Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day and my Second Orilium Reading

I know we are supposed to avoid judging a book by its cover but this one is just too cute to pass up. I’m not sure if it was the set of the character’s face, the animal accompanying her or the falling sparkling leaves but everything about this cover begged me to read this book. So I did!


Misfit witch Willow Moss holds the fate of the magical world of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands . . . A spellbinding new fantasy series for readers aged 8–12, perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell.

Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, has a magical ability for finding lost things – like keys, or socks, or wooden teeth. Her magic might be useful, but it’s not exactly exciting . . . Until, that is, the most powerful witch in the whole of Starfell turns up at her door needing Willow’s help.

A whole day – last Tuesday to be precise – has gone missing. And the repercussions could be devastating. Can Willow find the day to save the day? from Goodreads.

A girl in a green dress is carrying a cat in a furry green bag on the cover of Starfell: Willow Moss & the Lost Day


I am having a bit of a hard time really talking about this book. 90% of the book was a lovely and cozy magical read. Willow is the youngest magician in her family and her magical powers are the least impressive, right? And while I suppose having one sister that can blow things up and another that can move things with her mind might make me feel inferior as a child, as an adult I would vastly prefer Willow’s power.

Perhaps, this is a reminder for me. Lots of kids tell me that they feel insecure about something and, from my perch in adulthood, it doesn’t seem so bad. But kids are entitled to their feelings and their perspective is their reality. So, kudos to Willow for reminding me of that.

Certainly Willow’s feeling as an outsider allowed her to identify and befriend more outsiders. Throughout the book she picks up new friends and all of them feel not-the-same. My favorite is the animal featured on the cover. What I thought was a cat is actually an kobold. Oswin a.k.a. The Monster Under the Bed, is the most fun character I have encountered in while. The author used a similar technique as Patrick Ness in The Knife of Never Letting Go and misspells Oswalds words to give him a lovely cockney accent. I think it’s cockney….. Forgive me if this in inaccurate!

Willow meets adversity and friendship with the same fortitude throughout her journey and her determination and kindness are met with resounding success. The missing day is bothering her though and she can sense, just on the edge of her mind, that what she is missing is so much more than just a day. And here is where recommending the book blindly to a younger audience becomes tricky for me.

I do not enjoy sad books. I do not read books to remind me that there are moments in life that are crushingly sorrowful. And this book deals with that in a respectful way but it felt like a sucker punch. I would want to know, before I recommend this book to a child, that they are not trying to escape from the same sadness in a magical world.

When I finished Starfell, I also thought that the book was a little lacking in depth. I didn’t realize that it was series! There are already two more books out and I hope that Willow is able to spend more time with her new found friends because they were, as she was, an absolute delight.

This is my second reading for my Orilium readathon since this book has been tempting me for a while!

Tell me, please! Do you have any themes in books that make you shy away?


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