The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches – Sangu Mandanna

YOU NEED THIS BOOK. This may be my favourite book I’ve read this year (Spear doesn’t count, while it came out this year, I read it last…) So, without further ado, read the review and then run to your preferred retailer.

Huge thanks to the lovely Kate at Hodder for sending me an ARC and making me a very happy Fab. All opinions are my own.

RELEASE DATE: 23/08/2022


SUMMARY: As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon has lived her life by three rules: hide your magic, keep your head down, and stay away from other witches. An orphan raised by strangers from a young age, Mika is good at being alone, and she doesn’t mind it … mostly.

But then an unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches, and Mika jumps at the chance for a different life.

Nowhere House is nothing like she expects, and she’s quickly tangled up in the lives and secrets of its quirky, caring inhabitants … and Jamie, the handsome, prickly librarian who would do anything to protect his charges, and who sees Mika’s arrival as a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.

As Mika finds her feet, the thought of belonging somewhere starts to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and soon Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect the found family she didn’t know she was looking for… (from Hodderscape)

OPINIONS: This is a near perfect book. The best way to describe it is likely as a combination of Mary Poppins, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The House in the Cerulean Sea and a good dose of comfort. It follows Mika Moon, a young witch who finds herself as a tutor to three young witches on a remote estate – complete with a gruff but loveable groundskeeper, a charming elderly gay couple looking after house and children and a missing guardian. It is the sort of book that makes you smile from the first page to the last, as the book’s UK editor described it to me.

I saved reading this for a day where I needed a comfort read and I was so glad I did. It is really the perfect book for those moments, and one I see myself rereading again and again when I need that sort of feeling – I hope there will be a myriad of beautiful special editions to add to my collection! My flatmate stole it after I read it and breezed through it – and I’m thrilled that I’ve managed to sell multiple friends on it before even writing this review.

It is a lovely story, not too relaxed but also not too fast-paced and full of tension. There is constantly something to focus your attention on and ensure the reader does not get bored, without raising anxiety levels. It is a character and vibe driven story, with relationships of various kinds at its centre. I found the development of those relationships delightful, tender and utterly realistic. While the central plot elements feel big to the people in the story, they are not in the grand scale of things, and it feels refreshing to read a book that is concerned with the small, with the fate of the immediate future of a group of children for the next few years, rather than saving the world.

In short. Get this book, you’ll love it. And it’s almost out, so there’s not even long to wait. Add The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches to your Goodreads here, and pre-order a copy via Bookshop here (affiliate link).

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