckle, by Hannah Foley (Kelpies)

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