Today I’m excited to share with you my review of Toby and the Silver Blood Witches by Sally Doherty! Toby and the Silver Blood Witches was the winner of BBNYA 2022! I was fortunate enough to read this book during the final round of BBNYA last year and I thought it was fantastic. Thank you to BBNYA for providing me with a copy of the book as part of the competition and to The Write Reads for organising this blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.
Title: Toby and the Silver Blood Witches
Author: Sally Doherty
Publisher: Soaring Skies Publishing
Length: 240 Pages
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age Category: Middle Grade
Date Published: 5 July 2021
Buy the Book: Amazon
A sinister plot. A hidden city in the sky. A boy with an impossible choice.
Twelve year old Toby has little time for friends or football since his mum fell ill. All he wants is to stay at home and keep an eye on her.
But mysterious things are happening beyond his garden hedge. Who is the figure at the window behind the barbed wire fence? And why is there a strange woman in his attic with a broken broom and bothersome pet bat?
Toby becomes entangled in an adventure of flying dogs, sparking hiccups and dangerous escapes. An innocent, young witch has been captured by a secretive organisation which will stop at nothing to find out how magic works. Toby must rescue her and time is running out.
I want to start with a quick note saying that I read this book back in December and made the rookie mistake of not writing my review right away. I made notes when I read the book, but I need to had a discussion with past me because they’re a little sparse.
This was a wonderful middle-grade story full of magic and adventure. It had some fantastic and memorable characters. It also touched upon some serious topics and had some excellent chronic illness representation.
I think my favourite thing about this book was the world-building. I loved the magic in this book. I also loved little witchery. I’ve always been a fan of stories where magic is nearby but most people don’t realise it.
The characters in this book were also wonderful. Toby is a great hero and I spent the entire story rooting for him. It’s clear that he has a lot on his plate, but he’s also willing to help the witches. The witches were also a lot of fun, I especially loved Bumble and Barnaby the Bat.
This book had quite a few tense moments that kept everything exciting. There were the scenes where Toby was being bullied, which left me feeling uncomfortable because bullying scenes usually make me feel uncomfortable. There were also moments where I was wondering what Toby was going to do and if the characters were going to be okay.
I liked that this book had chronic illness representation in it. Toby’s mother is chronically ill and Toby had found himself in a caregiving role. It’s clear that he’s struggling with it because there’s a lot on his plate. I think stories like this and representation like this are important because there are lots of people out there who find themselves in a similar situation as Toby. I liked that one of the lessons in this story was that he didn’t have to carry the entire burden himself and that he was allowed to ask for help from his friends and other people.
Overall, this was a great read. I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel at some point because I’m curious to see what Toby and the witches are up to next.
Sally Doherty lives in leafy Surrey with her husband and three-legged (but speedy) rescue dog. After studying French and German at university, she worked for a year in London before unexpectedly falling ill with M.E. Being stuck at home and often in bed for sixteen years, however, has lit a cauldron of stories bubbling inside her imagination.
Sally’s debut book and the first in a trilogy, TOBY AND THE SILVER BLOOD WITCHES, was a finalist for The Wishing Shelf Awards 2021 and shortlisted for both The Selfies and The Rubery Book Awards 2022.
Website and newsletter: http://www.sallydohertyauthor.com