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Begone the Raggedy Witches

(The Wild Magic Trilogy #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  143 reviews
On the night that Aunty dies the Raggedy Witches come for Mup's mam. Pale, cold, relentless, they will do anything to coax Mam back to Witches Borough. When they kidnap Mup's dad, Mup and her mam must leave the mundane world to rescue him. But Mam is strange on this side of the border - striding, powerful, and distant. Even if they can save Dad, Mup is not sure anything wi ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Walker Books
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  367 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Whispering Stories
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Mup’s Dad has been taken to Witches Borough, a place which is ruled by her Grandmother who isn’t very nice. Her Mam, Stella, was raised by her Aunty and kept away from Witches Borough but now that her Aunty has died (though still there in spirit) the Witches want to take Stella back.

When she resists her husband is taken and it is up to Stella, Mup, Tipper (Mup’s baby brother that has been turned into a dog), and the family pet dog Badger to cro
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I LOVED THIS SO MUCH! I'll be talking more about this book really soon!
Kerri Duff
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because I just couldn't resist the combination of that title with that beautiful cover - a cover that I have looked at countless times as I read the story; I think it fits the book perfectly. It's by Victoria Semykina, who also provides equally stunning illustrations throughout the book.

So yes, I judged on appearances and I'm glad I did! With this book Celine Kiernan has caught my attention - she is excellent. I loved everything about this, it was unique and strange and absol
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, series, kindle
Irish author Celine Kiernan has created a delightful middle grade series that shows the importance of being a good friend and the importance of family. The action begins almost immediately with the disappearance of Mup's father. It is on the same night that Mup learns that her mother has a magical past. Plenty of colorful characters and an interesting world. I don't read very many middle grade books, but I felt it was light and airy with plenty of kids friendly humor.

Thanks to Netgalley for an
Kate Forsyth
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Celine Kiernan is an Irish writer, illustrator and animator best known for her wonderful Moorehawke fantasy series for young adults, which I read and loved many years ago. Begone the Raggedy Witches is aimed at a younger readership, but it shares the vivid and atmospheric world-building, the strong and empathetic characters, and the powerful plot engine which keeps the story whizzing along.
The story begins when Mup realises that their car is being followed home from the hospital by a troop of da
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
When I was a child my favourite things in books were, in this order:
1. Girls who got things done
2. Witches
3. Dogs
Begone the Raggedy Witches has all of these in spades and I absolutely blooming loved it, as evidenced by reading it in two absorbed sittings this weekend.

Mup is a little girl with a rabbit hat and frog wellies, who lives in a house by the woods with her mam, her little brother Tipper and an elderly Labrador called Badger. Her dad works away on the oil rigs, and her 'Aunty', who has
Robin Stevens
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
An exciting magical adventure that's beautifully written and very touching. I loved Mup as a main character, and the world of the raggedy witches is gorgeously described. A wonderful book! (10+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Sinéad O'Hart
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, atmospheric, evocative and pacy read. Mup was a beautiful character, brave and vulnerable and clever, and Crow broke my heart. I found the Raggedy Witches truly chilling, and the folklore/magic/touches of Irish language were very pleasing. I have loved all of Celine Kiernan's work for older readers so it's no surprise I enjoyed every word of this - I can't wait for the sequels.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
Gorgeously magical, beautifully written and unique, with deep, resonant questions about women and power and responsibility, and three generations of fierce, fascinating women all on a fantasy adventure together. I loved it, and I cannot wait for Book 2!

(I almost never dog-ear books, but I folded page after page of this one when particular lines and big ethical questions hit me so hard that I knew I would want to come back to them!)
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witches, middle-grade
I often more than not hear people say that to make a strong Middle-Grade character you need to take the parents out of the picture because we have the wrong notion that to take care of a child is to boss them around and take away their freedom.

Begone The Raggedy Witches defies all these stereotypes and more with Mup, an awesome little girl, in the quest to rescue her dad with her Mam, her Aunty, little brother Tipper and Badger, the family's dog.

They leave our world to brave through the bright
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I enjoyed reading this book jam-packed with magic and familial love. Mup is such a caring, brave heroine, and I adored the ending.

The beginning was quite scary—I hate to admit it, but this children's book actually gave me nightmares after I read it before bed the first night. The rest was pretty intense too, as far as scariness levels (throughout) and also emotions (near the end).

So: magical, exciting, action-packed, but maybe not for the very sensitive or easily frightened child. I would defini
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was indeed Ireland’s answer to JK Rowling! A middle grade, magical adventure that crosses over realms for a challenge between good and evil and a young girl’s quest to saved loved ones. Although the target audience would be middle grade readers from ages 8 and up, I found it to be so well written, even adults could enjoy the tale. The story is fast paced and the action begins from page one and manages to hold the reader captive to the end. I believe this is a promising start to an epic tril ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
*** Note: I received e-ARC of this book via NetGalley,in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley. ***

Begone the Raggedy Witches, first in the The Wild Magic Trilogy, was the mix of magic, spirit and witches with quirky funny characters. Importance of family, compassion, and conscience was the center theme of the book.


