Friday 22 January 2016

Book review: The Few by Cathy McSporran

Title: The Few
Author: Cathy McSporran
Publisher: Freight Books
Release date: October 1st 2015
Synopsis: Throughout the Second World War, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill employed and consulted witches. This little-known historical fact provides the inspiration for Cathy McSporran’s outstanding fantasy novel The Few.
Maggie is an ordinary teenager living on the South East Coast of England. Helping out during the evacuation of Dunkirk, it becomes apparent that she and her younger brother Colin may have supernatural powers.
Soon both are taken to London and recruited into a special group tasked with fighting the Gothi, a coven of 12 German teenage witches, hell-bent on crushing British resistence. As the Battle of Britain rages, Maggie meets and falls in love with Polish Spitfire pilot Michal. Will she be able to keep Michal safe? Will she, Colin and their friends manage to fight the overwhelming occult forces of the Nazi witches channelling the power of the ancient Aryan goddess Freya?

Review: It's been a while since I read a war book, as I always think I'm not going to like them, and then more often than not I do. Reading this also reminds me a lot of growing up and reading the different world war themed books at school from Private Peaceful to Goodnight Mr Tom. Similarly here you get that distinct war time feeling, you have all the key elements you'd expect of a war time environment...the only difference here is the war isn't only fought with bombs...but with magick (the K as ever is important)

There was a really good balance between the magick and the war, where one didn't overtake the other and they blended together really nicely. There were some really cool flight combat scenes that made the book really visual, where your swooping and diving and shouting at the pilots (unless it was Author and you could never shout at Arthur with his amazing British charm). It's always interesting for me to read these, because it isn't necessarily an interest of mine, but there was a strong pace here that held you though and it wasn't stretched or boring. I also like how it was a natural magic, with lay lines, and tapping into the ground magic, that almost gave it more credibility than lets wave wands and spells happen ( though I am  in no way discrediting this as a form of magic and I still love you Harry Potter).

And just like the war there were some dark gritty moments, and I may have been close to shedding a tear on the train at one point. But it wouldn't be what it is it without these moments.

The core characters in Magige, Colin, Vince and Alice worked really well together, each bringing a different dynamic, and each with the ability to grow and develop the series in the next books. Maggie was a very strong lead, and in contrast Colin was such a sweet character, one such that you are drawn to ( a little like Mouse in the New World series).

I was pleasantly surprised with this book and look forward to where it will go next.


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