Toby and the Silver Blood Witches by Sally Doherty - Book Review
by Anca Antoci
Author: Sally Doherty
Amazon: Buy from Amazon
Our review: 5.00 (read)
"Toby and the Silver Blood Witches", the proud winner of the 2022 Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA), hits you right in the feels with its surprising emotional depth, making it a standout middle-grade read.
Doherty’s "Toby and the Silver Blood Witches" is a captivating tale that effortlessly weaves together themes of magic and realism, delivering an enchanting narrative that is both heartwarming and exhilarating. The book follows Toby, a 12-year-old who takes on the responsibility of caring for his sick mother, while dealing with bullying and feeling alone. However, when an unexpected encounter with a crash-landed witch propels Toby into a breathtaking adventure, his world is forever transformed.
Doherty’s skillful characterization brings the cast to life, with Toby shining as the central figure, capturing readers’ hearts with his resilience and determination. Yet, it is the endearing flittermouse, Barnaby, who finds a special place within the reader's affections, leaving us yearning for further encounters with these delightful characters.
While the infusion of magic and adventure may initially seem incongruous with the stark realities of Toby’s life, it is precisely this juxtaposition that makes the narrative so compelling. The fusion of realism and enchantment allows Toby’s personal growth to flourish amidst his extraordinary journey, resulting in a narrative that resonates powerfully with readers.
The story’s core exploration of Toby’s role as a young carer is both poignant and thought-provoking. Doherty deftly portrays the challenges faced by children thrust into caregiving roles, emphasizing the immense weight Toby carries as he tends to his bedridden mother without any support. Through Toby’s eyes, readers witness the impact of chronic illness on both the individual and their family, shedding light on the struggles these families endure. Such an honest portrayal serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding and compassion in the face of such hardships.
Toby and the Silver Blood Witches is a delightful escapade that expertly blends magic, adventure, and heartfelt storytelling. From the captivating world of witches and their bewitching powers to daring rescues and acts of bravery, this book presents an engaging narrative that effortlessly captivates readers. Doherty’s own experience with ME lends authenticity to the portrayal of Toby’s mother, whose condition is depicted with empathy and understanding.
This thoroughly entertaining read leaves readers both entertained and moved. It adeptly balances thought-provoking themes with lighthearted humor, ensuring a multifaceted experience. The witches add wonder to the story, and the Witchery trip is a special highlight that takes readers into a world of magic.
In conclusion, "Toby and the Silver Blood Witches" is a superbly crafted novel that encompasses the essence of a fantastic adventure. With its unforgettable characters, mesmerizing magic, and a tale that tackles significant issues, this book has all the necessary ingredients to captivate readers of all ages. Toby’s journey, filled with humor, intrigue, and excitement, guarantees an enthralling reading experience that will leave readers eagerly turning the pages.