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Shadows of Winterspell

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Stella has been living behind the magic of the forest for most of her life. Lonely, she enrolls at the local school, and as she begins to make friends, she discovers that she is even more different than she thought. But as autumn turns to magical winter, Stella realizes that uncovering her own family secret is the only way to release the forest from the grip of a dark and ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Macmillan Children's Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  240 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Jade Ratley
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Unfortunately, I didn't love this as much as I wanted to, but it's still a really solid book with some great moments.

It wasn't exactly what I was expecting going into it (I expected a normal girl who discovers magic and got a girl who already knows about magic and wants to escape it), but it had a solid sense of self-discovery with some real, and I mean real, moments. It shows the suffering of the children in a way that children reading it will be able to understand and relate to, and I loved i
Alice Lippart
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2020, fantasy
Probably a great read for readers of the right age, but not so much for me because I'm old :) ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A very cute and winters children’s book that I throughly enjoyed.

Here we meet Stella, a young girl learning magic and yearning for friends. When she finally decides to venture outside, adventure more or less bulldozes it’s way into her life.

The characters were all lovable and written as more than plot fillers and you actually saw multiple sides to each character good and bad.

The plot was fast paced and though obvious was no less fun to read.

This was a fun and fast magical adventure that I thin
Ararita (Okretačica stranica)
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved every little bit of this magical book. Each word and each letter are filled with magic and that magic is somehow transported to your fingers and you just can't stop flipping those pages.

Stella is a 12 year old girl who lives with her Nan. They live at the egde of Winterspell forest where the Dark King rules. Stella knows that she's different, magical, and she just wants to be normal. She starts going to school but eager desire to be normal led her to questioning herself and her abilities
Aishwary Mehta (The_Fugitive_Biker)
10th book of 2020 (134th book overall)

Quote from the Book I Liked - 'One piece of deception leads to another and if you lose yourself halfway, the whole thing sort of collapse.' (Page no. 173)

Rating - 3 Stars

Plot Summary - Stella has been living behind the magic of the forest for most of her life. Lonely, she enrols at the local school, and as she begins to make friends, she discovers that she is even more different than she thought. But as autumn turns to magical winter,
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a magical and thoroughly enjoyable read. Not quite as wintery as I expected it to be but I loved it nonetheless. Stories about magic, friendship and family will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Highly recommended.
Mridula Gupta
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
'Shadows of Winterspell' brings us a promising tale of hope and the fight against darkness with an arcane shadow king, a chosen one, a band of mismatched friends and a forest that is thick with secrets.
Stella is forbidden to leave her house and the forest by her grandmother, who happens to be a ghost. Spells and magic keeps her safe from a mysterious shadow king, the fairy world and the human civilization. But Stella wants to go to scholl, just like any other child who is always curious to know
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
A great and whimsical middle grade full of magic and an incredible plot line.

The characters were wonderful and I absolutely adored Zara, Yanny and Stella as they battled their way through shadows and larked more about the mysterious Shadow King that lives in the creepy forest. Their friendship was so sweet it made me so happy to see them grow and get a better understanding of each other.

The story to was great, structured around the classic trope of the lost prince but managed to do it in a un
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
I have loved all of Amy Wilson's MG fantasy novels so far, and I was SO excited to get an ARC of Shadows of Winterspell. (I can't even tell you guys how many times I'd checked on its publication date/wondered wistfully when ARCs would be available/etc.) And oh, was it worth the wait! Shadows of Winterspell is warm and lovely, full of heart and a true sense of magic - like a hug and a cup of cocoa in book-form. I love Stella's bravery and her heart, her ghost nan and her cat Teacake, the gorgeous ...more
(Ellie) ReadtoRamble
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson is a middle grade fantasy story in which we meet Stella, a sprite who has been hiding from what she is and who her family are her whole life until she decides that she wants to go to school and her world is turned upside down.

