Review: The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods

peculiar peggsTitle: The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods
Author: Samuel J. Halpin
Series: – –
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now


This is the story of a sleepy town called Suds. A place where stories fill the air of children who keep turning grey and disappearing without a trace…

Poppy and Erasmus are certain there’s something peculiar going on in Suds, and they’re determined to unravel its secrets. But when they discover the answers might lie in the darking and twisting woods, can they find the courage to creep inside and solve this riddling mystery?

Source: Review copy from Usborne Publishing via Amazon Vine

Poppy has recently lost her mother and is struggling with anxiety as she travels to stay with her grandmother for the summer holidays. Things aren’t going too well between her and her dad, but she loves her gran and her strange fairytale-esque rules (hide the sugar, get the washing in before 6pm and never, ever dust the windowsills). Throw in a mysterious silk-covered notebook left on a train and an equally strange boy with an excellent memory and it’s only natural an adventure or two should come along to distract her.

I really enjoyed this mysterious tale with a modern fairytale twist. Poppy is dealing with a lot of emotions, but that doesn’t stop her from being brave and loyal to her friends. She would be quite clever too, if only Erasmus didn’t steal the show with his observant, overly-intelligent ways. Neither of them are ordinary, everyday children – but then who is? – and it was great seeing their strange friendship blossom, alongside the deeper mystery of the missing children and the creepy, magical mill.

Delightfully illustrated by Hannah Peck, it’s a fantastical and dark tale that’s also funny, as it mixes the everyday troubles of school and absent parents with those peculiar Peggs and their child-stealing ways. The characters are vivid, Poppy and Erasmus are particularly great, the plot is clever and twisty, and the magical elements are dark enough to delight any folklore-fairytale reader. I look forward to seeing what this author conjures up next.

The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods is Out Now.
Visit Samuel J. Halpin for more details.

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