Sunday, November 24, 2019

MMGM: The Little Grey Girl (The Wild Magic Trilogy #2) by Celine Kiernan

It's moving day for Mup Taylor, her mam, dad, and little brother Tipper now that the old queen, Mup's grandmother, and her band of raggedly witches have been defeated. Of course, the old queen and her raggedly entourage aren't dead, just gone - but for how long is anybody's guess. Now, though, it's off to the magical Witches Borough in the Glittering Land, leaving the mundane world behind, to live in the old queen's enormous castle. But no sooner do they arrive but there's trouble. Mam wants to run the Witches Borough as a democracy, but the people who sided with her instead of the old queen expect her to accept the crown and rule them, more kindly than her mother had, but still as a monarchy.

The castle is big and cold, and there are a number of ghosts living there as well a real people. Mup has her own room across from her best friend Crow's room. Crow is a shapeshifting boy who can transform into a raven. He has apparently lost his parents, but for all that he wants to be a part of a family like the Taylors, he also wants to be free. And he has difficulty dealing with Mup's raggedly witch magic. It is that kind of magic that been used to force the people of the Glittering Land into submission.

Even before she has settled into her new home, she notices a girl around her age lucking in the courtyard near the tunnel that leads to the dungeons where Mup and her dad had been kept by the old queen. The girl, who has a grey tint to her specter, turns out to be a ghost hellbent on causing vengeful trouble for the castle's new occupants, especially Mup. Using her own ashiness, the grey girl draws pictures around the castle which causes anyone who goes near them be come paralyzed with overwhelming grief. Is the grey girl part of the old queen's plan to defeat her daughter and return to power? It certainly seems so, especially when it begins to snow so heavily it isolated the people in the castle and feels like a curse from the old queen.

I loved reading Begone the Raggedly Witches and couldn't wait to read The Little Grey Girl. And boy howdy, I was not disappointed. Most of the story takes place in or around the castle grounds, including the dungeons under the castle, which makes sense since this book doesn't really continue the power tug of war between the old queen and her daughter. Forbidden to use magic under the old queen's oppressive rule, the residents of the Witches Borough are at a loss for who they are as a people now that they can use their innate magical abilities.

I was very happy to see that Kierman has kept all the characters true to who they were in the first book. Tipper, enjoying life in the shape of a dog, is just as adorable as ever, while Mup, mam, and dad are the same kind, concerned, and caring people and Mup's courage in confronting the dungeons to discover what is motiving the little grey girl to unleash so much suffering on the castle's residents is admirable. Crow is still a most conflicted character, not sure what he really wants, but always loyal to Mup, even when they have a falling out.

Once again, Kiernan has tackled familiar themes of strong family ties, true friendship, as well as the disastrous affects of oppression on people  individually and as a whole, themes that will resonant all too much with today's world.

Oh, yes, and the good news is that Book Three, The Promise Witch, is scheduled to be released in England on June 4, 2020, which gives everyone plenty of time to read, reread, and savor Begone the Raggedly Witches and The Little Grey Girl.

This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was an EARC gratefully received from the publisher, Candlewick Press, and NetGalley.
Be sure to check out the other Marvelous Middle Grade Monday offerings, now being carried on by Greg at Always in the Middle. 


  1. You sold me on this series. It has all of the elements of a great fantasy with believable characters. Thanks for sharing and recommending!

  2. What a great story line. I'll have to go back and begin with book one. The characters and setting along with the fantasy element have me hooked. Thanks for sharing on MMGM.

  3. Oh my gosh, I love the themes and the story sounds so cool. I haven't read this series yet, but I love witches and weird things like that. Perhaps over Thanksgiving break I'll get around to it... Thanks for the review!!

  4. Well, this does sound like a terrific story. Thanks for telling me about it. I find the title very intriguing. I'll try to get to it soon.

  5. I'm having a hard time getting students to check out fantasy books, but I may have to take a look at this one. Series are also not doing well-- I wonder why my students are so at odds with what is being published!

  6. This sounds like a great read for kids and adults who love to read in the fantasy genre. I really like the font and colors the designer used on the cover. Thanks for sharing this title for MMGM.


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