Stella grows so much in this novel and although I was very suspicious of a few characters in this book, I adored the relationships Stella had with Yanny, Zara, Peg, Nan and Teacake. She is such a strong young girl and I think her charact
rina dunn
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Stella has a dream of going to school, shes lonely, Living with her Grandma who happens to be a ghost and an imp called Peg, She lives on the borders of Winterspell Forest behind the magic.
After enrolling at the local school and making friends she discovers that not all is as it initially seems and she is fact at the heart of a Fae Legend.
Full of family secrets and magic this book really is beautiful. I loved all of the characters and the relationship between Stella and her family.
Stella has gre
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a magical story filled with faes and magnificent creatures, of covering a fated prophecy and fighting for peace to the land of Winterspell. The metaphorical aspect of the king's shadows that becomes a nightmare is truly such a feat to read. It was such an interesting take and will make readers eager to find out what will happen next.

I get why Stella would crave for some company to the extent of enrolling to school but it was nothing like she was expecting it to go. There, she learn
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Winterspell is full of magic right from the start which I loved. Stella's grandmother who brought her up is a ghost and they have an imp guarding the house. There is a mystery of how Stella ended up living with her Nan and why the forest is full of shadows. The book was quite fast paced and I liked that there were actually some answers early on as well as so much mystery.
I must say that while the cover is really beautiful, it gave me a totally incorrect vision of the forest which actually sounds
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just can't help it, I always love these type of magical children's books! They're my ultimate escapism.

I was very impressed with how Wilson managed to create such an intricate and beautiful world in such a short book. I loved how the story tackled big and important topics, like grief, what it means to be true friends, being yourself and much more.

Though I did feel like it wrapped up a little too fast (and a little sloppy), I still enjoyed it and felt very satisfied and happy after finishing
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Family, friendship, magic, secrets and bravery. Stella has been hidden from the world of magic and humans for too long - when she takes the plunge to join a school, her life changes forever. She discovers things about herself and the dark and dangerous forest that really gets her thinking. I absolutely adored the magic in this - Amy Wilson does this perfectly. This book is charming, magical and gorgeous.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: wrote-a-review
Though not an incredibly impactful book, this was a sweet fantasy story, and perfect for winter.

Firstly, I liked the general idea of a girl living on the edge of an enchanted forest with her ghost grandma and a fun little imp. (And a kitten.) This book also definately had a cozy and magical atmosphere. The main character was interesting, and so were her friends. But I do believe they could have been better developed.

There were short pages with descriptions about different kinds of fae througho
Charlotte Burns
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another brilliant book from Amy Wilson. I adored the forest setting and the magic system in this one. I loved the friendships and the family too. This is a brilliant read. Stella is a new favourite character. Definitely recommend.
I _teach_muggles
Jun 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shadows of Winterspell is an enchanting fantasy read that sparkles with magic and mystery. The front cover is gorgeous too - this one is just begging to be picked up off the bookshelf.

Welcome to Winterspell…For years Stella has been kept safe from the forest of Winterspell, hidden in a cottage on the fringes of the forest and surrounded by protective charms. She has led an isolated and lonely life, her only company her nan (who just so happens to have died years ago), Peg the imp and a cat calle
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A coming-of-age adventure story rooted in fairy tale and magic. As usual, Amy Wilson's world-building is second to none as she immerses the reader is a richly-imagined magical world that is at once convincing, delightful and darkly enticing.
Stella feels alone, living most of her life with her Nan in a cottage near the edge of a magical forest. The forest is filled with dangers, haunted by the dark shadows released by a King in mourning after a family loss that occurred years before. Stella helps
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
"One piece of deception leads to another and if you lose yourself halfway, the whole thing sort of collapse."

Shadows of Winterspell tells the story of Stella Briggs, the lost daughter of the fae queen and the shadow king whose shadows cursed the entirety of Winterspell when the queen died. Stella has been living in exile with her grandmother who is a ghost for the last decade, being taught magic. But all Stella wants is a normal life with friends and school. But winter is coming, and the days ge
The Bookish Faerie
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shoutout to @Definitelybooks for sending me an uncorrected macmillan proof copy of Shadows of Winterspell for me to review.

Shadows of WInterspell is a wonderful read for middle graders (and adults) who are looking to venture beyond the classic fairytales into a world where the simplicity of magic is brought back from the old.

