When Arriman the Awful, the handsome wizard of the North, announces a contest to choose his bride, every witch in town is a flutter. The meanest, most powerful witch will wed the wizard. But little Belladonna is dismayed, because as hard as she tries, her spells conjure up begonias and baby birds, and not a single viper or bloodshot eyeball. She just has to do something seriously sinister in time for the contest….
Eva Ibbotson, born Maria Charlotte Michelle Wiesner (1925-2010), was an Austrian-born British novelist, known for her children’s books. Some of her novels for adults have been successfully reissued for the young adult market in recent years. For the historical novel Journey to the River Sea (Macmillan, 2001), she won the Smarties Prize in category 9-11 years, garnered unusual commendation as runner-up for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, and made the Carnegie Medal, Whitbread Award, and Blue Peter Book Award shortlists. She was a finalist for the 2010 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize at the time of her death. Her last book, The Abominables, was one of eight books on the longlist for the same award in 2012.