Main character Mup was sweet, innocent, brave, good-hearted child who kept her conscience in situations where adults failed. Adults
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Aunty Boo had always been the one who protected Mup and her family from the evil raggedy witches by by trying to keep them safe in the mundane world. But no sooner does Aunty pass away, and a bunch of raggedy witches arrive at their home, with the intention of kidnapping Mup's Mam, Stella, and bringing her back across the border to her birthplace in the Witches Borough in the Glittering Land where Mup's tyrannical grandmother rules as Queen. With Aunty gone, the Queen is afraid that Mam will wan ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mup is a young tween who spots the men and women witches in the trees following her and her mom as they drive home to see Aunty. The night Aunty dies. The night when everything changes and it is revealed that Mup's mam is the daughter of a tyrannical queen of Witches Borough. This is part road-trip to save her kidnapped dad, part a coming-of-magical-age, and part the story of the side-kicks because Mup's mam is the one that is the "Chosen One". And yet; Mup can also turn into a rabbit; a "stitch ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a really enjoyable children's fantasy story with horror elements. Although aimed at children, the stories themes and characters are relatable on a grander scale. The fantastical story of a hidden world of witches was gripping and fun. I will be looking to complete the trilogy.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, own-e-copy
"I want to help fix what my mother did there — help people learn how to work together, and how to speak freely. Help build a world where all magics are equal, and all voices, big and small, can be heard.”"

I. ADORED. THIS. BOOK. It has everything - diversity, morals, captivating story, compelling, imperfect characters, using plot as a device to discuss topics such as freedom of speech, acceptance, equality, kindness, passing away (in a very tender way, may I point out) and family. If I every have
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! Some really unique imaginings. I fell in love instantly and cannot wait to read the next one! Fantastic reading for anyone who loves magic with a twist of darkness.
Stephen Baird
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is going to be a hard one to beat as my favourite book of the year, and it's not even officially released yet! It has the feel of a classic childrens book, with the evil queen and the hero's quest and will sit well with others such as The Snow Queen, but is also part of a wonderful trend of excellent fantasy books for that 8-12 age range.

The action begins from the moment you open the book with Mup noticing the raggedy witches following them in the trees as they are returning from the hospit
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The night Mup’s Aunty dies the Raggedy Witches come and kidnap her dad, setting Mup, her baby brother, loyal dog, and Mam (mom) on a journey across worlds to rescue him. In this new, witch filled world, Mup learns that her Mam was born here and her grandmother is the terrible queen who fills her people with dread. Most magic is outlawed and rebels are severely punished. Once in Witches Borough, Mup’s Mam begins to act differently and even Mup herself begins to fill different. With help from beyo ...more
Noelia Alonso
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018

This was such a fun middle-grade story. A bit messy at parts but for kids this is amazing. The world is so magical and Kiernan's writing is lovely.
Kieran Fanning
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
When her father gets kidnapped, young Mup, with her mam, baby brother and dog, travels into a fantasy land ruled by an evil queen (who is also her grandmother). It is a land of dark forests and magic, where people turn into animals and live in fear of the Queen's enforcers - the raggedy witches. They are a terrifying spectacle, as is their queen, who towers over the narrative like a dark shadow, much like the White Witch in Narnia or Lord Voldemort in the JK Rowling books.

Mup herself is a courag
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, library

Loved this! Ready for book 2
HP Saucerer
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thrilling fantasy adventure set in a richly-textured enchanted world, a world full of danger with rhyming crows, talking cats and forbidden magic. A spellbinding breathless read from beginning to end.
Claudia ✨
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
First off all: I'm a complete sucker for middlegrade books.

I would even say that I love them more now as an adult than I did as a child. There's something about the wonder and hope that they often portray that just makes me very happy and content. Begone the Raggedy Witches is a great example of this, that also proves that hopeful books for children can still be complex.

On the day that Mup's sick aunt passes away the witches come. Mup never really believed that they would, even though her Aunty
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Have I mentioned that I think Walker Books publish the best middle grade reads? Oh I haven’t? Well guess what, they do.
Begone the Raggedy Witches was a delightful book from start to finish and I was delighted by every page. I would highly recommend this dark little tale to anyone looking for something a little of track to read.
Begone the Raggedy Witches is based around Mup, who realises on the way home from hospital that she is being followed by witches. Mup’s great-aunt has just died and the ra
Beth Cato
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.

This utterly charming middle grade novel is bright and dark all at once, embodying a classic fairy tale vibe with a modern approach. Mup is a smart, compassionate young girl. As her aunt is dying in the hospital, she spies raggedy witches gliding from tree to tree to chase her family's car. It turns out her mother is the heir to the throne in the witch's realm--and her grandmother is a cruel tyrant. When Mup's father is kidnapped by witches, the entir
Matt Davies
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book, which is the first of a trilogy, begins with Mup travelling home one evening with her mum and brother, Tipper. The action instantly begins when witches begin to mysteriously follow the family. Within the first few chapters there have been unexpected visitors, a death and a kidnapping. It is a dark, dramatic start which sets the tone for the rest of the book. I was hooked!

What follows is the family’s quest as they cross over into the witches’ realm. Here Mup meets a host of intriguing
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Ragged Witches, glimmering ghosts, rhyming crows, and a world filled with magic that Mup must navigate to find her Dad. The writing glimmers and gushes from the page, and I was swept away on this magic adventure that echoed with Irish folklore within the magical realm.

There are so many elements of this story that I loved, such as, it was Mup and her Mam who go to rescue her Dad. That a society forced into conformity and casual cruelty by the wicked queen, is shocked by Mup’s kindness, i
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was awesome! Right from the first pages you have witches following Mup and her mother back from the hospital where Aunty is passing away. Mup's mom is from another world where her mother is the evil queen and Aunty brought her to our world to keep her safe. She married and had two kids, but the past comes back as it often will. What ensues is an adventure of great proportions! It was so fun to read and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series! I need more Mup, Tipper, a ...more
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Celine Kiernan is an award-winning author of fantasy novels for young adults. Her critically acclaimed work combines fantasy elements with the exploration of political, humanitarian and philosophical themes. She is best known for The Moorehawke Trilogy, a dark, complex trilogy of fantasy YA books set in an alternative renaissance Europe. First published in Celine’s native Ireland in 2008, the tril ...more

Other books in the series

The Wild Magic Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Little Grey Girl (Wild Magic Trilogy #2)