Stella has been living at the border of the forest; Winterspell. She has been living there alone with her ghost nan and Peg, their imp friend. She is the daughter of the Fa
Shaun Nightshade
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I do love the children’s fantasy genre. From being brought up to the tales of Narnia and Harry Potter, I’ve read many stories of magic and distant lands. The quality varies but yet being able to disappear into one of these magic worlds is the best cure for the stressed world we all live in.

Amy Wilson is getting a name for writing eloquent and dreamy books that resonate with young and old alike. This book is no different. Starting with a girl, Stella, who lives on the edge of Winterspell with an
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have heard a lot of praise about Amy Wilson's books and so when I got the chance to read Shadows Of Winterspell I couldn't wait to get started. The story is about, Stella, a girl who lives just outside Winterspell with her nan. Her life is lonely and unfulfilling and all she really wants is to go to school and so when she gets the chance she can't wait but learns that there is much more to school than she'd first imagined.

I really enjoyed reading this story and finding out more about Stella's
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Stella has been living alone on the border of the magical forest with the ghost of her grandmother and her imp. Now soon to be thirteen she desperately wants a human friend or an acquaintance or even a human connection. She decides to join school to be normal. But things doesn't turn up as she was expecting. And to stop the shadows of the forest she has to uncover her own family secret.


I love the writing of the book. It is simple, easy to understand and makes you want to read more.

The cha
Justine Laismith
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a middle-grade book that will whisk you away to a magical world of sprites, elves and centaurs. But it's not completely in a different realm. It exists in a mysterious forest on one side of town.

Our heroine is an orphan sprite, brought up by her ghostly grandmother. To protect her from the dangers of the forest and the threats of humans, her grandmother cast a spell so strong that their home is hidden from both men and fae. Stella does not know what she truly looks like. She has been 'gl
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
In her fourth book, Amy Wilson tells the story of Stella, who lives with her grandmother in a cottage on the outskirts of the magical forest, who has just decided to enrol in the local school. But of course, this is an Amy Wilson book so there is magic but also dark forces at play, and Stella becomes swept up in discovering who she really is and what she's capable of when she begins to meet other magical people who live within the forest. Stella is a lovely character who I really enjoyed reading ...more
Belles Middle Grade Library
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is my favorite book by this author so far. I’ve loved all that I’ve read, but this one I couldn’t put this down. The backstory & the present story were so interesting! Every aspect. Everything was so descriptive & imaginative..I felt like I was there. The big moment scene at the end had me teary eyed-not from sadness but from the beauty & the POWER of the situation! All the characters were so great! Zara, Peg, Teacake, Nan, Yanny, & of course our main character Stella. Stell ...more
Stephen Connor
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A perfectly wintry book, set in and around the forest of Winterspell.

In an attempt to appear normal, and against the wishes of her fading Nan and fussy familiar Peg, Stella enrols herself into a normal school, with normal children and where normal things happen. Only, it’s not normal. She feels the magic emanating from a classmate, and together they learn about Stella’s powers that have yet to be harnessed.

Stella knows she has powers - she just doesn’t know how to harness them.

As the shadows o
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Mysterious lights flash at night in Winterspell Forest but Nan won't talk to Stella about them. Nan is a ghost and has used almost all her magic to hide Stella, and their home on the Forest edge, from the snarling shadows that lurk amongst the trees. Stella is safe at home but she is lonely with only Nan, Peg the imp and Teacake the kitten for company. Against Nan's wishes, Stella joins the local school, looking for friends and a bit of normality. But there is magic at school too and as she begi ...more
Tahoora Hashmi
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Do you enjoy Children's fantasy? Because I surely do. They are perfect when you are struggling through a heavy read.
Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson is a perfect fairy tale fantasy for someone who is 7-13 years of age and also humans of any age as long as you enjoy some light fantasy. The plot is simple, cute, gripping & fast paced and the characters humane and relatable. I feel the ending was slightly rushed and the climax got done with before even I could comprehend the scene, but consider
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Amy Wilson has a background in journalism and lives in Bristol with her young family. She is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing and has many owls in her house, from drawer handles to cushions. She is still waiting for them to speak to her...

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