It begins with a girl in London, 1860. Her family is exceptionally wealthy and she is exceptionally lonely. The closest thing to friendship Clara has experienced was a brief encounter with the two ragged children who work with the puppeteer in the park.For her birthday she asks to see them perform in the drawing room, and her father, to her surprise, allows it. The puppeteer, Grisini, kidnaps Clara and uses his sinister powers to imprison her body and mind in the form of a marionette to add to his theatre. His two young assistants realise what has happened, and all three children find themselves caught up in a terrible struggle for supernatural eminence between Grisini and a dying witch of extraordinary power.

Brilliant, chilling, unputdownable. Schlitz is a well established and prize winning US writer for children. In Fire Spell she brings us an excellent novel of the early teens. Set in London and the Lake District of 1860 it is a great combination of convinving reality and spine chilling magic. The three young teens at the centre of the story of the menacing puppetmaster and the witch he has betrayed make it instantly engaging for young adults. A good read.
Says Peter