The Promise Witch

Celine Kiernan. Walker Books. (224p) ISBN 9781406373936

The Promise Witch

The Promise Witch

I’d been waiting on The Promise Witch forever, or that’s how it felt as the first two in the trilogy were soooo good.

From the start I realised that I was really going to enjoy this adventure with Mup and Crow, we see old enemies return and new friends step up.

There were some solid bits of humour throughout the book and there was one spot with the Grey Girl (from book two) which had me splurting my coffee as it reminded me so much of the Ghost of Christmas Present from Scrooged. This didn’t detract from the adventure and peril though, it just highlighted it.

The old Queen is still exerting her influence over Witches Burrough, playing with the weather and environment once more, but Mam is working really hard at getting the people to work together and realise their strength.

During this Magda, Crow’s mum returns and things take a massive turn for the worse, she is trying to return to the old queen, and everything gets caught up in this.

A story about love, sacrifice, loss and acceptance, where people have to help each other and trust each other to finally overcome.


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The Little Grey Girl

Celine Kiernan. Walker Books. (224p) ISBN 9781406373929

The Little Grey Girl

The Little Grey Girl

The Little Grey Girl is the second in Celine Kiernan’s Wild Magic Trilogy and, if anything, is scarier than the first.

Again I was hooked from page one, following this new adventure of Mup and her family in Witches Borough. The evil witch has departed but what has been left behind?

While Mum is trying to sort the Kingdom out and deal with all the conflicting needs and complications from a sudden power vacuum, the ghosts of the past rise from the dark depths of the castle to enact their revenge.

The darkness threatens to overwhelm all who are in the castle and Mup is pushed to her limits to deal with it to save her family and Kingdom.

Dark and haunting with some wonderfully creepy scenes, this is another great book by Celine Kiernan, so looking forward to the next instalment.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Begone the Raggedy Witches

Celine Kiernan. Walker Books. (288p) ISBN 9781406366020

Begone the Raggedy Witches

Begone the Raggedy Witches

Begone the Raggedy Witches was going to be a hard one to beat as my favourite book of the year, and it wasn’t even officially released when I read it! It has the feel of a classic children’s book, with the evil queen and the hero’s quest and will sit well with others such as The Snow Queen, but is also part of a wonderful trend of excellent fantasy books for that 8-12 age range.

The action begins from the moment you open the book with Mup noticing the raggedy witches following them in the trees as they are returning from the hospital.

She has been told not to mention these to her mum, but to tell her aunt if she sees these, but there is a problem… Which I will not give away.

We follow Mup, her mum, little brother (who turns into a dog) in their search through Borough for her dad who has been abducted.

The search also uncovers who the family really are, with twists and turns throughout.

The world that Celine Kiernan conjurs with her writing is both terrific and terrifying in equal measures, with some wonderfully exciting action scenes supported by humour and emotional development of the characters.

I absolutely loved this book, it was so fast-paced that I read it in an evening and wanted more, and hopefully there will be more soon (I know it says it’s a trilogy but I want the others now!)

If I am ever in the position to vote for this book to win anything it will definitely get my vote.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

August update

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country

This month has been a good month for reading including actually enjoying audiobooks for the first time, it’s also been a good month for my blogging in general.

At the start of the month I decided to do some blog consolidation and have now ended up with just four blogs:

Then to complete the social media line up, I’ve now got a Tumblr and Pinterest (though this was suspended in less that 24 hours as I was populating one of the boards and they considered this spam…), just other places for people to connect and see content in the way that they would prefer.

There’s been a lot of work going on in the background on the various blogs. On Indie Bookshops the bookshop listings have been separated into regional pages based on continental areas, it has been one of the most requested features of the website, this will also eventually be converted into an ebook/book with photographs and book tour routes. This is all in place to help Andy and Jack get to know. the blog better.

On this blog I made sure I’ve added all the reviews to various sites around the Internet, I’ve also added links to the To Review list to the actual reviews.

Here’s a quick rundown of the books I’ve read (or listened to) this month:

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Just finished a whole book! Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff had heard mixed reviews of this book, but I really enjoyed it’s twist on the Lovecraftian mythos, low on cosmic horror, high on thrills ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Promise Witch by Celine Kiernan

Wow, bloody hell, what a brilliant finale to The Wild Magic trilogy by Celine Kiernan.

The Promise Witch pulls all the threads from the other books together in a wonderful adventure with Mup and Crow facing frightening enemies and the ending was just beautiful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood

Just finished my first audiobook ever Ministry of Pandemonium by Chris Westwood, a brilliant urban fantasy set in the London of dead souls, Mr October and The Enemy – a war between good and evil and Ben Harvester is in the middle of it – really enjoyed it ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tips from a Publisher by Scott Pack

A brilliantly informative and fun read about how to go about getting your book published – loads of tips and help from Scott Pack. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Holiday Heart by Margarita Garcia Robayo

Translated by Charlotte Coombe.

A couple apart, exploring both their lives. Raw, funny, incisive – Margarita gets to the core of a complicated domestic drama.

Charco Press do it again, I *don’t* read this genre ever but I finished this in a day and wanted more. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

A quick paced, punchy thriller with great characters, really wasn’t the ending I was expecting either.

The audiobook really brought the characters to life in a way I found really satisfying. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Sad Part Was by Prabda Yoon

Translated by Mui Poopoksakul.

A joyfully playful collection of stories with such a wide range and not a weak one amongst them, magical, mystical, mythical, magnificent – personal favourite was Shallow/Deep, Thick/Thin ⭐⭐⭐⭐

SLOOT by Ian Macpherson

Complex, yet compelling, funny and dark at the same time, some great characters inhabit this murder mystery, twists and red herrings, maybe some whopping red whales. Loved the playfulness of it all. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Book of Sheffield edited by Catherine Taylor

An interesting collection of short stories based around the shared experience of living in Sheffield, I really enjoyed the eclectic choices, but I think my favourite by far was How To Love What Dies by Gregory Norminton, really sad. ⭐⭐⭐⭐


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.