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Despite the fact that I was nearly halfway through the book before I realized someone had ripped out two pages from my secondhand copy (thankfully I was able to read them online), I enjoyed this book. It is a fun and twisted story about a dark wizard looking for the most sinister witch to marry.
As the book was originally published in 1979, there are some things that wouldn't quite fly in modern children's literature. There is a large emphasis on physical appearance, which is often portrayed in a humorous way, but perhaps does not provide the best message. As with other books I've read by Ibbotson (Island of the Aunts), the premise is a bit creepy in seeking out a dark witch in order to produce a dark wizard. There is also a good bit of violence, both described and implied (stories about murdering wives, The Symphony of Death). Still, it was overall an enjoyable read.
I did like the story on the whole. Good description. There are certainly very dark moments (as any search for the darkest witch should), many in a rather Roald Dahl-ish way. Interesting read. I enjoyed the characters. The ending was fairly predictable but in no way took away from the fun reading experience for me.