• Gemma

Rosemary and the Witches of Pendle Hill by Samantha Giles

The debut novel from Emmerdale actor Samantha Giles

• A middle-grade adventure that follows three lovable characters through a magic mirror and into a world of witches, wizards, and wormholes

•Full of heartwarming relationships, heartstopping action, wacky humour, and a sensitive look at mental health struggles for children

Available in Paperback and eBook 6th August 2020 ISBN 9781913099657 | eBook Price £2.99 | Paperback Price £6.99 •


My Mum is a witch. I know this to be a fact because:

a) She has a broomstick by the front door.

b) She does spells sometimes.

c) There are 4 other witches who live with us, that only me, Mum and Lois see. We don’t really question their comings and goings. It was just normal to us until THINGS STARTED HAPPENING...

Rosemary’s cosy world is crumbling around her. Her Mum has finally landed an acting job and spends all her time with her slimy co-star; her Dad always seems to have a dark cloud hanging around him; her little sister, Lois, won’t stop farting; and, oh yes, Phyllis, one of the four witches they share their house with, has disappeared through the wall. 

Meanwhile a group who call themselves the No-Laws are wreaking havoc across the country, and why does everyone keep whispering about the Pendle Witches of 1612? 

With the help of her windy sister and Adi, her maths-genius best friend, Rosemary sets off on a hazardous, magical journey. But can they solve the mystery of Phyllis’ disappearance and stop the No-Laws before Rosemary’s family is fractured for good?


My Thoughts:

This was a magical children's book and something I would have loved to have read as a child.

Rosemary knows her mum is a witch and has witches that pop by that only her mum and sister can see. One day Rosemary hears that Phyllis has disappeared and notices that mum and some of her witch friends go off to search for her, through the wall. Intrigued Rosemary asks her friend Adi to help her enter the wall and find Phyllis. With the addition of her little sister Lois, the threesome step into the magical world, through the mirror, to help bring Phyllis back and stop the the mayhem that is happening around them.

This book really captured my imagination and had a 'Narnia' feel to it when the children stepped through the mirror. The characters were interesting and brought a uniqueness to the novel. I could picture each character in turn and especially loved the names given to them. The different rooms that the children found themselves in added to the magical feel and gave the book an air of mystery as you never knew where they would end up next.

I particularly loved Rosemary's gift of being able to see a coloured aura around people which beautifully helped illustrate the depression her dad was going through. I thought this was very cleverly explained and would help with children's own understanding surrounding depression. Despite the serious issues that are explored there is also a lot of humour which will definitely appeal to the reader. At the heart of this story is the concept of love, friendship and trust. There were some poignant moments in the novel where these themes shined through provoking moments of reflection and thought which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall a great fantasy adventure story with some fantastic characters. I can see this being the start to a great sequel and would love to read more about Rosemary and her magical journeys. Many thanks to Agora books for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.


About The Author:

Samantha Giles is known and loved by millions of viewers for her popular portrayal of Emmerdale’s Bernice Blackstock, a role she played for over 7 years before leaving the show earlier this year to pursue her dream of being a children’s author and take on new acting roles. She has also been a regular character in three series of Where The Heart Is and Hollyoaks, as well as lead guest roles in many other well-known TV programmes.

She started writing about three years ago, inspired by a dream she had about the four witch characters that feature in her debut, Rosemary and the Witches of Pendle Hill.

Other than acting and writing, she also tutors for Act4TV in Liverpool, has been a practising hedge witch for 20 years and is a big country music fan. Follow Samantha Giles @SammeeGiles Find out more at www.agorabooks.co

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