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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Hannah and the Hobgoblins by Deborah Dolan Hunt is a fascinating book for young readers, an adventure filled with magic and captivating characters. The gift of a book from her Aunt Agatha opens a whole new world to young Hannah and the revelation that she is a Grand Witch is both fascinating and disturbing. She has just turned twelve and must go to the Enchanted Castle to hone her magical skills and learn how to use her power in a good way. When Aunt Agatha is kidnapped by the bad Hobgoblins who take over the castle, Hannah must save her. But how can she do so when she doesn’t even know how to use her magic?
The first interesting thing about Hannah and the Hobgoblins is that the author creates a protagonist who is an ordinary girl and who is unaware of her powers. That alone makes Hannah a genuinely flawed and likable protagonist. I loved the way her world is imagined and developed, with friends like Kiki, Andy, Harry, and Callie interacting with her in an environment that seems normal for children their age. The author introduces readers to magical creatures like gnomes, faeries, and hobgoblins, creating a fascinating fantasy world that absorbs the reader. Minor characters like Elizsha, Horatio, and Mother Smith are well-developed as well.
The writing is descriptive and the author brings out the smallest emotions in the characters as they explore the enchanted world. Hannah grows as the conflict intensifies, unveiling layer after layer of her strength as she struggles to save both the Enchanted Castle and her aunt. Deborah Dolan Hunt’s prose is crystalline and the vocabulary most suitable for the intended audience. Whether describing Hannah’s experience in the secret room, the effect of the Connemara Witch book that floats in the air and flips open in the middle on its own, or the confrontation with the enemy, the author does so with unusual clarity and vividness.