The Impossible Quest: Wolves Of The Witchwood by Kate Forsyth
Published by Scholastic Australia
In the second instalment in the Impossible Quest, Tom, Sebastian, Elanor and Quinn are on the run from Lord Mortlake and his evil bog-men. In the first book, Wolfhaven castle, where the children reside, is under siege. The Grand Teller gives each child, a gift that will help them on their quest to find the magical items, to awake the sleeping giants and reclaim the castle. Using their combined wits and gifts, the children manage to capture a unicorn called Quickthorn, but Elanor worries about the fate of the unicorn. After all, they need a unicorn’s horn, not the whole unicorn.
As they stumble through the Witchwood, fleeing for their lives, they are attacked by a group of tiny insects that shoot poison darts, causing all the kids to sleep. They awake to find themselves cared for by an old hag, the witch of Witchwood.
Quinn immediately shares too much about their quest and how they seek a griffin’s feather. The Oak King, (Quinn’s gift of a wooden necklace) warns not to trust the old hag but Quinn doesn’t take heed.
The old hag is blind, but she knows the woods well. She tends to their wounds and makes them some food. She encourages them to rest, and to allow the foxglove poison to leave their bodies. She even gives them a glimpse of their families, trapped in the castle and manages to teach Tom and Quinn more about how to find the griffin if it truly exists.
When it comes time to leave, the hag seems to delay them at every turn, until they are attacked again and the hag does some very odd magic, which eventually helps them escape.
The children don’t know who to trust, but they find the place they seek, from Quinn’s reading of the old hag’s books and eventually discover a unicorn’s horn. Things are not always what they seem, and the children discover what heals can harm and what harms can heal. When Elanor dips her arm in the water that the unicorn is swimming in, her arm becomes solid silver.
Still seeking the griffin’s feather, the children set off again, and this time, Tom’s flute calls the wolves of the Witchwood to him. An unlikely family reunion takes place, and Tom learns that the Wild Man, from the first book is actually his father. He calls himself Hunter, and he does everything he can to help the children, including defending them from Lord Mortlake and his bog-men, to allow them to continue their quest for the griffin.
I won’t spoil the story, as it is quite crucial I believe to the next book, but many questions are answered and Tom and his friends find a way to offer some hope to themselves and those around them, in a very satisfying ending.
The quest is not over, with three more books to complete the tale. I certainly enjoyed this one, more than the first, as we see more of the magic and wonder of the quest. There is quite a lot of violence, which I believe would best suit children 12+, but once they start reading this series, I am certain they will be hooked.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Kate Forsyth
Title: The Impossible Quest: Wolves Of The Witchwood
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: November 2014