I reviewed this for the June 2010 issue of School Library Journal. See the rest of the Grade 5 and Up reviews here.
FAGAN, Deva. The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle. 272p. CIP. Holt. June 2010. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-8743-7. LC 2009023447.
Gr 4–6—Prunella Bogthistle may have the name and chicken-foot-festooned braids of a bog-witch, but she can't cast curses or grow warts. To prove her witchy worth, she goes on a quest to find her infamous ancestor's long-lost grimoire, joining forces with Barnaby, a foppish Uplander with a mysterious past. On their travels, it becomes clear that what little magic there is in the Uplands is draining away. As Prunella and Barnaby try to discover the cause, they realize that good and evil can come packaged in deceptive forms—nasty bog-witches, malevolent wizards, and beautiful queens aren't always what they seem. Prunella's tetchy interactions and thrilling adventures with Barnaby are tinged with her unwillingness to admit to herself that she is, at heart, a kind, if occasionally contrary, bog-witch. A spectral horse, a lonely ghost, and numerous wary and prejudiced villagers add humor and danger to this magical adventure. If the denouement is a bit hurried, no matter; all ends are satisfactorily tied up. This colorful, fast-paced fantasy is recommended for fans of funny, fairy-tale-inspired stories.