I did enjoy this book and I think it might be a good one to recommend to Harry Potter fans but I would have liked a character list perhaps under headings of good and evil. There are so many bad characters in this book with similar evil intentions that I did get a little confused at times. This book does stand alone but things might be clearer if you read the first two books in the series before this one – The Witch Trade and Time Witches.
Our heroes are Abby and Spike two gifted kids who, with their Light Witch friends, travel back to the Wild West in order to save the world from the evil Wolfbane. There are two sources of magic in this book one for good used by the Light Witches called Ice Dust and one very evil. Wolfbane needs more of the evil one called Black Dust and he needs Excalibur to get it.
I fear there might be too many literary and historical references in this book and that readers might find it confusing. Mention is made to vaudeville, Excalibur, Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley to mention just a few.
Putting aside this criticism, there are fabulous character descriptions in this book and these might be useful for teachers when they are working on narratives with students.
Sir Chadwick Street : Tall and slender, he was a handsome man with a bold Roman nose dominating his face and , in the chill air he was looking pinker than usual. His battered tweed hat was pulled casually over his long marmalade-coloured hair and he worse a flowing red polka-dot bow tie with his stylish, fine-cut tweed suit. Page 18
Polartius the librarian : His sliver hair lay in coiled pools on the stone-flagged floor. … The ancient man looked at her over his wire-rimmed spectacles. Page 53
Homer P Stout : Dressed in black, he was quite thin except for a protruding stomach that swelled his waistcoat and drew attention to his heavy gold watch chain. He wasn’t very tall but he nonetheless seemed to be looking down at them. Page 104
Just like Harry Potter and his cloak of invisibility, Abby and Spike have wonderful Atlantis capes which can be cleaned and dried with just a shake and which transform themselves into any appropriate clothing for the climate and place.
If you like an action packed fantasy story and know something about the Wild West during the goldrush times then this might be the book for you. I have given some hints about the plot in this review but really this book is quite complicated so I can only say read it and see what YOU think!