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The Threads of Magic

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Pip lives on his wits in the city of Clarel. When he pickpockets the wrong man, he finds himself in possession of a strange object – a heart in a silver casket. What’s more, the heart seems to be trying to communicate with Pip, and the royal officials who lost it will stop at nothing to get it back.

Pip has unwittingly broken an ancient spell, and his theft will have far-re
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 5th 2020 by Walker Books
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Belles Middle Grade Library
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a dark, thrilling read! I’d say definitely upper MG. We have royals, witches, Spectres who eat souls, & a heart trapped in a stone.. just to name a few things lol Pip & his sister El are orphans. He is also a pickpocket. 1 night he steals what he thinks is a treasure, in a very fancy expensive looking silver casket. What he finds is a stone that looks like a heart. Stranger, it seems to be trying to communicate w/him. The evil people who lost it will stop at nothing to get it back. Pip ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yes! Dear lord, yes!

Thank you, Alison Croggon. You've written the kind of kid's novel I've always hoped to read.

A dark, rich, complex setting and plot, just teeming with the kind of prickly, hardened, sly ( yet somehow utterly sympathetic) characters more usual in a Dickens or Susanna Clarke novel than children's fantasy. I usually hate switches in POV, but every unexpected twist and turn brought a new delight or a new terror that dragged me - grinning and fearful - through this excellent, exce
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me a copy of The Threads of Magic in exchange for an honest review!

Pip and his sister are living hand to mouth on whatever Pip can steal.  When he manages to scoop up a strange, but expensive looking box, he's convinced their financial woes are over.  When the pair open the box though, there's just a strange, shrivelled black lump inside, that looks kind of like an old heart.  Pip's sister is convinced the heart is evil and demands Pip get rid of it
Nov 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
An advanced reading copy of this book arrived at my work and I picked it up because the blurb sounded cool and it was recommended for fans of Francis Hardinge, of which I am one (because her stuff is great). After reading about 50 pages I realised that it was actually a kids book recommended for ages 9+, but I kept reading it because whatever it'd be a quick, nice read in between my masses of epic fantasy series that I normally read.
The general plot is that (view spoiler)
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fast-paced MG novel that kept me hooked all the way through. I loved the witches and all the creepiness. This is a story not just about one character, but a whole group of them whose actions matter to the story. In the end, they have to work it out together, and I was impressed with the way each character's role was woven into the plot. The dark elements of the story are well-balanced with its themes of friendship, trust and loyalty. ...more
Mary Judy
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alison Croggon (author of the phenomenal Books of Pellinor series) has woven a mesmerising story, the like of which I have been longing to read. With flowing, lyrical writing and complex world-building, you are thrown into a world of sinister schemes, impossible possibilities and ancient enchantments come to life. Fantasy? Oh yes; but every word is completely believable and fully real as it tells a story of loyalty, sacrifice and bravery. The setting of the story is so expertly described that th ...more
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This charming middle grade book really impressed me! It's so nice to read a standalone fantasy once in a while.

Croggan build a lovely world with princesses, street thieves, witches and talking owls. The bad guy is really bad, and the main characters are all relateably flawed teens doing their best to figure out ethics, friendship, loyalty and courage, while never falling into the trap of sounding like an after school special. If I had had a copy of this when I was 10 or, I probably would have re
Ms. Yingling
Feb 09, 2021 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exciting fantasy for middle grade readers - combines witches, friendship, loyalty & resistance in a heartstopping adventure.
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The plot of The Threads of Magic involves a powerful magical artifact, an ancient war between Specter's and the witches of Clarel, and the royals who want to claim the artifact to further their power. A long time ago, one of the witches created the artifact by taking the heart of a little boy, her intent was to use it to stop the Specter's. However the artifact came with its own difficulties and was thought to be too unstable, it was meant to be imprisoned in the box as its casket. Then Pip took ...more
I love this author's YA series, The Books of Pellinor, so I was very excited when she published a middle-grade fantasy because I get to share her with my sons. The Threads of Magic was rather an epic fantasy middle-grade read; great world building, fantastic cast of characters, dynamic friendships, evil to be vanquished, and all sorts of themes available for discussions. The one thing I was really surprised at was the number of big words (!) so I'd highly recommend this novel for advanced middle ...more
Tina M
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Alison Croggon’s work, and this one is no different.

(I would also like to say from the beginning I’m not one to rehash what you can find out by reading the description. That’s not my way of reviewing. I’d rather discuss what worked for me and what possibly didn’t.)

Thank you for making this a stand-alone and not turning it into the ever increasingly, not always necessary trilogy.

Even as an adult, I appreciated the shorter chapters, although others felt this was negated by the opinion it
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
'The Threads of Magic' is a book filled with soft chimes of terror threatening to engulf you whole. It is a fantasy adventure based on forbidden magic that also tackles the themes of friendship and courage.

Reading this made me feel lost but not totally lost. I had a sense of direction of where the plot was going. At the same time, I wasn't sure where I was. This story spans 384 pages and is quite substantial for younger readers. You thought that there would be a destination the story was going t
Naadhira Zahari
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Threads Of Magic is the story of the people of Clarel who goes through hardship and tackle down a villain together for an overall better life for everyone. Croggon has brought to life a story that is dark, complex and absolutely wonderful. I wish that everyone will get the chance to read this enchanting book that is full of adventure, evil and the greatness of friendship and loyalty.

