Hedgewitch #2: Woodwitch – Skye McKenna

Illustrations – Tomislav Tomic

When we first met Cassie, she was just about to run away from her boarding school. It’s a good thing she did, too, because that decision led to her meeting a talking cat named Montague (now her familiar) and finding the family she never knew she had in Hedgely. There she learned that the magic she’d previously only read about is real.

Hedgewitch, the first book in the series, gave loner Cassie somewhere to belong and introduced her to new friends and witchcraft. Thirteen year old Cassie is now a fledgling witch. She lives with her aunt Miranda, the Hedgewitch and Cassie’s Coven Mistress.

Central to the story is Cassie’s search for her mother, who’s been missing for seven and a half years. Aunt Miranda won’t let Cassie go to Faerie to search for her mother until she becomes a fully qualified witch so Cassie is working hard to earn the badges that will allow her to take the final test.

Cassie has the support of her new best friends, Rue and Tabitha. When some people in Hedgely begin acting oddly, Cassie and her friends take it upon themselves to investigate. The Hedge may as well be magnetised given how frequently the girls find their way there when the wards are weakened.

I’m really enjoying this series and am keen to read the next book. The characters are interesting. The central story of each book is resolved, while the overall arc is advanced. I need to go on vacation to Hedgely so I can visit all of its amazing locations.

I need to spend days in Widdershin’s bookshop, whose proprietor understands the value of first edition books. On the way, I’ll be visiting Marchpane’s, the bakery and sweet shop, and Bramble’s, the tea room. I hope Aunt Miranda doesn’t mind company because I’m moving in to Hartwood Hall.

Favourite quote:

‘But books can change you, change the way you see the world, and then there’s no going back.’

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Welbeck Flame, an imprint of Welbeck Children’s Limited, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Step into the magical world of Hedgewitch, where the land of Faerie lies just beyond our own…

Cassie has settled into her new life in the village of Hedgely, but as the nights grow longer, a dark shadow creeps out of the vast, magical forest of the Hedge.

When villagers start behaving strangely, possessed with the desire to find a mysterious object, Cassie, Rue and Tabitha decide to investigate and discover that whoever is controlling the villagers is seeking a faery relic: a dangerous enchanted weapon, hidden somewhere in the village.

Their witchcraft training is put to the test as they venture deeper into the Hedge, encounter the ancient ‘Watchers’ of the wood and race to find the faery treasure before it falls into the hands of the Erl King.

Witches aren’t born, they’re made…

Hedgewitch – Skye McKenna

Illustrations – Tomislav Tomic

For we are witches, one and all,
And we are not afraid
Of goblins, grigs and gwyllions,
Our wards and charms are laid. 

All Cassie Morgan has to remember her mother by is a mysterious key and the promise she made that she would wait for her. Cassie never imagined she would still be waiting for her seven years later, behind the bars of Fowell House, with its questionable food, detestable teachers, a headmistress who’d give the Trunchbull a run for her money and the bullies on the hockey team.

When Cassie runs away from her boarding school, a talking cat named Montague accompanies her to Hedgely, where she meets the family she never knew existed. Only, her mother is not with them. It turns out the stories Cassie has been reading about faeries shouldn’t have been filed under fiction, and witchcraft? It’s real, too. 

The first in a five book series, Hedgewitch was a lot of fun. Being a new series, there were so many new people and non-humans to meet. 

When we join twelve year old Cassie at Fowell House, she’s an outcast whose primary escape when she’s perfecting her invisibility is reading. Once she arrives in Hedgely, some things come naturally to her but she struggles with others. The pain she feels as a result of her mother’s absence is always there but, despite this, Cassie has an unshakeable optimism. 

While Ivy has the potential for complexity due to both her personality and home life, so far she’s mostly sycophantic. Rue and Tabitha have the makings of being both supportive friends to Cassie and good teammates. 

For we are witches, one and all,
A coven of the best.
Good friends who stand together 
Through any threat or test. 

We’ve gone to work with the Hedgewitch but I suspect her page time will increase as the series continues and we’ll get to see what she’s truly capable of.

Montague, though? A mixture of wisdom and cattitude, Montague is perfect already. Joining Montague in the ranks of practically perfect in every way is Mrs Briggs, who smells of gingerbread and is welcome to cook for me whenever she wants.

Hedgely has many stores I want to explore further in future books but none as much as Marchpane’s, where I’ll be eating when Mrs Briggs goes on strike, and Widdershin’s, a Tardis bookstore.


I’m keen to join Cassie as she continues to search for her mother and am looking forward to coming face to creepy bone mask with the Erl King.

Magic I most wish was real: Spoon of Eternal Pudding. 

For we are witches, one and all,
We know, protect and heal,
With noble hearts, loyal and kind,
And courage true as steel! 

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Welbeck Flame, an imprint of Welbeck Children’s Limited, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

It has been seven years since Cassie Morgan last saw her mother. Left at a dreary boarding school, she spends her days hiding from the school bully and reading forbidden story books about the world of Faerie.

Certain that her mother is still alive, Cassie is determined to find her, whatever the dangers, and runs away from school. Lost and alone, she is chased by a pack of goblins but, to her surprise, escapes with the help of a flying broom and a talking cat named Montague, who takes her to the cosy village of Hedgely.

Here she discovers that she comes from a family of witches, women who protect Britain from the denizens of Faerie, who are all too real and far more frightening than her story books suggest.