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Review: The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Release Date: 23rd August 2022

Thank you Hodderscape & Netgalley for my eArc copy, which I received in exchange for an honest review.


Mika Moon is a witch, one of very few in the UK, and it's meant to be a secret. All the "magic" on her witchy Instagram account is fake. So, when Mika gets a job offer as a magic tutor for three young witches after one of their guardians sees her videos, she thinks it must be a joke.

Instead, she finds:

  • a magically warded home in rural Norfolk.

  • Ian, the eccentric elderly actor in a rainbow scarf.

  • Ken, the calm gardener and Ian's husband.

  • Lucy, the welcoming housekeeper.

  • Jamie, the grumpy librarian

  • Three young witches: Terracotta, Altamira & Rosetta. Each named after archaeological discoveries and each various stages of welcoming.

The world felt lived-in, and the world-building was subtle, accessible to contemporary romance lovers, but just enough for fantasy fiends like me. This is a story about found family, niceness vs kindness, and learning to accept love when you previously thought yourself unworthy.

In many ways, 'The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches' is a British, witchy version of 'The House in the Cerulean Sea' by TJ Klune. And I don’t say that lightly: 'The House in the Cerulean Sea' is my favourite novel of the past few years - perhaps even of all time. Mandanna matches the comedic tone, the endearing characters (especially the children), and the focus on found family. If you enjoyed 'The House in the Cerulean Sea,' or simply enjoy a cosy fantasy narrative, you'll most likely enjoy 'The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches' immensely.

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