There really was never a dull and boring moment as I spent my time reading this book. This book is complex an
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
My overall thoughts about this book is that I really enjoyed my time when reading it. It’s easy to read but it tackles some dark themes for a children’s book and it’s packed with action.

My favourite thing about this book was the setting. I think the author handled the worldbuilding so well. I could imagine every place the characters went in my head and put myself in the situation with them without the text getting overly explanatory and repetitive. The world of witches was so interesting to read
Orphan Pip, a young, street-wise pickpocket, hides amongst the shadows of dark alleys to relieve his victims of some of their treasures. One night, unbeknownst to him at first, two nobles drop a curious silver box in a scuffle with other street-goers. Pip picks it up and it changes his life.

He brings the box home to the apartment he shares with his sister, El. There must be some valuable treasure inside to warrant such a magnificent box! Try as they may though, it does not open...that is until
New and marvelous world-building with a trio PLUS of wonderful characters makes a fantasy worth reading. This is an adventure I could not stop reading. It begins in a Dickensian world with a young boy sliding through dark alleys, in and out, back and forth until he sees an opportunity for theft, his way of surviving. It begins with a dropped box, silvery glowing with jewels. He'll eat well tonight! Yet inside that box, that opens only when asked nicely, is something not so nice, actually repugn ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
There was quite a lot of struggle reading this, which is odd because individually I really enjoyed the characters, plot, world...the witches. I think the headhopping held me back from becoming deeply invested in any, as my cold dead heart requires some coddling and a lot of page space to really FEEL.

I would have loved to read this story tethered to one or two characters, but if that were the case I don't know how all the information would find its way to the reader.

I nearly DNF'ed it at about t
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
As this is pitched at younger readers, it is easy to read quite quickly. I love the depth and imagination of Alison Groggons magical worlds. There are themes of friendships, bravery , ruling systems and women’s roles here. The witches had been forced underground, but they still were formidable enough, with the help of Clovis to defeat the Spectres. The children in this are special in some ways, but also retain childish traits. If you are prepared to step into this world, buckle your seat belts a ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fast paced cracking read set in an historical, fantasy country where witchcraft has fallen from favour and is now outlawed. Told from multiple perspectives, and set in the city of Clarel, the lives of four teenagers are intertwined. When Pip steals a silver box that holds a deep dark secret, danger and evil are unleashed as witches and spectres seek to take the heart within for good or evil. An atmospheric adventure younger teens. The ending was just a bit too neat and abrupt to be en ...more
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
Very underwhelming, a little dark for a children's novel. Really liked the themes of kindness and friendship.

(Can anyone tell me how old these kids are? I started off by thinking they're 12-ish and then I got confused. It seemed Oni was older than Pip and roughly the same age as Georgie, but then I am made to believe El is older than Pip for like one chapter, than I'm back to thinking she's 8-10 years old. Is writing children realistically a problem Croggon faces?)
I enjoyed this! It's a great new standalone fantasy (and we always need more of those!) with dark magic, witches, friendship and bravery. This was a well-managed MG fantasy - the danger was very palpable, but not unnecessarily descriptive. While not the best book I've read recently, I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline and how readable it was. I'm definitely interested to see how younger readers find it! ...more
May 29, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
.The Threads of Magic follows the adventure of Pip, young pickpocket, little did he know ,he has pickpocketed the wrong person and finds himself in a bit of trouble. With various plot changes this book might keep you interested.

What I particularly enjoyed about this book is the short chapters so I could take breaks and the connection I started to feel for the characters.
I would recommend this book.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A wonderful tale bursting with adventure and magic!

The fusion of magic within the fabric of the crumbling kingdom created an amazing setting for this awesome middle grade tale. I loved how the streets above (and below!) the kingdom seemed to take on a life of their own alongside the characters.

To me, Pip had great development throughout the story. Though he acted out impulsively at times, it assisted the plot to move forward. I also enjoyed how he and his sister looked out for each other, despit
This book ticks all the MG fantasy boxes. Brave and cheeky characters witches and magic and the types of villains that lift the hair on your arms when you read about them in bed at night. I’ve quickly become a fan of Croggon’s writing; every story has been rich and fresh. I’ll be looking to read more of her work.
Spunky kids, a prince trapped inside a magical object, a band of witches who want to save the world but get bogged down with squabbling, and an evil villain who will stop at nothing to gain immortal life. It feels a little overlong, but will appeal to young fantasy readers who want to see the kids save the day.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Part of my recent historical fiction reading session - enjoyable.
Maree Silver
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: qsl-books
I liked the story/plotline, as well as the outcome happening due to kindness and friendship.
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this one. So great to read a stand alone with a satisfying ending. Pretty creepy for middle grade though. Those spectres...yikes.
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Alison Croggon is the award winning author of the acclaimed fantasy series The Books of Pellinor. You can sign up to her monthly newsletter and receive a free Pellinor story at

Her most recent book is Fleshers, the first in a dazzling new SF series co-written with her husband, acclaimed playwright Daniel Keene. Her latest Pellinor book, The Bone Queen, was a 2016 Aurealis Awards B

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