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Summary

As Spitfires roar overhead and a dark figure stalks the village of Woodville, a young woman will discover her destiny....

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 witch's 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 villagers. 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.

For fans of Lev Grossman and Terry Pratchett comes this delightful novel of war, mystery and a little bit of magic....

Don't miss the other magical books in the Witches of Woodville series!

#1 The Crow Folk

#2 Babes in the Wood

#3 The Ghost of Ivy Barn 

©2021 Mark Stay (P)2021 Simon & Schuster UK

Critic reviews

"Warm, witty, witchy wartime fun. With Mark Stay as writer you're always guaranteed a magical read." (Julie Wassmer, author of the Whitstable Pearl Mysteries)

"You'll love it: Doctor Who meets Worzel Gummidge." (Lorna Cook, author of The Forgotten Village)

"A jolly romp with witches, demons, and bellringing. Pratchett fans will enjoy this, and Faye is a feisty and fun hero. Dad's Army meets Witches of Eastwick." (Ian W. Sainsbury)

"A story that is full of magic and delight that will thrill readers of any age." (Rowan Coleman, author of The Girl at the Window)

"Extremely funny, full of imagination, verve and typical English ‘home counties’ wit and if you like Dad’s Army (who doesn’t?), you’ll love it." (Irish Independent)  

"Stay has brewed a cracking blend of charm and creepiness in The Crow Folk. A rip-roaring tale of bravery and witchcraft on the wartime home front, expertly told with lashings of wit and warmth." (Pernille Hughes, author of Probably the Best Kiss in the World

"A delightful mash-up of Dad’s Army and Charmed. An absolute treat." (CK McDonnell, author of Stranger Times

"Nothing prepared me for just how brilliant this book is. A modern day successor to Alan Garner." (Ginger Nuts of Horror)

What listeners say about The Crow Folk

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Amazing - one of my favourite listens this year!

I have to start by saying I loved this book so much! I decided to take a chance even though it isn't my usual genre because I was pulled in by the gorgeous cover, and was absolutely enchanted by the lovely whimsical fantasy set in a small village in Kent during WW2.

It is the coming of age story of 17 year old Faye Bright, who finds her late mother's diary and discovers that she was a witch. When unwelcome visitors - scarecrows and the creepy 'Pumpkinhead' - invade the village Faye and two other witches from the village battle to stop them.

Faye is an engaging heroine who is smart, courageous and resilient, and the other characters are all realistic and full of life, especially pipe-smoking witch Charlotte and the imposing Mrs Teach. I enjoyed the backdrop of WW2 Britain in a small village with rationing, the ARP and the Home Guard. The book reminded me of so many things - Worzel Gummidge, Doctor Who, Charmed, Dad's Army - and I loved the humour running through it. There's also a creepy darkness emanating from the gloomy woods.

The ending certainly left me wanting more and I was pleased to find out that this is the first in a new series, and I will be first in the queue to buy book 2 when it is published later this year.

The narration by Candida Gubbins was perfect for the book and helped make this one of my favourite listens of 2021.

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely fantastic.

I've heard people say that "The Crow Folk" would be appreciated by fans of Sir Terry Pratchett (May he rest in peace). So I decided to pick this up (That and i can't resist a nice book cover)

And sure, i love the Discworld series above most things.
But just slapping the "it reminded me of Discworld" sticker on it does neither the book or it's author any justice.
Mark Stay has created something new, refreshing, funny and simultaneously serious.

And i love it.

The narrator also does a bang up job on this book.

2 people found this helpful

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The perfect combination of story and narration.

This is the perfect combination of story and narration. The stories is humorous, eerie and clever. It feels like a folk tale, a fairy tale whilst still being a thoroughly original and modern story. Candida reads it stunningly.

1 person found this helpful

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Just Gorgeous!

What a lovely book! Think WW11 era with some scarecrows and witches thrown in for good measure. It was at times creepy, at times funny, tugged a bit at the heartstrings and it was full of gorgeously nostalgic historical detail. It reminded me of something I might have read as a youngster.
This is a wholesome book, one that doesn’t depend on gore, sex, violence, etc. for its appeal. That makes it a rare gem and suitable for anyone aged about 12 and upwards. The audiobook is beautifully narrated.
Really looking forward to the sequel, “Babes in the Wood”.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful

This was a fabulous book it kept me entertained from the first word to the last and the skills of the narrator Candida Huggins just bought it to life I really hope another one comes along

1 person found this helpful

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A great book

I thoroughly enjoyed this and can't wait for the next book in the series to come out. Beautiful prose and an entertaining cast of characters.

1 person found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable!

A great story by Mark Stay and narrator Candida Gubbins is a delight.

Very much looking forward to the next instalment.

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Really good

Warm, funny, kind and wise. This is the perfect comforting book for our troubling times.

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wonderfully fun and riveting story about the resid

A wonderfully fun and riveting story about the residents of the village of Woodville. Atmospheric, tense, and intermixed with some great humour. The world of Woodville balances the difficult line of magic and mundane, avoiding being being too grounded and too weird, in part helped by the significance of WW2.
Faye is an interesting character with a wholesome soul, but there were several moments when she seemed much younger than she is, but maybe this was by design, to help highlight her nice and innocent. Overall Faye’s experiences are a joy to follow, with a great supporting cast.

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Disappointing

This was disappointing The exciting prologue was the best bit but unfortuntely the following chapters I listened to, seemed a real let down.
Negatives:
Narration
MC