Castle Hangnail, by Urusla Vernon. Children's fantasy. Hardback, 372 pages. Keeping it to loan to friends.
In summary, this book was delightful. It was predictable until suddenly not
in all kinds of twisty-fun ways. The ending was far more sweet than I had expected, because it actually worked
. Additionally, in this world, magic was more a layer of absurdity on a regular world than something foreign or non-referential.
Castle Hangnail lost its last Evil Sorceress to old age, and put out invitations to every known Wicked Witch, Evil Sorcerer(ess), Mad Scientist, etc. to please come take over as Master of the Castle. The person who answered the invitation was an 11-year-old girl named Molly. She wanted
to be a Wicked Witch, but only in the most classic of descriptions for children. To her, "wicked" was not the same as "evil."
In order to establish residency and take Castle Hangnail off of probation, Molly had to perform specific tasks. She had to smite or blight at least three times, etc. So she worked with the residents of the castle to perform her tasks with what little magic she had and the huge hearts of all involved.
I picked it up because I enjoy Ursula Vernon's various online presences. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys children's fantasy.Books for 2015