Wednesday 23 August 2023

The Wrath of the Woolington Wyrm by Karen Foxlee Blog Tour

 I think you all know by now, I am a huge fan of children's literature. It's just pure escapism and I'm still quite partial to a good illustration.

Karen Foxlee has definitely mastered the art of writing because we have in her Guide to Monsters series is a great sense of adventure and a fantastic protagonist who goes by the name of Miss Mary-Kate Martin.


There are those that hunt monsters to harm them and there are those that hunt monsters to help them. Which one are you?

Dressed in sparkly red shoes and carrying her strawberry-scented notebook, Mary-Kate is accompanying her archaeologist mother to the tranquil English countryside to investigate some interesting bones found in an old well. But once they arrive, they realise that the village of Woolington is not as peaceful as it seems. Mysterious noises, earth tremors and a terrifying legend have the locals frightened.

Could there be any truth in the myth of the beast who lives in the ancient well? And if so, why would it return? Mary-Kate might be anxious, but she is not afraid to get to the bottom of this monstrous mystery.

This is what I'd describe as middle grade (MG) fantasy. 

A magnificent start to what promises to be an entertaining series of books.

Mary-Kate is what can be described as an anxious child. She likes routine, and even better she likes sparkly shoes!

Our escapades begin with her archaeologist mum Professor Martin being called to a site in a little village called Woolington. Any other time Mary-Kate would stay with her Granny when her mum - or Prof as she calls her - needs to work away, but Granny is travelling on one of her bus trips so this time she must go with her.

Straight away it becomes apparent that this is no normal village.  Bowls and buckets of milk sit outside the shops, cottages and the pub named the Hook & Wyrm where they are to be staying, that leads to the first question . . . why?

Now the reason Prof has been called to this strange place is because a shopping centre is about to be built on and around a well in the town square. However legend says that there is a creature living in the well and below this quiet place and The Woolington Wyrm Watch Society strongly protest against the shopping centre being built at all.

Is the creature a myth, a figment of people's imaginations, or is there some sort of truth behind this ongoing mystery.

Our determined and rather brave protagonist is determined to get to the bottom of all of it and what happens along the way is quite remarkable indeed.

Now I mentioned at the beginning that Mary-Kate has quite a nervous disposition and in my opinion I'd say she could possibly be autistic which can increase levels of anxiety. This is something that I think should be presented more in books because it shows that they are in fact just as amazing as the rest of us.

Along with a great supporting cast, it is wonderful to see Mary-Kate's confidence bloom as the story progresses. 

A special shout out to Pickles the pony who is really the unsung hero of this tale.

I'd also like to mention this books illustrator Freda Chiu who has managed to put an extra fun element into this quirky tale with their imagery.

Over all The Wrath of the Woolington Wyrm is a charming novel, ideal for those who love a good detective styled story. I'm very much looking forward to the next instalment, The Trouble with the Two Headed Hydra!

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