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The Last Spell Breather

The Last Spell Breather

Published: 4 Jul 2019

Paperback / softback, 304 pages

Recommended for age 9+ and 11+

By Julie Pike

Published by Oxford University Press

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A stunning fantasy debut, enter the unique world of the Spell Breathers. Spell Breathing does not come naturally to Rayne - she loathes the hours of practice, the stacks of scrolls, and the snapping mud devils that cover her mother's precious spellbook. But it is spell breathing that keeps her village safe from the dreaded monster curse that plagues their world.

It is ancient powerful magic, but as Rayne learns to her horror . . .

it is also fragile. In one clumsy move, the magic that keeps them safe is broken, her village is plunged into danger, and an incredible adventure begins...

Reviewed by Rachel Elvidge

The Last Spell Breather is an intriguing, magical story, with a strong female protagonist, set within a beautifully crafted world.

Rayne is an apprentice spell breather, but she has her doubts about her abilities and the purpose behind her work. People have become lazy, and over-reliant on spells to solve all their problems, rather than working them out themselves. When an accident undoes all the spells which have made life more comfortable in her village over the years, she is forced to try and mend the situation. With her friend Tom, Rayne embarks on an eye-opening journey across the land beyond her isolated village. They meet a fascinating selection of friends and foes, including a boneless fox and a family of fish monsters!

I was captivated by the detailed world Julie Pike created, and some of the images have stayed with me long after. The Last Spell Breather is a wonderful quest story to share with upper junior children. They will be drawn into the adventure, and identify with the winning characters. There are enough surprises and cliffhangers to make storytime interesting, and cause those rewarding sighs of disappointment when the bell goes!

Highly recommended!

Rachel has 20 years experience in primary school teaching, most recently running reading interventions in an Ofsted Outstanding school in Essex. A firm believer that there is always something new to learn, she recently completed an MA in Early Childhood Education. In the same spirit, she also attends latin and ballroom lessons, sadly with a less than impressive outcome! Rachel works for Just Imagine as an Education Consultant, currently overseeing The Reading Journey.