Book Review: THE HOUSE OF MOUNTFATHOM by Nigel McDowell

Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star rating: 3/5
Series: Standalone


the house of mountfathom.jpg

Mountfathom is a place of magic and mystery. Smoke-casting threads through the air, wallpapers move and there’s a door that can lead anywhere – if you dare brave the Dark.

Son of the House, Luke, is desperate to start learning magic, to use it like his parents and their friends do to protect Ireland and its people. However, the troubles could bring down the house and his life. If he wants to save Mountfathom, Luke must pair with street-rat Killian and embark on a dangerous adventure.

Add to your Goodreads shelves here.


It’s a fun read, set in an alternate during and post-WW1 Ireland. This setting creates a background of tension, as Luke and his family own a large house and have English connections right when houses are being looted and burnt.

The story was interesting, if a little confusing at times. It pulls you along with an unpredictable tale of magic and family. There are nice little twists along the way, and the ending is somewhat unexpected. Personally, I like it.

The prose has a whimsical air, and is more literary then usual for a YA fantasy book. I found the combination of third person and present tense a little odd at first, but soon got used to it. However, I didn’t get used to the fact that sentences often don’t start with/contain a noun. Just keep this in mind if you’re reading. During ‘Gloaming’ sections of the book, there’s no speech marks, which can make working out what’s being said a little hard too. Also, no chapters, but there are often mini-headings.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s