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An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical conman search for the missing component to a magic spell useful to the defense of Britain.

London rascals Charlie Paul and Carrie are among a flood of kids evacuated to country villages, in their case Pepperinge Eye, where a lack of host families means they're assigned 'for now' to loner Eglantine Price. They discover she's an apprentice with by correspondence and promise to keep her secret only if allowed to join the fun, finding her not very gifted. Little Paul already mastered making the bed fly them anywhere by means of magical knob when the magic school is closed. Unwilling to miss out of the last chapter, "substituary locomotion", they track down founding professor Emelius to London's Portobello Street. He's a crook who never believed his spells would work, but eagerly joins the band in the hunt for the other half of the magic book he copied from but 'modernized'. It means flying to a magical animals Island, in search of the powerful start of sorcerer Astoroth. It's ti be put to use in the war effort, just in time as Germans land in the coastal town for a terror surprise mini-invasion, only to be fought off by a magical army.


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