Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit

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Pub Date 2 May 2024 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2024

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Be swept away by an exquisite and unforgettable adventure from a stunning new talent in children's storytelling, perfect for fans of Northern Lights and The Unadoptables.

Meet Ista Flit. Daughter. Face-changer. Thief . . .

Amongst the cobbled streets and misty alleyways of Shelwich, magic rises and falls with the Tide. When the Tide is out, the magic ebbs to a low murmur. When the Tide is in, the magic is high - and Tide-blessings are at their strongest.

For most people, the Tide-blessing they are born with is nothing more than a simple party trick: eyes that change colour, or the ability to recite a poem backwards. Some, though, are blessed with more powerful gifts. Telepathy. Flight.

Or, in the case of Ista Flit, being able to transform to look like someone else. Anyone else...

Ista has come to Shelwich in search of her missing father, and she'll do anything to find him - even work for Shelwich's most notorious thief. Then she meets Nat and Ruby, both struggling with their own search: Nat for his little brother, Ravi, and Ruby for her sister Saf.

As more strange disappearances send shockwaves through the town, they must form a tentative friendship and draw on all the Tidemagic they can to unravel a mystery that leads to an old, abandoned theatre, and to the ancient caves beneath Shelwich.

But what they find there will be far more than they have bargained for...

Be swept away by an exquisite and unforgettable adventure from a stunning new talent in children's storytelling, perfect for fans of Northern Lights and The Unadoptables.

Meet Ista Flit. Daughter...

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ISBN 9780241636053
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 10 members

Featured Reviews

This is a surprising and intriguing novel. Ista Flit has a tide blessing that allows her to “wear” another person, especially when tide magic is at its strongest. It also allows her to borrow their blessing giving her deep insight into who people are and how they have been blessed.

Ista is ultimately searching for her Pa, who went missing many months ago. Lodging with Giddon and Padley, she works for Alexo on errands. Errands she completes to win back her most prized possession, her PA’s clarinet.

The city is being plagued by grilks, scary creatures that steal people away, never to be seen again. Having met Nat and Ruby, Ista feels this new trio can actually do something to figure out who is behind the attacks, and why.

With plenty of twists and turns, I guarantee you a brilliant time of reading this. Like me, you may need only an afternoon as it was so compelling, different and fascinating.

A brilliant book

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For the people of Shelwich, magic and mystery are a daily occurrence. Disappearances, however, not so much. But recently more people have been taken into the shadows than ever before, never to be seen again. ☠️

Tide-blessings are bestowed upon all those lucky enough to receive it, but Ista Flit has an extraordinary one: the gift of changing her appearance ✨This comes in handy when she learns her father has disappeared too.

But she isn’t the only person to have lost someone they love, she meets Nat and Ruby, who have lost someone too. 🔍 Together, they form a friendship and use all their skills (magical or otherwise) to dive into the secrets of the town to uncover the truth. 🎭

Oh my gosh! So rarely do I sink into a story as quickly as I did this one! The world-buildings and ‘Tide-blessings’ are so cleverly thought through and seamlessly create the most unique story.

I absolutely loved everything about this book - it was a pleasure to read! 🙌🤩 Ultimately, if I had to put my finger on it, the writing itself was just amazing. It’s the kind of writing style that both adults and children can sink into. 😌 The pacing was perfect, the descriptions and personalities of all the characters worked so well, I blasted through this book because I couldn’t put it down. 🤪

This author is definitely one for me to watch! I truly encourage you to pick up this brilliant book once it hits the shelves, and I can’t wait to see the wider opinion after publication day! Best of luck, Clare Harlow, I wish your story every success. 🙏

One thing to add, I was thinking of the River Thames as I read this book, and was delighted to read at the end it was an inspiration for the author! 🦆

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I loved this book. The estuary town of Shelwich is vividly brought to life, I understood the streets in relation to each other and all the sights and smells, thanks to the clear descriptions that were woven through the story. At its heart is a genuine mystery with lots of twists and turns - at least three different plots come together.

The story involves political intrigue, missing people, and lots of magic. It is full of interesting characters - adults with secrets as well as brave and resourceful children.

I don’t often say this, but this book really will appeal to all ages - there’s something timeless in the writing, like a C.S Lewis novel.

