A fantastically dark tale of witches and magic that might be a bit too disturbing for younger readers.
On the other hand, if I was still 10 I'd devour
this book much like the Jabenhook gobbles up Death.
After finishing this I was trying to figure out what I could compare this to and both Labyrinth and The Neverending Story came to mind. Not because the stories are similar, but because of the tone
. Checking them out as an adult you might wonder why you weren't incredibly creeped out and scared while watching them. Take Artax and the Swamp of Sadness for example; I honestly didn't even remember
that scene but when I watched it recently I was a sobbing mess. (I honestly can't even look at screencaps of that scene - google at your own risk!) I think we sometimes forget that a lot of themes go over children's heads and what might bother us as an adult didn't even faze us when we were younger.
I raced through this in pretty much one sitting and was pleasantly surprised at the twists and turns it took. This is a very smartly written book without overly flowery prose that still manages to be quite magical.
There is a surprising amount of death and darkness in this story but there's also some great lessons taught. Grief casts a veil over Kara, the main character, throughout the story and it often made my heart ache. Her father was a surprising source of empathy, and her brother, Taff, was a much needed light in all of the darkness. I want to complain about Kara's tormentor, Grace, being the quintessential mean popular pretty girl, but she was fascinating and multi-demensional: not the one-note bully most villains end up being.
It's quite possible that many might pass this up because it looks like it's written for kids, but believe me when I say this is an excellent story that readers of any age would love. If you're a parent you might want to read it first, but for everyone else, pick up this book the next time you're in the mood for some wild dark fantasy.