Review: The House at the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes

Happy Book Birthday to a wonderfully quirky magical book! And welcome to my first MG book review of the year. I think we can all agree we need all the magic we can get our hands on these days. Here’s a story that has it in spades!


author: Amy Sparkes

Walker Books (7 January 2021)

ISBN: 9781406395310

Nine is an orphan who had been scooped off the streets by Pockets when she was teeny and given a home. All she has to do is find him treasures…in other peoples’ pockets and purses. But lately, Nine has fallen out of favour with Pockets. Plucking a tiny house ornament from a mysterious womans’ purse, Nine is sure her luck is about to change. As she knocks on its’ tiny door, suddenly it grows into an enormous, higgledy-piggledy house. It belongs to a young wizard named Flabberghast, with a very competitive streak when it comes to hopscotch, a hideous troll housekeeper with a strange attachment to his feather duster and Dr. Spoon, a scientist who happens to be a spoon and has a very quick temper. Flabberghast explains that the house and all who live in it are under the curse of an evil witch and Nine, because she knocked on the door, is fated to break that curse. She is their rescuer. Nope! Nine is having none of this, but the offer of a fortune that will see her free from Pockets’ grasp may be enough to change her mind.

With a feel of “Oliver Twist” and some of the most quirky, magical moments I have ever read, this book is brilliant! Fabulous characters lead the chase through an expertly crafted world, allowing the whole story to burst off the page! Nine is sympathetically drawn with heart and humour . Clever, quick, well-read thanks to her forays into the nearby, old library (and the library is VERY important to the tale) and filled with frustration and a drive to change her circumstances and take charge of her own life regardless of the constant plot twists and surprises placed in her way. She wins over the heart and mind immediately. She meets ever-increasing magical challenges as the bizarre new (and largely unwanted) friends she finds herself with are adept at creating new levels of mayhem. The rollicking pace not only keeps the reader on the edge of their seat cheering Nine on, but also entertains, enthralls and brings laugh after laugh. I didn’t want it to end! Fortunately, as this is the first in a new series, more magical adventures are on the way. Implausible, hilarious and filled with heart, what a great way to start the reading year!

Many, many thanks to Walker Books for sending a proof copy of this exceptional, wonderful, magical book.

2 thoughts on “Review: The House at the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes

  1. I reviewed this for The School Librarian journal and completely agree with your review. This is a genuinely funny book but with a lovely story at its heart and I particularly liked the way the library was incorporated into the story too. A great start to a new series.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s