The world building is truly unique and imaginative and the writing is excellent. I was immersed in the town of Shelwich and I want to live there.

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The children and I adored this book. Two of them started rereading the book on their own as soon as we had finished reading it together. It really has the feel of a classic childrens novel. We cannot wait to add the book to our carefully curated bookshelf. Twists and turns, great characters, super worldbuilding ,beautifully written and magic too.

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Shelwich is a town besieged by disappearances, especially when the tide is high and the magic is at its height. They say monstrous creatures called Grilks are snatching people away. For Ista Flit, who is new to Shelwich, there is one main concern on her mind, to find her Pa, who has vanished without a trace. She will do anything to find him, even if it means using her tide blessing as a face changer to become a thief for the mysterious Alexo Rokis. But are things really all they appear to be?

A cross between The Famous Five and a classic fantasy tale, I read through Ista Flit in just a few sittings. I loved how the mystery and adventure element of famous five type stories fitted so perfectly into a fantasy setting. The idea of tide blessings is especially imaginative and young readers will clearly love it. Ista’s blessing as a face changer who can ‘borrow’ other people opens so many possibilities for her adventures that we want to know who she will be next. Combining this with a compulsive and fast paced storyline and intriguing characters, you find yourself wanting to read on and solve the mystery before the characters do!

I also loved the illustrations in the chapter headings and scattered through the book- they are lovely to look at and brilliant for young readers who like visual elements!

There were lots of questions left unanswered at the end of the book and locations unvisited which I would like to see more of. No doubt these will be answered and visited in the next book and I look forward to reading it!

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The premise of this story drew me in, but the execution of it all is what made this a five star read for me. I have a lot of students who are always seeking out new fantasy stories and the moment I started reading this I knew I needed to add it to my classroom library.

The story is broken up into easy to follow chapters and I feel are just right for some of my reluctant readers who tend to get lost in long drawn out chapters. The story I feel would be appealing to not only my students, but also YA readers as I was very engaged with it.

Sometimes in fantasy stories, especially for this age range I find that the world building can be a little daunting especially if there is a lot to understand. I didn't find that to be the case at all in this story. If anything I felt the world building to be interesting and engaging while also being easy enough to follow.

Without giving anything away, I recommend this to any educator who is looking for a new middle grade fantasy story for their library or any parent who is looking to engage a reluctant reader. Or if you are a fantasy reader who needs an easy read this would be just right for you!

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In three words: tides, magic, monsters

If you're looking for a story that's equally gripping but slightly slower in pace and darker in tone, then TideMagic is a great book to choose. Perfect for confident readers and for fans of Hana Tooke, it offers a very unique take on magic in a strange but immersive world...

In the dark, misty alleyways of Shelwich, magic rises and falls with the tide. Ista Flit has one goal - to use her power of changing faces, which the tide has bestowed on her, to find the truth behind her dad's disappearance. But when other vanishings begin to occur, there appears to be only one explanation: the grilks! Drawn into a web of lies and deceit and forced to steal, Ista joins forces with Nat and Ruby - children who are also searching for their loved ones - to solve a mystery that leads them to old theatres and caves. But will Ista find her father and will she be able to free herself from the nets she's become entangled in.

This story is so hugely atmospheric, I swear I could smell the salt of the sea as I was reading it. The narrow, cobbled and misty streets, which are a very familiar sight in my home county of Cornwall, are the perfect setting for this grim and gritty mystery which builds like a rising tide. There's suspense, tension and intrigue as well as some brilliant twists and turns. Plus, the magic is eerie and unsettling but also fascinating.

Ista Flit, with her ability to change faces, is a great character - troubled, alone and determined. I also loved the supporting characters of Nat and Ruby, each with their own distinct characters, and the relationship that develops between them is both entertaining and touching. For me, though, the grilks steal the show. They give this novel its creepy vibe and a very different type of villain. With no clue as to where the next book in the series is going to lead, I'm very keen to find out.

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Perfect for fans of Abi Elphinstone and the Malamander series or those moving on from the Land of Roar series. Tidemagic is a brilliantly dark adventure filled with magic, mild peril and a cast of characters that you will want to be friends with. Celebrating the power of friendship and found families, this was a beautifully inclusive joy of a book. I can’t wait for the next adventure.

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