Author: Karen Cushman
Publisher: Clarion Books (To be released June 7, 2016)
Digital review copy courtesy of NetGalley
Grayling's life is not easy and her mother, the local wise woman (witch), is demanding and tough and belittles Grayling constantly. But when a dark force burns down their house, steals her mother's book of spells and roots her mother to the ground where she starts to turn slowly into a tree, it is up to Grayling to find the spell book and rescue her mother.
Gathering a strange group of companions on her way, Grayling goes forth, doubting her companions and herself most of all. But as they struggles through many perils and entrapments, Grayling learns that there is more to magic than sheer power, and that she is capable of far more than her scant magical abilities might suggest.
In a richly developed world both like and unlike medieval England, the author takes us on a helter-skelter trip where magic is woven into the tapestry of the world, but is never the main thread. Middle grade readers will love Pook the shape-shifting mouse and Grayling's sundry companions, but most of all Grayling herself.
Five of five stars.