THE NET TO CATCH WAR by Mary Mian

THE NET TO CATCH WAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The folks we met in The Three Witches (KR, 1971)--gray-haired sorceress Miss Hartigan, her invisible sidekick Curly and best friends Lynn and Sam--travel back in time along the old Santa Fe Trail and are on hand to greet the conquering Americanos. The girls, here renamed Belinda and Selima, are looking for the lost ""net to catch war,"" a magic weapon that destroys the will to fight; once they find it with the help of Hopi twins named Sunny Bear and Shady Bear (Shady Bear is blind) they gradually realize that the net may be used for evil purposes and to doubt Dona Serafina, who seems to be Miss Hartigan in disguise but acts more and more suspiciously. The lesson of the net is well taken (selective pacification leads to exploitation), but the girls' attempt to understand their Mexican hosts can be awkward (""Sexiness is expected of Spanish women!""). And some of the stronger magic--worked by a Don Juan-like brujo named Spider Legs and by Thunder, Shady Bear's prophesying mouse--gets swallowed up in the tangle of plot. Sam and Lynn spend an inordinate amount of time standing around trying to figure out what is going on; and unless you share their fondness for Curly and Miss Hartigan (she finally turns up in the form of a mule), unsnarling the story may be more trouble that it's worth.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1975
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin