Dark Spell by Gill Arbuthnot

Official blurb:

Fifteen-year-year-old Callie Hall has just found out that she is a witch…and things keep going wrong. Sometimes her mind seems to make things happen, things she cannot control. She can set fire to things without a match, and when shes angry people can get hurt. Her friend Josh understands that she’s a bit strange, but it is only on a dark and dangerous visit to the tunnels beneath the ruins of St Andrews’ castle that he realizes just how strange she really is. Something comes back with Callie–in Callie–something she cannot escape. Can Callie control her power long enough to send back the darkness before it takes over her life?

Cover of Dark Spell by Gill Arbuthnott, magic and danger as the past haunts the present, YA novel

Click to read the preview

Review by Katy Haye:

This is a cracking YA novel with witches and evil spirits crossing the centuries and a young witch learning to understand and use her powers. I loved it. It was tense and scary, interspersed with relaxed family and friend scenes which gave me a chance to unwind from the drama.

Scottish myths and folklore was also incorporated into the story which was fascinating – I wanted to visit St Andrews and have a poke around after reading the book (hopefully without waking anything malign…).

The relationship between Callie and Josh was skillfully handled – it’s definitely not a romance. What they have is friendship and yes, there’s scope for more (isn’t there usually when you’re friends?), but nothing was expected of either of them which I found quite refreshing.

I’ll look out for more from Gill Arbuthnott – this one gets a solid 4 out of 5.

piranha stars turquoise 4

When not scoffing chocolate brazils (roll on the end of Lent!) Katy Haye writes fast-paced fantasy for YA readers. Check out The Last Gatekeeper and The Last Dreamseer.

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