Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Le Maléfice, tome 1” as Want to Read:
Le Maléfice, tome 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Le Maléfice, tome 1

(Doomspell #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,297 ratings  ·  94 reviews
In a blaze of light, rush of wind and scrabble of claws, Rachel and Eric are ripped through the wall and hurtled on to another world. Like thousands of other children before them, they have been snatched away by the Witch.
But this time the Witch has met her match. Rachel discovers that she has extraordinary gifts: she can transform herself into a feather, or fly on an owl
Mass Market Paperback, 247 pages
Published February 24th 2002 by Gallimard jeunesse (first published May 4th 2000)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Le Maléfice, tome 1, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Cassandra 7-14? I first read it at age 9 I think, and loved it till I was 13 or so. I just re-read it at age 21 and it's still very enjoyable!…more7-14? I first read it at age 9 I think, and loved it till I was 13 or so. I just re-read it at age 21 and it's still very enjoyable!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,297 ratings  ·  94 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Le Maléfice, tome 1
Alyssia Cooke
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, fantasy
I was bought this book by my foster mother a fairly long time ago (I was about 14 I think) and I really liked it, in fact I loved it. I re-read it so many times that my poor old paperback is nearly falling apart. Recently I picked it up again, I did however read it with something like a sense of dread because I know how much your taste can change over many years, and I really didn't want to read it to find that I hated it! Luckily, this was not an issue.

This book really does remind me of 'The L
Geoff Lynas
I found the action chaotic (muddled). The magic system overpowered. The protagonist, the 'hope_child', is ineffectual. (view spoiler) ...more
Ade Couper
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was- lovely!

Rachel & Eric are snatched by the evil witch Dragwena from their home. Rachel has very strong magical powers, while Eric has a power never encountered before.....will they e able to overcome Dragwena's thirst for revenge....?

The back-cover blurb describes this as "Narnia for the 21st Century", & that is a pretty good description: this is a retelling of a battle against ancient evil, although Cliff McNish's child protagonists are considerably more likeable than Lewis'.....

The plo
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to rate this, because what this book does well it does very, very well (its villain, the descriptions of magic, etc.) and two stars probably makes it seem like I hated it. But that's not case. Instead, I was disappointed because it was enjoyable enough but could have been much better. This is the sort of book you love when you read it as a child, but that doesn't stand up to further scrutiny when read as an adult.

My favorite metaphor when talking to people about genre fiction
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a child and I absolutely loved it. Read it again and again and again and again, but unfortunately, at that time I did not know it was a part of a trilogy. I hope I'll get the chance to read the rest of the series.
The book was a perfect mix of fantasy, magic and adventure, and could also scare me from time to time. I haven't read it again since all those years ago, because I recently found it from the loft. Brought back many memories.

I might update this review if I ever read it ag
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this when I was a bit younger and LOVED it. There were a few things that I didn't understand back then but after I re-read it I understood it all being that bit older. The world Cliff Mcnish creates is magical and different in its own right. The characters you can relate to and do feel for them. Definitly worth a read ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I forgot this book existed until I found a copy at work a few years back. I forgot that I had loved it SO much as a pre-teen! It holds up fairly well -- still a solid adventure-fantasy. Such a throwback.
Paige Green
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4/5

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Pages: 240


I was provided a free copy of this book by the author. Thank you so much! All opinons are my own.

After having the same strange dream, siblings Rachel and Eric find themselves being transported to another world where Rachel's special powers come into play to help free the children that have been captured by the evil Dragwena. -

So to start this review off I do want to say that I do love books that have that Harry Potter/Narnia type f
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how old I was when I first read this. Fairly young -- probably around nine or ten. Definitely still in primary school, and I think my sister borrowed it for me. Since then I've read it several times, because it's such a creative book. I love the development of the sibling relationship and how, despite their strengths being in different areas of life, they still manage to use them to work together.

I also enjoyed how, although Rachel and Eric are children and have to somehow save the
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Gossman
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first there was something I didn’t like about this book. As I went on, drawn into the story, I read it in about 24 hours, I realized it’s simply that I am not used to reading or hearing for that matter children from England. That was it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it was just weird for me, and I love that about this book. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I see the comparisons to C.S. Lewis and I think they are well deserved. I look forward to digging into the next book!

Mar 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good first novel. The action keeps moving along nicely, and the evil witch is fabulous. My one regret is that I didn't really care for his characters; the emotions never clicked for me. ...more
Lazaros Kalogirou
I really enjoyed it! It was a bit like reading Narnia again!
Victoria Melita
This review covers the entire trilogy:

I like to read children’s books, especially ones that are fantasy based. As a friend of mine put it once, “I have a thing for Portal fantasy”. And this is exactly that!

With a dash of other-world-fantasy too.

The Doomspell Trilogy has very clear influences coming from Tolkien and C S Lewis, with elements such as witches who love winter, animals that can talk, and children’s innocence being very prominent in the stories. The trilogy follows Rachel and Eric, sib
Cami Golub (Bookmilla)
Biannual Bibliothon, Winter 2019.
Prop: book that got you into reading.
This is the first book I ever remember really reading, and absolutely falling in love with. I was around 6 or 7. My parents had just divorced and I wasn't doing ok. Suddenly, my father wasn't living with me anymore. And suddenly there was a second house I was supposed to call mine, but still it wasn't. It was my dad's. A few months went by and he started dating someone. I was a child. It wasn't something I could comprehend, an
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book for which I will write a review, because it is a book that meant a lot to me.

