Book Review: The Ghost Of Ivy Barn by Mark Stay #GhostOfIvyBarn #WitchesOfWoodville @markstay @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours


August, 1940.

As the Battle of Britain rages overhead, a warlock leader from the Council of High Witches comes to Woodville with a ritual to repel the imminent Nazi invasion. The only catch is it involves full-frontal nudity on the White Cliffs of Dover. The Witches of Woodville are having none of it, but when more witches arrive they realise they might have a spy in their midst, and it’s up to Faye Bright to uncover the traitor. But she’s got enough on her plate already with the ghost of a Polish Hurricane pilot who may hold the key to the truth.

My Review

When we catch up with Faye she is still trying to process and deal with the aftermath of the dramatic battle at the end of the second book, Babes in the Woods. That’s when Larry approaches Miss Charlotte, Mrs Teach and Faye because there’s something in one of his barns which isn’t quite normal. It turns out that a poltergeist has inhabited Ivy Barn. But after ridding the barn of the poltergeist Faye comes across a ghost called Leo who appears to be tethered to the barn. At the same time Faye, Miss Charlotte and Mrs Teach are approached by The Council of Witches to see if they can stop the war and defeat the enemy by taking part in The Cone of Power ritual. As if Faye wasn’t busy enough an old enemy resurfaces with an ally who is closer to Faye than she thinks who’s goal is to destroy The Council of Witches. Will The Cone of Power ritual be successful? Will Faye help Leo find out what is keeping him tied to Ivy Barn? Will Faye discover the spy who is trying to destroy them?

The author has created such a brilliant and original series in the Witches of Woodville combining magic, witches and the Second World War which are some of my favourite subjects. As soon as the author reveals the next book in the series I can’t wait to catch up with Miss Charlotte, Mrs Teach and Faye and find out what’s going on in this little Kentish Town and be transported back to the 1940’s. This is the third book in the series and I absolutely loved the storyline. When I think the series can’t get any better the next book always proves me wrong. The story was new and fresh but included the characters I have grown to love and become attached to. The underlying themes of these books are that it is World War Two, the enemy and the war is getting closer each day. Faye, Miss Charlotte and Mrs Teach are not only helping stave off the war but also magical threats so for them there’s double trouble in Kent. But even though the underlying theme is that of the wartime era every story so far has included a new element which is a little bit different. This has made reading this series interesting and captivated my imagination from the beginning.

From the first book to this latest instalment we see Faye grow from strength to strength from discovering that her mother was a witch to truly embracing her own heritage and power. As the books progress Faye proves that she’s one of the most powerful witches that this little village or even The Council of Witches has ever seen. She proves countless times that she may be even more powerful than her mentors and her mother even if Faye herself is unsure of her on capabilities. I did love how Faye and Bertie are now courting because it shows how much they’ve both grown up from the first book where Faye simply saw Bertie as a friend but there was an indication that Bertie was a bit sweet on Faye. I really enjoyed the little journal entries from Bertie because they made me laugh. They were very matter of fact like Bertie, including what was happening around him to what he was having for his dinner. Bertie knows that Faye is a witch and embraces this even trying to help her by buying her a book about spells which was so sweet.

I’ve said it many times but The Witches of Woodville is one of my favourite series. I wish this series had been around when I was younger because I know I would have loved it. The books include witches and magic in a small town in Kent during the Second World War. What’s not to love. I can’t wait to see what awaits Faye in the next book.

To quote the last sentence of the book ‘THE WITCHES OF WOODVILLE WILL RETURN …’ so go and read the books because you won’t regret it.

Author Bio

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

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