Book Review

The Hedgehog Child – Helen Slavin

As you will all know by now, I am a huge fan of Helen Slavin’s Witch Ways series, and today I am  excited to be able to tell you all about The Hedgehog Child, one of the Witch Ways Whisper novellas that accompany the series. Many thanks to Agora books for providing me with a copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

She wondered, sometimes, if the most cruel and dangerous things were those that did not live in Havoc Wood.

Step, if you would, out of Havoc and into the treacherous worlds around it. You might find a market. You might find a kingdom. You might find a place where magic is taboo.

Hettie Way is no stranger to these other places, but when a child, stamped with spells, is stolen from that world and whisked to Woodcastle, she’s not the only trouble that arrives…

The Hedgehog Child, a Witch Ways Whisper, is a prequel to the Witch Ways Series.



I really loved this little snippet of life before the main Witch Ways series, seeing more of Hettie, and meeting Anna, Charlie and Emz as small children. Hettie is such a big presence in the main series, despite not physically being there, and it was a joy to get to know her better in this book.

Although only short, The Hedgehog Child contains all the magic of a full length Witch Ways novel, and I was totally captivated by it and the new characters I met within its pages (although I will confess that it took me a embarrassingly long time to connect Tinker’s first name with her surname of Bell!).

I would highly recommend this book, and the whole series, to anyone who needs a sprinkling of magic in their life.


Helen Slavin was born in Heywood in Lancashire in 1966. She was raised by eccentric parents on a diet of Laurel and Hardy, William Shakespeare and the Blackpool Illuminations. Educated at her local comp her favourite subjects at school were English and Going Home.

After The University of Warwick she worked in many jobs including, plant and access hire, a local government Education department typing pool, and a vasectomy clinic. A job as a television scriptwriter gave her the opportunity to spend all day drinking tea, living in a made-up fantasy world and getting paid for it (sometimes).

Helen has been a professional writer for fifteen years. Her first novel The Extra Large Medium was chosen as the winner in the Long Barn Books competition run by Susan Hill.

A paragliding Welsh husband and two children distract her and give her ample opportunity to spend all day drinking tea, nagging about homework and washing pants for England. In the wee small hours she still keeps a bijou flat in that fantasy world of writing.When not working with animals and striving for world peace, Helen enjoys the music of Elbow and baking bread. Her favourite colour is purple and if she had to be stranded on a desert island with someone it would be Ray Mears ( alright, George Clooney is very good looking but can he make fire with a stick? No. See?)

She now lives, with her family, in Trowbridge, Wiltshire where, when she’s not writing, she’s asleep. Or in Tescos.

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