Alex Dunne The Book of Secrets (Book 1)


Code 9781788494472
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The door flew open, and Granny stared out at Cat with wild eyes.
'So,' she said, almost in a whisper, 'they're back.'

For the first time in over fifty years, the Trooping Fairies are in the small town of Clonbridge for their annual Revels. Their arrival awakens other creatures, who have mischief and chaos in mind.

Eleven-year-old Cat is in more danger than most. She has the Sight, like her Granny before her, and that makes her a magnet for all things supernatural. But when the wild magic hurts her family, she needs to find a friend she can really trust. Together they face real danger and must use all their wits and bravery to save those they love, before the sun rises ...

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'This fast-paced story inspired by Irish myth and folklore brilliantly intertwines the real and the magical. Eleven-year-old Cat Donnelly has the Sight, like others in her family before her, and so is particularly open to all things supernatural. Set around Hallowe'en when the Trooping Fairies descend on the small town of Clonbridge, this is an exciting adventure with just the right level of creepiness - dark, but not too dark. There's a real urgency to the writing, sweeping readers along through an original and imaginative tale of magic in contemporary Ireland.'
- Judges citation at CBI Book Awards 2023

'This book is perfect for 10-15-year-olds who really like fantasy, adventure and mystery. I really enjoyed this book because it was interesting, funny, heartwarming, clever and I really enjoyed the ending ... 5 stars!'
- By David (age 11), 5th Class, Knockrooskey NS, Westport, Co. Mayo

'Rooted deep in Irish myth and legend but with a touch of tech and suitably sinister cover illustrations by Shona Shirley MacDonald'
- The Echo

'I think that Alex Dunne, as author of The Book of Secrets may well have been to a fairy revel before, so wonderfully exotic and marvellous are her descriptions, I certainly wanted to be there for real and my imagination did a wonderful job of making it happen. I hope yours will too ... From Irish publisher O'Brien Press this is a thrilling, magical debut story which has been inspired by Irish mythology (which is of course full of fairy-folk) and Irish folklore, with such rich histories to delve into this story is nothing short of compelling and fascinating as well as magical. You do need to listen and read closely though for this is a story of wishes, some of which may come true. It is also the story of those mischievous little folk who love nothing more than chaos and this Halloween for Cat and her friends, who, having swapped scary stories soon find themselves in real danger and in need of wits and bravery to save the day...'
- Armadillo

'A thrilling story of adventure in the old ways, that successfully fuses real and magical ... As the world changes at an ever speedier rate, folk tales and stories of magical creatures feel more important and vital than ever, providing a link to the old ways and playing a special role in a child's imaginative world. Alex Dunne's enthralling story is set at Samhain, Hallowe'en, the time when the walls between the worlds are thin and her protagonist, eleven-year-old Caitriona Donnelly, encounters all sorts of strange folk, some beautiful, most terrible, all untrustworthy ... The story is compact and fast-paced, events moving with the urgency of the race against the clock this is, and it makes for thrilling reading. Dunne's conjuring of the old ways is wholly convincing, real and magical successfully fused together ... Readers outside Ireland may not be familiar with Clurichauns, the Dullahan or Merrows, but they'll believe in them all by the time they close this story of magic, menace and mortal persistence ... Rich in folklore ... thrilling reading, real and magical successfully fused together'
- Books for Keeps


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