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4.7 out of 5 stars34
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 May 2006
This book might be just the right thing to buy for your kids while they are waiting for the next Harry Potter book to be released. It has magic, and a weird plot, but it is full of innocence and good fun. I really think that "Which witch" will engage the attention of even the most active kid, and who knows, maybe even that of an adult who is tired to death of "serious things" and needs a respite.

The plot is simple. Arriman the Awful, a powerful evil wizard, has to marry. Unfortunately, he isn't in love, but he is all the same aware of the fact that he needs to have kids to prolong his legacy of terror. The solution Arriman finds is quite brilliant: he organizes a contest in evil witchcraft, the prize for the winner being his hand in marriage. Of course, the local witches are extremely happy with the news, and begin to prepare for the competition. One of them, Belladona, is in fact profoundly in love with Arriman, and would do almost anything to marry him. There is a little problem, though: Belladona is a white witch :)

I think that I have already given you enough details to have an idea of what this book is about. All in all, I believe that this book is excellent, and that your kids (and maybe you?) are highly likely to have enormous fun with the antics of Belladona and her friends in their struggle to turn her into a black witch. Read it, and enjoy!!

Belen Alcat
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on 17 May 2006
I had to read this book in my 2nd year at high school, now 8 years on I find myself picking it up again. It is still brilliant, and I think, is the kind of read you take away with you when you just want to relax and enjoy a book without thinking too hard at it all. Serious adult books are all well and good but this is a must have if u have a spare few hrs to just longue around. It is funny and well written and i know the young (and the young at heart) will enjoy reading this book time and time again.
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on 22 September 1999
As a child I prided myself on being a hardened horror afficionado,convincing the babysitter that The Hammer House of Horror was more educational than Bagpuss. Children's fiction was therefore to be avoided at all costs, except when under duress by my primary teacher to read the obligatory titles of the out-dated syllabus. Whitch Witch immediately sounded promising, and although it didn't offer up the much anticipated stake burning extravaganza that my young mind had so vividly imagined, it was the most enjoyable and memorable book of those formative years.Witches casting spells inspired by jealousy and ambition, each trying to out-do the other in their quest to marry the most handsome and powerful wizard of them all; sometimes ludicrous, often hilarious and always immensely enjoyable.....with a fairy-tale ending that even a cynical 8 year old re-read well into her teens! Oh how I want to be Belladonna, erm, I mean wanted!!! This book will weave a spell on you which will outlast your belief in Santa Claus tenfold!
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on 12 October 2010
Don't let the cover put you off. A great story for adults as well as for age 8 upwards children. I'm a grown up and read it cover to cover non stop as I was so engrossed. On par with Harry Potter. I am just amazed I had not heard of this author before. Have now bought a few more of her books and am looking forward to some more superb stories. Though the story is easy to follow, the vocabulary can be a stretch for children under the age of 10, but that is a good thing - so much is dumbed down now a days. Not too scary, wonderfully funny and immensely imaginative, with lots of twists. You care about the main characters. Best of all - a happy ending that ties up all the loose ends. Will leave you with a smile on your face. The book will appeal to both boys and girls and grown ups - no age limit.
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on 16 July 2010
the thing i love about this book so much is that it starts good and then gets better and better..........
Arriman the awful, wizard of the north is looking for a wife! a competition must be held to see who is the most powerful black witch, belladonna is a white witch and one of the competitors and altogether there are seven hopeful witch's wanting to win,but who will........................
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on 24 April 2009
I read Which Witch to my eight-year-old son over a period of a week, and we laughed so much every night. It is brilliantly witty, amusing and so humane as well. The old witch's familiar cloud of flies in a biscuit tin will live on with me forever. And as for Doris the octopus stuffed into a bucket for easy transport. Wonderful wonderful fun. Read it to your children, or even to yourself. I don't know why Eva Ibbotson is not a superstar - better than anyone and you see her ideas picked up constantly by subsequent writers.
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on 14 April 2003
Arriman the Awful, a wizard of great power and darkest evil, has grown bored with his life. Realizing that he needs a son to carry on the cause of darkness and evil, Arriman searches for a suitable wife. Only a witch of the darkest evil will serve, but which witch? The obvious course of action is found, a competition in evil witchcraft, with the witches in formal evening gowns!
Among the witches, though, there is one who nobody expects to win, the pretty and (most shockingly) white witch Belladonna. Alone among the witches, Belladonna has fallen in love with Arriman. When the exceedingly evil Madame Olympia, who has already married and done away with five husbands, Belladonna realizes that she must be blacker than she has ever dreamed of being if she is going to win the contest and save Arriman. But how?
This book is frightfully funny (pardon the pun)! The characters are interesting and funny; the storyline slides along keeping you glued to the pages. This is a great book, suitable for all ages. I highly recommend this book.
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HALL OF FAMEon 12 April 2002
This send-up of a beauty-contest had my children rolling around with laughter. Arriman the Awful has to find a wife, given that his successor has failed to turn up. Naturally, she must be as terrifying as possible - but the one witch among the hideous and grisly crones who assemble who really loves him is Belladonna, who can't help being good, beautiful and kind.
Glorious fun - no child of 6 or over will be disappointed.
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on 20 January 2008
I know its wrong to write a review before getting your paws on a book- but I remember reading this when I was about nine, and absolutley loving it. I've been trying to remember the title of the book for years, and after a long search on tinterweb, I've found it!!!!Yay! Going to order it now!
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If you have young readers and you haven't yet discovered Eva Ibbotson, this is a good place to start.

My granddaughter, (age 6), happened to be at the house when this book arrived and she helped open the package. She was immediately taken by the cover and wanted to know what the story was about. I explained it was about a wizard who holds a contest in order to chose a witch wife. Well, we had to start reading it right then and there.

The book is funny in that non-ironic but subtle way that the Muppets are - broad humor for the little ones, some very sly and dry humor for the grown-ups. Ibbotson is cheerful and good-hearted, with just a touch of that Dahl darkness that so many people seem to like.

There are actually some scary parts - the wizard is a dark wizard and he needs a dark witch wife. The heroine, Belladonna, is a white witch in spite of her desire to be dark, and the plot turns on her failed attempts to be evil. The opportunities for moralizing are obvious, but Ibbotson has a very delicate touch, and the conclusion is satisfying, both for adults and for little kids' sensibilities.

If you are tempted, the sample chapter fairly reflects the tenor of the whole work, so reading it will give you a proper sense of the book.
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