At this point, it is probably no surprise that I am turning into a serious Elle McNicoll fangirl. I can’t help it. She is just completely and utterly brilliant. Her latest book, Like a Charm, is no exception.
Like a Charm tells the story of Ramya Knox, a young girl who can see the magical creatures no one else can. When she moved to Edinburgh, she begins to understand why. Magic is hiding throughout the city and Ramya is going to discover it all. The only problem? A warning from her grandfather: Beware the Sirens.
What follows is a truly magical adventure that will make you laugh, smile and maybe wipe a tear away once or twice.
Now, you know that I love Edinburgh and it truly is the perfect backdrop for this story. It’s history is the perfect home for the Hidden Folk of McNicoll’s writing and you can completely imagine these creature being tucked away in the city. It is such a wonderful setting and you can tell how much the author loves the place too.
I also loved what McNicoll did with a lot of the magical creatures. Some of them, you may recognise from myths and legends. Others, are distinctive to Like a Charm. They were all well developed and beautifully written. It was wonderful to read such a fresh take on some established ideas.
As for Ramya, I could read 20 books about her. I LOVED her. She was strong and unsure of herself, willing to learn and grow and phenomenally loyal. I absolutely adore the development all of McNicoll’s characters go through and Ramya is no exception to that. I was practically bursting with pride in her by the end of the book. She had truly grown and I really hope countless children will be inspired by how she came to be so empowered and have such a strong belief in herself.
I need a sequel! Now!
Overall, this is a lovely, lovely read. I was fully enthralled in it from start to finish, racing through it as I loved it so much. I would highly recommend that you read it if you get the chance.