The adventures of Anna Sophia, the girl witch, continue to expand her circle of friends and take her to different parts of the world. This time around she is off on a quest to recover her father's heart. He had given it to her mother and she had hidden it to keep it safe. Now that her mother is gone and her father is ill and weak from having his magical energy siphoned off, he needs his heart to regain his strength and resume his job shepherding the dead to the after-world. Anna and her friend Lauraleigh travel to Canada and head north into the territory of the Wendigo to search for the missing heart, using riddles that Anna's mother left behind as clues. They have help from Monsieur Nolan's half-sister, Evelyne, who happens to be familiar with Canada. And they meet other beings of power along the way, some helpful and some not.
The earlier books in the series tied a lot of Russian folklore into Anna's story. Baba Yaga, Vodyanoy, and Koschey all have a part in the tale of Anna's mother and Anna herself. This time, while those characters are still a part of her history (and some are even family), Anna and her companions will encounter the Wendigo, fly in La chasse-galerie, and hear about Inukitut legends. Besides learning more of the folklore from the land she is travelling, Anna must also practice her magic and learn to control her growing skills. One of the most difficult things for her to do is manage her temper. Isn't that a challenge that many of us can understand? Luckily, Anna remembers some good advice from her Uncle Misha about how each story has many different versions from the viewpoints of those involved, and each one is true, although it may not be all the truth. If she can just keep that in mind as she meets others who knew her mother and share their own stories with her, she may be able to complete her quest and learn more of her past.
These tales of Anna the Girl Witch are a coming of age story, with the added bonus of magic and magical creatures, a quest, and steadfast friendship. Readers who enjoy stories that mix magic and the modern world (I wouldn't say urban fantasy, since most of the action takes place in the wilderness), and who like protagonists that are trying to discover the sort of person they will be as they mature, should give the Diary books a try.
I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.