Babes In the Wood by Mark Stay

4 out of 5 stars

Woodville has more or less returned to normal after the Crow Folk were banished from the village, war has arrived too, with planes being seen overhead on a daily basis. It is brought very much to home when one crashes into the local garage.

Fay arrives there just in time to realise that there is a car stuck with people inside. She rescues the young lad and three children from the burning garage. They are Jewish emigrants from Germany who got out just as the Nazis clamped down and are on their way to the local manor house where they have been offered accommodation by Lord and Lady Aston.

But this is not a typical village and as she comforts them she has a vision of the eldest that chills her to the bone. Magic can be felt in the air once again by Faye. She catches up with Miss Charlotte and Mrs Teach to tell them what happened. They realise that the children are being sought by a German master of magic, who is after something else too, something that could change the outcome of the war…

I think that I am going to like this series. The characters are entertaining and in this second book, they are starting to develop a little more. It is set a month after the first book and Stay has written it well. It has the same tension that the first one has and it is a great page-turner.

In some strange way, a lot of it feels plausible, even though it is very much a book about magic and witches. But there was the odd thing that seemed out of place. I would have liked a little more of the back story of Faye being taught by the other two witches. I do like the little nods to other fantasy series buried in the text, it is a nice touch. I thought that the first book had the edge over this one, but that is really splitting hairs. Looking forward to the next one now, and I have just seen that the fourth book has been announced too.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    Is this one of your 20 Books of Summer? Always odd to see you reading a novel!

    • Paul

      It isn’t. I read this in January and forgot to post my review! I do read some fiction and these are a historical fantasy series set in WW2. I met the author at the London book fair in 2022 and he is a really nice guy

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