Fantasy,  Review

Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1) by Celine Kiernan

begone raggedy witches

Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1) by Celine Kiernan

Publication Date: September 11th 2018

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Read Date: August 26th 2018

Genre: Children’s Fiction , Middle Grade, Paranormal


Stars: 4/5

4 star

Goodreads blurb_edited

On the night that Aunty dies the Raggedy Witches come for Mup’s mam. Pale, cold, relentless, they will do anything to coax Mam back to Witches Borough. When they kidnap Mup’s dad, Mup and her mam must leave the mundane world to rescue him. But Mam is strange on this side of the border – striding, powerful, and distant. Even if they can save Dad, Mup is not sure anything will ever be the same again…


Begone the Raggedy Witches, first in the The Wild Magic Trilogy, was the mix of magic, spirit and witches with quirky funny characters. Importance of family, compassion, and conscience was the center theme of the book.


Main character Mup was sweet, innocent, brave, good-hearted child who kept her conscience in situations where adults failed. Adults acted more childlike than Mup. She was much more developed than I thought but her understanding grew a lot by the end of the book. Her attire was funny, colorful and quirky, the reason behind her rainbowy attire was cute. She was strong character that I loved to read.

Development of secondary characters, mostly adults, was tremendous. Mam/Stella (Mup’s mother) was reckless and temperamental because of her Aunty (Stella’s mother’s sister who literally raised her and her kids). Her situation was bit understandable looking at the all secrecy and lid Aunty kept about the world she was born into and the powers she held but I didn’t like that she acted childishly before her kids. Tipper and Mup handled things better than her but her love for her family won everything. The new mam that Mup got to see in the new world was fierce, determined and powerful. She surprised me at the end by making a wise decision. At the end I like her.

Aunty was supportive, caring, lovable old lady unlike her sister, The Queen, who was mean power-hungry villain of the book. She protected this little family of Mup even after her death and I liked all she did for them. I wish I could read more about her in the book.

Tipper (Mup’s little brother) was cutest of all. I adored that little kid in his new form. His childish dialect was funny, innocent and sweetest. That little one so brave, he could be fierce like his mother when it comes to saving his family. The Crow was also a character for whom adults and kids alike will feel sympathized. He was rebellious because of adults in clan and their unfair treatment.

What I liked

Loved that cover! It’s so beautiful.

Characters, world, concept and plot was different. I haven’t read any book like this before. It was not the usual witch book that you might have read. Writing was exquisite, I liked it more in second half of the book.

The beginning of the book was intriguing, had a haunting feel with Mup and mam chased by Raggedy witches who were bad scary witches she was warned about by her great-aunt who died just few minutes ago. The terrifying scene of Mup seeing her mother in clutches of witches and seeing her mother losing the recognition of her own kids had a dark effect. Spirit, magic, evil witches, lot of things were going on in first few chapters. It took little time for me to immerse in the story because characters and world was not introduced the usual way. It was the-more-you-read-the-more-you -figure-out-what’s-going- on style in third person narrative.

It was a proper middle grade book as the view point of Mup was portrayed like kids from today’s world. She saw the points from all the aspects which felt unbelievably remarkable for such young child but she also asked questions, held the innocence, and had her own doubts which was believable.

World building was good but not too descriptive which was both plus and minus point. It was like author made readers to use their brain to understand this new world which is called Witches Borough.

Rhymes by rebel males were interesting part of the world building. The rules were different for different people including male and female. Witches turning into animal who are talking, Crow’s hapless efforts of rhyming his thoughts was amusing. Contrary to first book of trilogy, this book focused on the plot and character than the world itself. There was only brief details about the world, not all rules or the different clann were introduced. Those who were important to mention were described that is also briefly. It was nice and had potential that I’m sure will be developed in the next books of the series.

The book was insightful for both adults and kids. The untoward consequences of the wrong doing and control over one’s life, whether with good or bad purpose was represented thorough adults of the book while things have different aspect which depends on view point of the person and one should not lose their conscience no matter how bad the person or situation is, was best told through Mup’s character. It’s a kind of book both parents and kids can enjoy together and can open up a family discussion for them.

Climax was amazingly action packed and exciting. End was nice with lots of possibilities but I liked the way author gave it a different and hopeful turn. No cliff hanger which was a relief. I’m excited to read the second book, I hope it will release soon.

why not 5 stars

Some things I wanted in details regarding the world building, like- spirit concept for witches, characters’ power and their ability, and past of characters- what happened before Aunty whisked away Stella to mundane world and what made her to do so, why the Queen was so delusional about her daughter whom she hardly knew (I think, a chapter long Prologue would have been great for this).


Overall, it was fast paced, unique, insightful witch book. As an adult I enjoyed it so readers aged 9 yrs – 12 yrs will surely love it.


Author: Celine Kiernan

To read author’s bio click on this ⇒ link ⇐ from the Publisher’s site.

Pre-order Begone the Raggedy 

*** Note: I received e-ARC of this book via NetGalley,in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley. ***

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or any book by this author?
Do you like to read witch books? Which one is your favorite?

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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