Witch Wars by Sibeal Pounder
Ill. by Laura Ellen Anderson. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408852651
What's not to like about crazy fairies and equally eccentric witches making silly spells, living in Ritzy City where almost anything is possible, fashion reigns and wide brimmed black hats are standard attire. Add to the mix the detailed illustrations which bring Ritzy City and its well dressed inhabitants to life, readers with a sense of humour and everyone is a winner.
Tiga Whicabim leads an unhappy life as the ward of the evil Miss Heks, but is more than surprised to meet Fran the Fabulous Fairy whilst hiding out in the garden shed. She is even more surprised when she finds herself below the drains in Ritzy City, Sinkville. Not only that but she has been entered in the Witch Wars, a competition to become Top Witch.
Who nominated her and how she will win when she has no idea about how things work or how to cast spells is Tiga's first question, however Fran is more concerned with getting the show on the road, because Witch Wars is a Brollywood TV show broadcast live by fairy camera operators of dubious quality.
After meeting the other contestants Tiga becomes firm friends with the kindly Peggy, who like Tiga seems the least likely to win and Fluffanora who swaps her fabulous dress for Tiga's jeans. There are riddle clues to decipher which take them all over Sinkville meeting an amazing variety of eccentric witches and fairies, all the while trying to beat Felicity Bat who is happy to cheat and sacrifice her friend Lizzie Beast in her quest to be named Top Witch.
This is a romp through an alternate world where everything from underwater beauty parlours to shoes that turn into luxury alternatives to tents is possible. Friendship and helping others wins out in the end as Peggy is named Top Witch.
This is Sibeal Pounder's debut novel, but I am sure this is not the last we will see of the Ritzy City crew.