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The Ragwitch [Mass Market Paperback]

Garth Nix
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 15 1995

To free his sister Julia from the clutches of the Ragwitch and her evil minions, Paul must journey across time to a distant dimension and rally the forces of good to rescue Julia and save the magical Kingdom of Yendre. Reprint.


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Review

Praise for Garth Nix "[Garth Nix is] the coolest read in the playground." Amanda Craig "Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. Here is a world with the same solidity and four-dimensional authority as our own, created with invention, clarity and intellience." Philip Pullman "I think Garth Nix has created a really remarkable and persuasive wold, and done it in the grand style of high fantasy and heroic romance, with some wonderful twists and turns. His Sabriel is a heroine truly worthy of that role." Lloyd Alexander "By turns rousing, charming and slyly funny, Sabriel is an engaging tale that slays sexual stereotypes along with its monsters." San Francisco Chronicle "What makes LIRAEL a delight is the magic that Nix brings to his story and to his characters. It is filled with twists and turns, playful inventiveness and dark magic, and is sure to satisfy his many readers." Locus

About the Author

Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing #145;Hail the Conquering Hero Comes#146; or possibly #145;Roll Out the Barrel#146;. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a trunk full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.

Despite a wheel literally falling off the Austin, Garth survived to return to Australia and study at the University of Canberra. After finishing his degree in 1986 he worked in a bookshop, then as a book publicist, a publisher#146;s sales representative, and editor. Along the way he was also a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve, serving in an Assault Pioneer platoon for four years. Garth left publishing to work as a public relations and marketing consultant from 1994-1997, till he became a full-time writer in 1998. He did that for a year before becoming a part-time literary agent in 1999. In January 2002 Garth went back to writing full time again, despite his belief that full-time writing explains the strange behaviour of many authors.

Garth currently lives in a beach suburb of Sydney, with his wife Anna, a publisher.


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First Sentence
COME ON, PAUL!" shrieked Julia as she ran down the dune, the sand sliding away under her bare feet. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It was ok March 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book Ragwitch was okay, it was pretty typical. Because of the vivid descriptions of the evil creatures in the book, I gave it a 4, otherwise, it deserved a 3. Buy this book if you are just looking for a book to read. However, Garth Nix is not a bad writer. Other books by him are Shades's Children, The Seventh Tower,etc. Those are all great books. So just take a look at those books also.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hansel and Gretel on steroids Jan. 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julia and her brother, Paul are two perfectly ordinary children who happen to discover a ragdoll in a midden heap. Julia is sucked up into the mind of the ragdoll who is really a powerful and evil witch. When Julia and the ragwitch disappear through a ring of fire, Paul bravely follows them. From then on, "Ragwitch" follows the ancient fairy-tale structure of children versus evil---a 'Hansel and Gretel' story where the witch actually devours one of the children. Garth Nix adds a ferocious edge to Paul and Julia's adventure. I never knew what was going to happen next.
Both children actively oppose the ragwitch, although Julia's situation is far more horrific. She is wired into the ragwitch's nervous system while the evil, old sorceress shambles from atrocity to atrocity.
(Actually, I grew fond of some of her minions, called the Stone Knights. If you've ever seen the movie, 'Monolith Monsters' you'll be able to figure how the Knights pounded into combat).
Once Paul is transferred to ragwitch's original world through the ring of fire, he suffers more than his share of perils, including a battle or two. He finally finds friends and sets out on a quest to locate each of the four Elementals, Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth. If he can talk a good line, they might help him defeat the ragwitch and her destructive minions.
This is my favorite part of 'Ragwitch.' The Elementals are not the usual clichéd characters found in other fantasies I could mention. The author expends lots of imagination on them---I was never certain whether Paul was going to succeed in his quest, or die trying.
It isn't every boy who gets to meet Mother Earth, while digging for potatoes.
I can't remember how I would have handled this horror-fantasy mixture when I was under the drinking age. The book certainly veers toward the gruesome edge of Young Adult fantasy ---think of it as 'Hansel and Gretel' on steroids.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Dec 2 2001
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is probably Garth Nix's most uneven book, which still puts it a notch over the majority of fantasy out there. While not as textured or carefully developed as Sabriel, it is nevertheless engrossing and convincing, and -- yes, indeed, far better than almost every kids-get-sucked-into-fantasy-world-to-battle-evil.
We open to see Paul and his sister Julia, playing on a beach where Julia finds a rag doll embedded in enormous black feathers and a bunch of sticks. Though Julia seems thrilled with the doll, Paul immediately gets "bad vibes" from the doll -- and hears a sinister voice calling it the "Ragwitch." Within minutes, Julia is taken over by the doll, and begins a transformation into an enormous living version of the Ragwitch -- a malevolent creature who surpasses C.S. Lewis' White Witch.
The Ragwitch escapes into another world, and Paul follows her. Julia is trapped inside the Ragwitch's mind, constantly hearing the Ragwitch's voice and seeing/hearing what she does. Upon arriving at her destination, the Ragwitch summons her hideous army of unnatural, distorted creatures. They begin to attack the innocent people nearby -- including an old witch who has a strange effect on the Ragwitch. Julia gains unexpected allies locked within her enemy's memory: the witch Lyssa, attacked by the Ragwitch; Mirren, a king that the Ragwitch locked into a shambling animalistic form; and a mysterious red-haired woman who may be the key to helping defeat the evil hordes...
Paul refuses to give up on his sister, and learns from a peculiar old hermit that he must gain the help of the wild magic Elementals -- Fire, Water, Earth and Air. The problem is that all four may or may not choose to help him.
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