The Little Grey Girl (The Wild Magic Trilogy, #2)
The old queen and her raggedy witches have fled Witches Borough, and Mup’s family has moved into the cold, newly empty castle. But the queen’s legacy lingers in the fear and mistrust of her former subjects and in the memories that live in the castle’s very walls. While Mup’s mam tries to restore balance to a formerly oppressed world, Mup herself tries to settle into her strange new home with her dad, Tipper, and Crow. When an enchanted snow blankets the castle, Mup’s family is cut off from the rest of the kingdom, and the painful memories of the old queen’s victims begin to take form, thanks to a ghost whose power may be too much for even Mup and Mam to handle. Celine Kiernan weaves a timely and essential truth into the second book of her trilogy: that dismantling oppression means honoring the pains of the past, and perhaps the most potent magic of all is encouraging joy and hope wherever possible.
However, Mup's mother does not wish to be a cruel ruler- she wants the people to have freedom and not live in fear. Convincing them of this is no easy task. It also made harder by the curse the former queen has left behind, and the dangerous drawings that seem to keep appearing. Mup is a key player in all this as she thinks about her mother and family's decisions as well as tries to keep everyone she loves safe from the powers at play.
What I loved: The story is beautifully woven and flows well. While prior knowledge is not needed, it does help in starting this book. There are some important themes here about power and the strength of a ruler, as well as the value of freedom. Other key themes include actions of fear and the consequences of decisions as well as the redeemable nature of people, even when past actions were bad. Mup is a forceful, brave, and lovely character who really carries the story well. The magic and fantasy elements here add to the charm of the story, presenting a great middle grade read.
I will add a small note to say that this book and series can be a little scary for those who are sensitive with mentions of torture and pain (not shown, just mentioned) as well as ghosts and bad witches.
Final verdict: Magical and fantastical with great themes, THE LITTLE GREY GIRL is a beautifully written story about freedom and forgiveness as well as bravery. Highly recommend for the middle grade fantasy audience.