Book review

The Road to Farringale

by Charlotte E. English

We live in the 21st century, we don’t have flying cars, so can’t we at least have magic? Maybe it’s that sort of desire that has produced such a wave of “contemporary magic” books in the last decade or two. Or maybe we’ve all read too much Harry Potter, I’m not sure. Either way, this is a nice example of the genre: there’s magic, it’s out there, but it’s been fading for hundreds of years, and now us ordinary people can’t see it – and those who can, like Cordelia “Ves” Vesper, the hero of this book, seem to have a whale of a time with it.

Here, we follow Ves as she works with her new partner, Jay, to discover what’s ailing the troll communities of Britain, many of whom seem to be turning in on themselves in a rather alarming way. We’re in book 1 of a series here, so there is some development of the characters, with Ves receiving most of the spotlight, and Jay less so. I liked the setting, too, with the ancient manor house where their organisation is headquartered also playing a significant role. The writing flowed smoothly, but I did feel a little short-changed when the whole thing wrapped up in about 120 pages, all a little too neatly, and with perhaps not enough time for me to get properly engaged with the world.

Still, lots of enjoy here, so three stars for some engaging writing and interesting segments.