Title: Here Be Wizards (Snowdonia Chronicles #3)
Author: Sarah Mussi
Illustrator: Simon Norris
Cover Illustrator: Nathan Ryder
Publisher: Shrine Bell
Genre: Teen/young adult ficiton, Fantasy – Contemporary/Urban, Folklore
Book format: Paperback
Description: Ellie s dreams of being with Henry, her ONE TRUE LOVE, are not going to happen. Not while Henry is trapped under a mountain BATTLING with his arch-enemy, the EVIL WHITE DRAGON.
But when FLAMES from the FAE LANDS of Annwyn incinerate Snowdon, Ellie needs Henry to stop the fire spreading and that means defeating the White Dragon ONCE AND FOR ALL.
With best friends, dependable George and embarrassing/brave Rhi, Ellie sets out to locate a MAGICAL SWORD, find a WIZARD that can slay a dragon and finally FREE Henry.
As WILD FIRE sweeps through the mountains, Ellie and her friends have little time to journey into the LETHAL REALM of the Fae Lands and SAVE their beloved SNOWDONIA.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is the conclusion to the ‘Snowdonia Chronicles’ trilogy and wow, is it compelling and filled with such an exciting adventure! ‘Here Be Wizards’ is the final part to this trilogy which has been building up since the first book ‘Here Be Dragons’. The whole of Snowdonia is in trouble with wild magical fires that threaten to burn everything in their path. Ellie and her friends must go on a difficult journey to try and stop the fire, but a lot of unexpected things happen and could it be too late to free Henry and have a happy ending?
I read the trilogy a bit out of order, having read book two before reading book one, but now all caught up I couldn’t wait to see what would happen in this final part of the story. The story begins on Midsummer’s Eve, a time when the veil between worlds is the thinnest, but something happens which sparks off a terrible magical fire, a fire which threatens to burn the whole of Snowdonia and beyond. It was easy to get into this book right away and pick up the story from the previous book ‘Here Be Witches’. I don’t want to give away too much to people who have yet to read the first two books, but this story should be read as part of the trilogy (not a standalone) as it might not make as much sense without understanding the background and characters.
There are three parts to the book, known as Acts and at the start of each Act are some quotes from certain folklore texts. A lot happens in this book and I think the pace of all the action goes up especially when Ellie and her friends enter the fae lands. I enjoyed the way they entered and what happens in here, especially as there are a lot of references to different folklore which ends up involving Ellie’s friends in a way I didn’t see coming. A lot happens in this magical realm and we meet several new character and I just enjoyed every moment of their time there. As I said, the adventure keeps up a fast pace as it led to a very dramatic final part.
I’m in two minds about the ending of the story. It was a very satisfying conclusion, and you do feel as if everything has resolved itself and overall I did enjoy reading this book, but at the same time I did hope for something slightly different to happen to a couple of the characters, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit of a mix of emotions when I finally put the book down. The dramatic final battle (if I can call it that) was really good. I didn’t know what would happen at all. I couldn’t put this book down at all for the whole final Act and I felt so sucked into what was happening! It was dramatic, shocking, sad and good all at the same time. As I said, the ending is overall really good, but I just thought something more or different would happen to a couple of the characters (even though their conclusions are ultimately good).
The book doesn’t have anything too upsetting for younger teen readers although there are a few mentions of some blood, death and violence, though not overly descriptive. The book does use a lot of what I call teen or text speak which didn’t annoy me (as I got used to Ellie and friends using words like ‘obvs’) although it did seem a bit weird when a wizard started using the same language – although I have to admit that what happens in that part is quite funny! There is a map at the start of the book and the font of the text changes in certain areas depending on where characters are. The book also has some references at the bottom of some pages with extra information about some folklore or something that readers may not know or understand, which is helpful.
Overall I really did like this book and the trilogy on the whole. There is such an amazing adventure, and this final part really brings a great conclusion to all the characters involved. I really enjoyed the Welsh folklore being a part of the story too, and how it intertwined with the modern day setting and characters. I have enjoyed reading ‘Here Be Wizards’ and would recommend this book and this trilogy to anyone interested in a modern day fantasy story using Welsh folklore. ‘Here Be Wizards’ is an amazing and compelling read, and while I might have liked a slightly different ending to a couple of the characters, it is a great final end to the whole adventure.
Have you read The Snowdonia Chronicles? Do you enjoy contemporary/urban fantasy? What about books that focus on folklore? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