It was a snowy night in January when I curled up with Hapenny Magick and, I'm glad to say, it warmed my heart, indeed.
What a charming book! I must pause here for a moment to rave about the illustrations. They are, in short, breathtaking. The whimsy of Jennifer's voice is infused into Pat Ann's illustrations. Her characters really come to life--and what characters they are!
Mean, spiteful Gelbane, the Guardian of our feisty heroine, Maewyn, storms off the page and Callum, the wizard, has a beard so flowing, I swear it really did tickle my nose ;o).
This brings me to the book, itself: a more engrossing adventure for children, I have not read, in years. Hapenny Magick is a somewhat traditional tale, with poor orphaned Maewyn left at the clutches of evil Gelbane at the start, but she is no shrinking violet waiting for her Prince to save the day. No. When a strange, talking crow lures her away from enslavement to the comparative bliss of a Wood Wizard's cozy home, Mae discovers that, small as she may be, her destiny is great.
I don't want to ruin the story by leaving any spoilers, but some of the things I love best about Mae are her courage, sense of duty, and sense of self-reliance. Before it's over, Mae needs to save herself, her friends, and her whole village from an army of hungry Trolls, and it'll take more than just her magickal talents, to do it.
Does Mae find the strength to persevere and triumph? I'll leave you to find out.
Hapenny Magick is a thoroughly engaging, lovely fairy tale for children of all ages. Jennifer's skillful prose weaves Magick and whimsy into every line. What a joy it was to read this book.
You can find Hapenny Magick by Jennifer Carson, here: