The raggedy witches have never been part of Mup Taylor’s peaceful life. She’s grown up in the mundane world, where magic isn’t common, surrounded by her perfectly normal mam and dad, her younger brother Tipper, and her beloved Aunty. Aunty has always warned Mup against the witches, and told her that if she sees them, she must tell Aunty and no one else. But the night Mup sees them out her car window, Aunty has died—and her family has no protection left against the raggedy witches.
Mup is quickly torn from familiarity into a world of strange and powerful magic where people can become animals, and an unjust queen forces rebels to speak in rhyme. But she’s a part of this world, too, because it’s where her mam was born. And the queen—who restricts all magic, and commands the powerful raggedy witches—wants her, because Mup’s mam is her daughter.
In an unfamiliar world where Mup doesn’t know who or what to trust, and raggedy witches seem to lurk in every shadow, Mup has a single goal: to keep her family together. But that might just be the hardest quest of all.
Begone the Raggedy Witches is a modern novel and a fairytale at the same time. Celine Kiernan skillfully manages to create a very real world which feels very deep and multilayered, yet is simple enough to easily grasp, and adds to the story instead of complicating it. The cast, including Mup, is interesting and realistic. Those elements of realism are part of what makes Begone the Raggedy Witches stand out, because they integrate seamlessly into the fairytale-like story invoked by the plot and writing; the feel of this book often reminded me of A Path Begins. I highly recommend Begone the Raggedy Witches to lovers of fairytales and whimsical stories ages ten and up.
Note: If you enjoy Begone the Raggedy Witches, check out our interview with the author, Celine Kiernan!