Publisher: Macmillan Children's books
Fans of Eva Ibbotson's fantasy fiction will know that she has long written about wizards and magical platforms at King's Cross - even before their renewed popularity in recent years!
Arriman the Awful (Wizard of the North) needs a wife, so he organises a spell-casting competition to find 'Miss Witch of Todcaster' to be his bride.
This immensely enjoyable tale of magical mayhem combines genuinely fearful magical elements (and some pathos) with rich, knockabout humour; who could take seriously a witch's familiar that is a worm called Roger?
By naming her protagonists so aptly, Ibbotson wonderfully enriches her characterisation. This is an excellent and stimulating choice for confident readers seeking to develop their reading stamina before approaching the larger works of fantasy.