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Welwyn Katz.
Vancouver, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 1984.
244pp., paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-88899031-6. A Groundwood Book. CIP.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Susan Radcliffe.

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

On a summer visit to the island of Guernsey, thirteen-year-old Michael Lewis stumbles into a power struggle within a local coven of witches over "a powerful book that is not a book" obtained through the mysterious death of the coven's leader. His friend's wicked stepmother, several other strange deaths, the threat of human sacrifice, and a night of pyrotechnics gone wrong are further elements in the rather improbable plot of this typical super-natural novel.

The book appears to be aimed at a junior high audience, yet its large size and childish cover illustration would probably put off readers of that age. The book might also appeal to school librarians, conscious of Canadian content because of its Canadian author and publisher and funding from the Canada Council. The novel, however, is set in Guernsey and its hero is from Madison, Wisconsin; it contains not the slightest trace of the true North strong and free.

The book is therefore only recommended for libraries that can afford to buy novels indiscriminately, since it has no outstanding features of character or plot that raise it above any other witchcraft novel.

Susan Radcliffe, Centennial C.V.l., Guelph, ON.
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