Willow Moss & the Vanished Kingdom (Starfell #3)

Willow Moss & the Vanished Kingdom (Starfell #3)
Age Range
Release Date
January 11, 2022
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For the first time ever, Willow Moss is going to school.

Magical children have long been barred from attending school. And the sudden reversal of the rule by the mysterious (and nefarious) Brothers of Wol seems too good to be true. Why would they decide to change it now?

Willow, though hesitant, embarks on this new path with her usual courage and determination. On her first day, she meets new friends Twist and Peg, who will soon become her next partners-in-adventure.

Because Willow is about to be tasked with her most urgent mission yet: to protect the children of Starfell, uncover the mystery of a long-lost kingdom—and prevent the very source of all magic from falling into the wrong hands.  

Editor review

1 review
Saving all the magic in the world
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
The author offers an interesting twist to a familiar plot. A wizard named Silas manipulates others in order to accumulate all of the magic for himself. Willow can’t understand why her parents now support Silas or why the mortal school is now accepting magical folk. It turns out Silas is using illegal magic to control other people’s minds and he plans to steal the magic from young, magical children first. As a witch, Willow has encountered Silas in previous books and she’s well aware of his diabolical schemes.
Willow teams up with her best friend Oswin (the last kobold), an elf girl named Twist, and a human boy named Peg. Oswin adds humor to the events with his whining and laments and he frequently gets upset when characters mistake him for a cat. Twist is an intriguing character as she is able to “control” the winds from the North, the most difficult zephyrs to harness. She blows into the classroom atop a chilling tornado and she’s able to wield the winds like a weapon. A trip to her home among the elves is on tap where the trio will uncover new clues. Peg has no special powers other than being intelligent and an excellent problem solver. He’s not sure if he'll be able to help but sometimes a sharp mind is the most valuable kind of magic.
The plot is a fast-moving adventure as the young heroes attempt to locate a city that disappeared one thousand years ago. The kids believe an elven staff is hidden in the city and it has the potential power to draw magic from every living thing. For a book with around 200 pages, the author is still able to develop the characters and their relationships and the plot includes enough detail to keep it interesting. The story is able to maintain a swift pace by not including any lengthy twists or major roadblocks so resolving the problem always seems to be just around the corner. Obstacles still emerge to keep the story following a winding path to the eventual, dramatic showdown.
What didn’t work as well:
The lack of major setbacks or detours keeps the plot moving but it omits opportunities to develop greater suspense. The problems are sometimes solved too easily so tension isn’t given time to develop. However, the story and characters are appealing enough to keep the book entertaining.
The Final Verdict:
The book is able to combine a quick-moving plot with compelling problems and characters to result in a compelling story. It can be enjoyed without reading the previous two books but I kind of wish I’d known they existed first. Overall, I recommend this book for your reading pleasure.
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