What’s really clever about this fast-paced tale is how the old magic world sits alongside a very believable and detailed England in 1983. The main characters really grow on you as they battle for survival. And the many booksellers – both left and right handed – are a delight.
Merlin stopped at the edge of the pond, and knelt down. He looked back, too, and saw the probing fingers of the murmuration testing the windows of the pub, pushing down the chimney, battering at the doors. Birds stunned themselves, or broke their necks, and fell like crumbs around every searching tendril but there were always more birds funnelled down from the vast, pulsating mass overhead.
‘I hope this works,’ he said, stripping the glove from his left hand.