The Beginner's Guide to Curses

Lari Don


Quick Look

  • Dramatic first installment in a long-awaited series
  • Enter a world of brilliant magic, dark danger and extraordinary friendship
  • By award-winning author Lari Don

The first book in a new fantasy trilogy by the award-winning author of The Fabled Beasts Chronicles.

Floris Books
Age Range:
From 9 to 12 years
272 pages
Publication date:
18 Aug 2016


Molly Drummond is cursed: whenever a dog barks, she turns into a hare -- which can make life quite dangerous... So she does the sensible thing and attends a curse-lifting workshop, run by a local witch. She tumbles into a world of magical beings, all desperate to reverse their curses. But will the power that feeds on the curses prevent them from returning to their normal lives?

By the author of the bestselling Fabled Beasts Chronicles series, this is the dramatic first installment in the brand new, long-awaited Spellchasers trilogy. Lari Don has once again created a world of brilliant magic, dark danger and extraordinary friendship which will enchant children of upper primary age.


'Among the most exciting books of 2016 for 8-12 year olds.'
-- Sunday Herald

'A lot of action and adventure as well as a good dose of magic and mystery. This is a great read and I look forward to the next two books.' 4/5 Stars
-- Margaret Pemberton, Books for Keeps

'I enjoyed The Beginner's Guide to Curses immensely! It is a very clever and well thought out book filled with lots of witty dialogue… The book is thoroughly enjoyable and I would (and will be) recommending it to other children.'
-- Ann, age 12, Families Glasgow

'This book is an exciting fantasy quest with a lot of twists. Reading all of Lari Don's books has made me love books more than ever. The end is super exciting and I can't wait for the next one because there's some things I want to find out.'
-- Lucy, age 8

'This is a great book for those who enjoy a heart-racing and mythical story.'
-- Isobel, age 10

'Absolutely brilliant. An exciting novel, extremely magical.'
-- Isabel, age 9

'This feast of magic and fantasy will enthral. Friendship, mythical creatures and gripping adventure with plenty of twists will keep you hooked.'
-- South Wales Evening Post

'Very nicely entertaining tale about curses, and about unselfish behaviour. Or selfish behaviour, if you wish. I'm expecting more books, as there is plenty more magic to be sorted out.'
-- Bookwitch

'The next big thing in children's books.'
-- Lothian Life

'A magical book about strange curses, colourful characters and most importantly how great friends can work together.'
-- Beth de Lotbiniere for LoveReading4Kids

'It shocks, it scares, it makes you gasp in horror and sadness.'
-- Rose Hopkins, age 10 for LoveReading4Kids

'A girl who turns into a hare when a dog barks, dark magic, curses and an adventure. What more could you want from a book?'
-- Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 11 for LoveReading4Kids

'Without a doubt, this book was one of the best I have read in years. The writing involved had me in a trance of never-ending emotions and I was unable to release the book from my grasp.'
-- Judith, age 10 for LoveReading4Kids

'The story was exciting, thrilling and breathtaking.'
-- Emily Golding, age 9 for LoveReading4Kids

' Packed full of good and dark magic, sacrifice and treachery, friendship and loyalty, this exciting page-turner will have readers gripped from the start.'
-- BookTrust

'A rollicking introduction to a fantasy trilogy set in Scotland... From the first word, readers are dropped straight into the lively action, with nary a breather until the final page turn... A real treat.'

'This is an instantly engaging and gripping fable set in Speyside, with strong and likeable characters on an exhilarating quest with plenty of twists and a fast-paced narrative drawing on mythological creatures from Scotland and beyond.'
-- Thomas Jefferson, Schools Events Administrator, Scottish Book Trust

'Molly is a great protagonist, brave, honest and loyal and I greatly enjoyed reading this story. [...] An excellent introduction to the world of magical stories, suitable for younger more confident readers.'
-- School Library Association

'I really like books about magic and the supernatural and this was another book I really enjoyed. Molly doesn't think she has been cursed but soon finds out how wrong she was. This book also showed how we can all help each other out and that friends should stick together.'
-- Teen Titles


Lari Don has worked in politics and broadcasting, but is now a full-time writer and storyteller. She grew up in the north-east of Scotland, and lives in Edinburgh. She is the author of the four Fabled Beasts Chronicles novels, Rocking Horse War, and Mind Blind for young teens. She is also a prolific writer of picture books, including The Tale of Tam Linn and The Secret of the Kelpie.

You can also visit the author's own website at


Discover more of our Scottish children's books on the Discover Kelpies website, where you can search the full Kelpies range, from board books to young teen novels, by age, genre, subject and location.

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