Boudica’s Daughters


Boudica’s Daughters was written by Sheridan Winn and first published in 2016. It’s a fantasy story with historical elements, focusing on a family who are drawn closer together by both personal tragedy and an archaeological find. The novel stands alone, so you don’t have to have read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.

Lilla has always seen ghosts, though she often finds that people don’t believe her. Therefore, it’s not really surprising that when her family moves out into the Norfolk countryside, she starts to see spirits of ancient warriors. Two thousand years before, the Iceni tribe was known to live in the area and when Lilla uncovers an ornamental hare in the woods behind her house, she quickly learns that it belonged to the daughter of Queen Boudica.

However, her investigation into the ghosts is put on hold when her sister returns home from University. While Lilla has always been a bit weird, her sister Janey was the life and soul of the party. Yet Janey’s not the same as she was. In the past year, she’s gone increasingly off the rails and fallen in with a bad crowd. It’s not long the family discover why, and the tragic revelation shocks all of them to the core.

In an attempt draw her sister out of her depression, Lilla enlists her to help scour the woods for Iceni treasure. As they discover more than they ever could have imagined, the sisters slowly begin to grow closer as they search for a way to both help Janey and the restless spirits find peace.


The Magic Unfolds / The Secret of the Towers

The Sprite Sisters 2 + 3

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for The Circle of Power. You can read my review of this novel [here].

The Sprite Sisters series is written by Sheridan Winn and focuses on the adventures of four magical girls as they protect their home from an evil witch. The series is aimed at middle grade readers and currently contains eight novels – The Circle of Power (2008), The Magic Unfolds (2008), The Secret of the Towers (2009), The Ghost in the Tower (2009), New Magic (2010), The Boy with the Hawk-like Eyes (2012), Magic at Drysdale’s School (2013) and The Mystery of the Locked Room (2014). For the purpose of this review I’ll be looking at the second and third books only.

Flame, Marina, Ash and Ariel are four sisters who share a secret – they are each able to use a different kind of elemental magic. Such powers have always run in the Sprite family, although not every member can use them. The only person who knows about the power that the girls possess is their Grandmother. To reveal magic to someone who can’t use it themselves is to risk losing it forever.

In The Magic Unfolds, the four sisters are forced to confront the evil Glenda Glass once again as she tries to use her magic to damage the roof of Sprite Towers. If she succeeds, the Sprite’s Dad could never afford the repairs and would have no choice but to sell the house. The Sprites know that only their combined magic can protect the Towers but they find themselves out of balance. Marina has befriended Glenda’s granddaughter, Verena, and in doing so has driven a wedge between herself and her sisters.

In The Secret of the Towers, the Sprite Sisters learn that a box containing a magical secret is hidden somewhere in their home and start to search for it. However, they are not alone. A distant relative called Charles Smythson has come to Sprite Towers under the pretence of cataloguing the paintings but he is actually a spy for Glenda Glass. The sisters know that they must find the object before he can deliver it into Glenda’s hands but that won’t be a simple task. Charles possesses dark magic of his own…


The Circle of Power

The Sprite Sisters - The Circle of Power

The Circle of Power was written by Sheridan Winn and first published in 2008. It is the first book in The Sprite Sisters series which focuses on four girls aged nine to thirteen who discover that they have elemental powers. The novel is followed by seven sequels – The Magic Unfolds (2008), The Secret of the Towers (2009), The Ghost in the Tower (2009), New Magic (2010), The Boy with the Hawk-like Eyes (2012), Magic at Drysdale’s School (2013) and The Mystery of the Locked Room (2014).

On Ariel Sprite’s ninth birthday, her sisters reveal to her the family secret. Magic runs in their blood and now that she has come of age, she will be able to use it. All of her sisters have already developed their powers – Flame can call upon fire, Marina can use water and Ash can summon the power of the earth. Now that Ariel can control the wind, their magic circle is finally complete.

Ariel is desperate to show off her new powers to her friends and family and is disappointed to learn that her new abilities come with strict rules. Her magic must only be used for good. If she reveals her abilities to non-magical people, she could find that she is shunned for being different. To make matters worse, if her powers are ever used selfishly, or to harm another person, she could find that she loses them forever.

Ariel’s self-control is put to the test when an old rival of her Grandmother comes to town. This evil witch is determined to have her revenge on their Grandmother for something that happened when they were young and knows that the easiest way to hurt her is to cause harm to her Granddaughters. The Sprite Sisters must work together to protect each other in order to outwit a witch who has had decades to perfect her magic.


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