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There are some books that come along that are bigger than the sum of their parts and seem to be actual portals to other fantastic worlds. 'The Whisperwicks: The Labyrinth of Lost and Found' by debut children's author Jordan Lees is one of these books. Touted as the book of the decade, 'The Whisperwicks' is wonderfully imaginative, highly original and an escapist tour-de-force. It is a big book, but one that utterly transports the reader into a world like no other with characters and creatures to adore. This is a book about books too; about bookshops and libraries and the power of the imagination. It's about the magic inside of ourselves with the possibility to believe in the impossible.


At first, I was a little daunted by the size of The Whisperwicks, even though I'm an avid reader. But as soon as I plunged into chapter one there was no holding back. I had to keep reading. This makes for joyous, absorbing reading, and Jordan Lees' vivid storytelling voice feels both classic and fresh, warm and mischievous. Comparisons will be made, but I feel Jordan Lees is distinctive in his own right. With Wreathenwold he has created a world that is vast, sprawling, terrifying and magnificent. It is an absolute triumph of world-building and a true standout in middle-grade fantasy. Whether it is or will be the book of the decade remains to be seen, but it made me feel eleven-years-old again. I was utterly captivated and it whisked me away on an adventure quite unlike anything I have read.

The illustrations by Vivienne To are absolutely stunning too and capture the beauty, wonder and strangeness of the text so well. I will have to buy a copy to savour the wonder of the completed book. 


High praise indeed. Completely deserved. I cannot wait for the sequel.

I do not wish to give away any spoilers. You just need to begin... But here is the blurb:

Eleven-year-old Benjamiah Creek believes in science, logic and the power of reason. He definitely does not believe in magic. But when he receives a mysterious gift in the post - a doll that can transform into a bird - he is led into the impossible (and most definitely magical) world of Wreathenwold, where dark secrets are lost amongst a vast labyrinth of streets. Benjamiah soon finds himself swept along in a dangerous quest - led by the fierce and brilliant Elizabella, who is determined to solve the disappearance of her missing brother. Will Benjamiah ever find his way home and discover his puzzling connection with this strange, enchanted world?

Thank you to Penguin for sending me an advance copy to review.

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