A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee
Things Annabel Grey wants:
-A pair of emerald green ice skates
-A pink sprigged muslin day dress
-Her mother to come back and take care of her
Things Annabel Grey does not want:
-A quest to save all of London from an evil wizard
to say, Annabel is not going to get much of what she wants, and she is
going to get a great deal of what she doesn't want. Despite her proper
upbringing, Annabel has magic in her veins, and her mother has sent her
to live with her two great-aunts in order to learn witchcraft.
Unfortunately for Annabel, she arrives on the eve of a crisis, when Mr.
Angel, a practitioner of black magic, has perfected a machine that will
allow him to raise an army of shadowlings and take over the world. The
only thing that can stop him is the White Wand, also known as the
Moreover Wand, which lies somewhere beneath London. Only the youngest
member of the Good and Benevolent Magical Society can retrieve the wand
-- and Annabel is the youngest member. Accompanied by a peculiar and
wild girl named Kitty, Annabel must travel along an underground river,
through the Singing Gate and into the Troll Kingdom, across the Lake of
Tears and past the great Wyrm . . . and she must do so before moonrise,
or Mr. Angel wins!
This is a lovely story. The interactions
between the characters are simply perfect, the plot moves on apace, and
the writing is enchanting. I very much enjoyed this book, and would
recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy of manners or well-written juvenile fiction.
(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)