Released: 28th January 2019
Publisher: Nielson / Wyrmwood
Genre: Children's adventure
Just a walk in the countryside. What could possibly go wrong…
Sam Jones's grandmother is training him to be one of the Cunning Folk, like her. And exams are looming.
But Sam's mother has holiday plans and drags him off to a remote cottage in the middle of nowhere for some country air. No mobile phone, nettle soup and long walks are the rule. One such walk takes them to Ragman's Hollow, a place the locals avoid with good reason.
It's a place where people and animals go missing, never to be found.
That's just superstitious nonsense, according to Sam's mother. But there is no smoke without fire and Sam soon finds himself up against an old, very spiteful, and very tricky enemy.
He's going to need every ounce of his cunning to stop the Ragman. But can he do it alone?
The Curse of Ragman's Hollow is the third spooky tale about a young boy and his Cunning family, full of adventure, warmth, mystery and humour. If you like Neil Gaiman's Coraline and all of Roald Dahl, you'll LOVE the Merryweathers Mysteries.
If you're looking for a funny, magical kid's adventure story, then this is the one for you.
I don't often read children's fiction, but I was a Roald Dahl fan when I was little and was drawn to this premise due to the remote country setting and the mystical elements in the blurb - I wasn't disappointed. The characters were charming, funny and colourful and the plot was quite fast paced and intriguing.
I did find it odd that Sam's mother was only ever referred to as Mrs. Jones but I liked her character arc and I loved the grandmother's involvement. I found something slightly reminiscent of George's Marvellous Medicine, though I can't decide what, but that helped this book feel nostalgic and even more magical in my mind.
The adventure was well paced and the ending satisfying, and given that it's such a short book at around 160 pages I won't say much more than that.
If you have little ones to read to, or you yourself enjoy children's literature, I'd recommend giving the Merryweathers Mysteries a go - I believe they can be read as stand alone books or as a series. The story looks at family, acceptance and courage as well as bodily difference and I thought these were all important and well handled themes.
Many thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and Rhys A Jones for inviting me to be part of this tour and for sending me a copy for an honest review.