I have a confession to make. I have had all three of the Dreamsnatcher series on my bookcase for a little while. All signed. All with beautiful covers. And I was saving them for a rainy day, just to make sure I had something special stashed away when I was in need. Well, a year after this title was published, after reading everyone else raving about them and being a little in awe of Abi’s real life adventures, I decided the time had come to read the first instalment.
The prologue set a suitably dark and magical tone with smoke, cloaked figures and ancient evil chants. We’re then flashed forwards ten years to Moll starting awake in bed, drenched in sweat following what she thinks is a nightmare. Little does she know that this nightmare is about to become her reality as she discovers that she is one of the only ones (alongside her ever-present wildcat, Gryff) who can fight against the dark magic of the wicked and twisted Shadowmasks.
Moll has always felt as though she didn’t truly belong to Oak’s clan of gypsies who dwell in a clearing in Tanglefern Forest, and would rather spend her time running wild with best friend Siddy than help the other girls make wire flowers to hawk to the villagers. However, she soon discovers that the her fate and that of the clan are intertwined and that they know more about her past than they’ve previously revealed.
Moll is a wonderfully flawed main character. Outwardly spiky, fierce and generally disagreeable but inwardly full of self-doubt and a sense of loss at not really ever having known her parents. She’s also courageous, fiercely loyal and protective of those she holds dear. Definitely someone who you’d want as a friend.
This book is full of everything you need for a truly gripping yarn: magic, evil, mystery, mischief and heart. An absolute must-read! If only I hadn’t left the other two back in England!