I used to read this book every year when I was younger. I once discovered it in my local library, a big purple trilogy about magic and I fell deeply in love with it, as it was so different from other magical books I used to read. I once bought the first part in English for my grown-up bookshelf and I recently saw it standing there again and it all came back to me.

Reading it, it definitely is a ch
This book has been compared to the Narnia Series in so many reviews, and I guess I can see the resemblance. But for me it didn't quite have the same magic and wonder that the Narnia books inspired in me as both a child and an adult reader.

That said, it was a good, scary adventure. That is truly one terrifying witch, with four sets of teeth, tattooed eyes and spiders coming out of her mouth! I actually had a bit of a hard job visualising what the author thought she looked like, but that might be
Manashree Jhawar
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just can't wait to read the second part now.
Such a fast pacer this book is. It keeps you hooked till the very last and makes you look for more and more. My only regret is not reading this earlier.
It genuinely makes you imagine the dark , snowy world of Ithrea where the wolves are chasing you and the prapsies are uttering nonsense and the forest of dragwood is mesmerising and the caves are magnificently described and so much more.
Can't wait to take on this journey with Rachel and Eric again i
Interesting cover and concept but disappointing in plot and execution.

Rachel and Eric, two children from the world that we know are one day dragged to an alternative world by the Witch, a powerful being who has been searching for a child with magic gifts to rival her own.

It turns out that Rachel is such child, the one that more than the Witch have been waiting of....

The Doomspell is the first book in a children's book trilogy by Cliff McNish and written for his daughter Rachel. Sadly the story
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I was drawn into this book so fast... If I had had the time, I literally would have read this entire book in one sitting. It is that good! I really loved this book, and now I need to go find the next two! The story had a very Narnian feel, and that may be one reason I enjoyed it so much. To anyone out there who loves the Chronicles of Narnia stories, I highly recommend this tale!
Lucy Hudson
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a truly outstanding trilogy and the book that started my love of reading!! Perfect for both younger readers and those looking for an easy/quick read. The story is incredible - imaginative, magical, exciting - and the characters and descriptions are so full of life. I could reread this book over and over again!
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love witches, magic spells and spell casting duelling, then this is the book for you. Good versus evil is story core however the adventures of Rachel and Eric keep you turning the pages. Exciting vocabulary throughout, a great book choice for guided reading in school.
Raphaela Strohmayer
Reminded me a lot of the books of Road Dahl. the story prgressed really fast and there was hardly time to get to know the charakters, before they had to stand theri ground. overall it was a nice story.
Chloe (thelastcolour)
the book was okay, maybe it's just my frame of mind right now but i didn't enjoy it as much as i had hoped. the magic is good but it feels too much like the chronicles of narnia to me. will continue with the rest of the trilogy though... ...more
Reba Maxwell
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This comes from the darkest depths of my childhood memory. I still remember borrowing this from my primary school library and thinking it was the coolest book EVER. I was so scared of Dragwena but remember this story 13 years later and can’t wait to read it again
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
sadly I just didn’t love this story the way I was hoping to. the premise was good, but the detail and the character development just felt very flat.

perhaps, if I read this as a child I would have loved it more but this one didn’t work out for me.
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an independent book this is very good and enjoyable. As a trilogy it becomes even better, as we get to learn more about the characters, and more about this universe. I would recommend reading the whole series. Now, on with the critical analysis review.

The book’s plot is engaging from start to finish, and is very unique, and people of all ages can enjoy it. However, I am doing a critical review so that’s enough praise for now, let’s begin with the problematic areas or faulty areas of the book
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book as a kid gonna have to reread as an adult
Charlotte Aitken
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly enjoyable, magical take for those who love magical worlds like Narnia.
I remember loving the book as a kid
« previous 1 3 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Quantum Curators and the Fabergé Egg
  • Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl (Belle De Jour #1)
  • You Can't Make Me Go To Witch School!
  • Bart Simpson's Guide to Life: A Wee Handbook for the Perplexed
  • Ami, el niño de las estrellas (Ami, #1)
  • Le Médecin Malgré Lui
  • I Am Gifted, So Are You!
  • オーバーロード 7 大墳墓の侵入者 (Overlord Light Novels, #7)
  • ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖3 〜栞子さんと消えない絆〜 (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou #3)
  • Statistical Techniques in Business & Economics [With CDROM]
  • Common Mistakes at IELTS Intermediate... and How to Avoid Them
  • Common Mistakes at IELTS Advanced... and How to Avoid Them
  • ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖2 〜栞子さんと謎めく日常〜 (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou #2)
  • ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 〜栞子さんと奇妙な客人たち〜 (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou, #1)
  • ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖4 〜栞子さんと二つの顔〜 (Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou #4)
  • オーバーロード 9 破軍の魔法詠唱者 (Overlord Light Novels, #9)
  • 5 Centimeters per Second (5 Centimeters per Second, #1-2)
  • The Funny Thing Is...
See similar books…
I was born in Sunderland, a city in the north-east of England.
I don’t recall too much about my first 8 years of life other than I loved being outdoors especially in the woods near our house. I came home every night covered in scratches.
My first real book memory is being given C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew by my English teacher, Mrs Baldwin. I loved that, and all the other Narnia books.

So how

Other books in the series

Doomspell (3 books)
  • The Scent of Magic (Doomspell, #2)
  • The Wizard's Promise (Doomspell, #3)

News & Interviews

Ciannon Smart has been holed up in her England home since the pandemic began a year ago, but by no means has she been idle. She’s been on...
35 likes · 7 comments