The Witch’s Guide to Magical Combat – Lari Don

The Witch’s Guide to Magical Combat is the third book in the Spellchasers series by Lari Don. If you haven’t read the first two you will struggle to follow this one so go off and read them first.

OK, now we’ll begin. These books are basically about people who have been cursed and how Molly and her friends deal with situations that get out of hand.

Molly’s curse is that, whenever she hears a dog bark, she turns into a hare. It has certain advantages, as you might imagine, but the first clue that problems are afoot are when Molly turns into not a hare but whatever creature is the prey of the animal whose sound she hears. The curse lasts until she crosses a boundary, so she has to find a boundary in order to change back into a girl. She has come to enjoy being a hare at times, but worms, for example, are not great at making getaways.

She tries asking her curse caster to lift the curse but he refuses and the world of magic is series unbalanced by the growing power of an army of curse casters, led by Corbie. The promise keeper, whom we met in the last book, is out of control, growing stronger and more cruel as she makes up for her years of imprisonment.

Molly knows that she could use magic to break her curse but that would mean becoming a witch, something she doesn’t want to do. She must outwit Corbie and his followers by cunning rather than dark magic – oh and a big fight scene.

Again there is a strong ethical theme as the dryad Beth challenges Molly’s desire to be free from her curse and refuses to join the friends on their quest as it means leaving the trees which she has sworn to protect. We can see there are at least two ways to perceive every issue and we also see the struggle to overcome something that is almost becoming an addiction for Molly. Can she learn to use magic to create boundaries to free herself from her curse, without succumbing to damaging power and greed?

Just as we think they have solved the problem and found something which will negate the Promise Keeper’s power, the group is betrayed. This betrayal teaches us about trust and hurt and how we might go on from this, with hate or with greater determination.

Finally we come to an interesting resolution, which I won’t give away, other than to say that good magic prevails but the responsibility for how we use power or magic or any skill we have, is what defines us a human being.

Published by Floris Books

(With apologies for the elongated cover pic – Ed.)


Published by

Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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