Book Review

The Crow Folk – Mark Stay

Today I am joining the blog tour for The Crow Folk by Mark Stay. Many thanks to Mark and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour.


Faye Bright always felt a little bit different. And today she’s found out why. She’s just stumbled across her late mother’s diary which includes not only a spiffing recipe for jam roly-poly, but spells, incantations, runes and recitations… A witches notebook.

And Faye has inherited her mother’s abilities.

Just in time, too. The Crow Folk are coming. Led by the charismatic Pumpkinhead, their strange magic threatens Faye and the villages. Armed with little more than her mum’s words, her trusty bicycle, the grudging help of two bickering old ladies, and some aggressive church bellringing, Faye will find herself on the front lines of a war nobody expected.

Fall in love with the extraordinary world of Faye Bright – it’s Maisie Dobbs meets The Magicians.


Amazon UK

The Crow Folk Cover


The Crow Folk is an unusual mix of genres, part utterly charming in a Darling Buds of May sort of way, part something else altogether with an army of the reanimated scarecrows who sent me straight back to my childhood when I was banned from watching Scooby-Doo because it gave me nightmares (I wish I was joking, but I am not).

In the people of Woodville, Mark Stay as created a wonderful community of characters, each of whom has their set role in the village, and a rich history behind how they got there. There are hints of scandals and squabbles going back through the years that show just how much thought has gone into creating this little slice of Kent, and which make it feel so real that I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to find it was a real place and the characters real people.

Our 17 year old heroine, Faye, is full of the exuberance of youth, feisty and determined, and it is impossible not to get swept up in her enthusiasm. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does and will do anything for the people she loves. Miss Charlotte and Mrs Teach are quite the double act and I loved their interactions throughout the book.

Pumpkinhead makes for a sinister and powerful villain of the piece and gave me something of a shiver down my spine throughout the book. Whilst his scarecrow companions unnerved me to begin with, I loved that they had their own personalities, some of which we got to know, and the story behind these personalities was both sad and lovely at the same time.

As you will know from past reviews, I am a big fan of magical realism, and the way in which the magic and the reality are combined in this book is simply wonderful. The setting in the early years of the Second World War is inspired, adding challenges for our villagers to overcome that just wouldn’t be present during any other period of time. I fell completely in love with this book, and I look forward to getting to know the people of Woodville better in the future.

Oh, and once you have finished reading this, go and sign up for the author’s newsletter. It is an absolute treat!


Mark Stay Author Pic

Mark stay co-wrote the screenplay for Robot Overlords which became a movie with Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, and premiered at the 58th London Film Festival. He is co-presenter of the Bestseller Experiment podcast and has worked in bookselling and publishing for over twenty-five years. He lives in Kent, England, with his family and a trio of retired chickens. He blogs and humblebrags over at





Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part in the tour for more on The Crow Folk.

Crow Folk BT Poster

2 thoughts on “The Crow Folk – Mark Stay”

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