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The epic folklore-inspired fantasy series:

Seven Wherewithal Way

Seven Wherewithal Way  is the culmination of my love for folklore, portal fantasies and coming-of-age stories. It’s the story I have always wanted to write, ever since I was a young child at the local library, borrowing every single folklore book I could get my hands on.

The six Realms in the world of Wherewithal are mainly inspired by Slavic, Nordic, South American, African, Japanese (particularly the Yokai tradition) folklore, and the folklore of the British Isles. SWW is a celebration of this diverse range of breathtaking, horrifying, and beautiful creatures humans have been telling tales about for thousands of years: household spirits and lonesome beasties that stalk deserted places, nature guardians and impish troublemakers – all designed to tell us something about ourselves.

You can find out more about each individual book below.

I hope this book gives you as much joy as folklore, fairytales, and magical creatures have always given me. Seven Wherewithal Way is a story close to my heart and imagination, and now, I hope, yours too.

Seven Wherewithal Way

QBD 2021 Children's Book of the Year

2022 CBCA Notable Book of the Year: Younger Readers


Ferdinand fell out of the sky on the hottest day of the year, while Celeste and Esmerelda Barden were on the front porch eating ice-cream.


Celeste is having the worst summer ever. Her parents are off on an adventure and she’s stuck at Gran’s house with her annoying little sister, Esme, and strict instructions to be responsible. Or, as Esme says, boring. So when their eccentric cousin Ferd crash-lands a flying bus in the yard, what choice does Celeste have but to follow Ferd back home to Seven Wherewithal Way?


Wherewithal – Ferd’s house, and the gateway to the many Realms unreachable from Earth – is bursting with magic and mystery and otherworldly creatures. It’s Celeste’s favourite place in any world. But when something tries to break in through the portal in the pantry – the door to the mystical Realm of Forests – Celeste learns that both Wherewithal and her beloved cousin are under threat. If Celeste wants to save her cousin, their home, its inhabitants and possibly even all the Realms, she is going to have to find her adventurous side. Fast.


Full of heart-in-your-mouth action, unforgettable characters and folklore-inspired magic that feels both fresh and familiar, Seven Wherewithal Way is the unputdownable first book in an epic portal fantasy series.

What inspired Wherewithal? Find out in this Better Reading Kids interview

Beasties, larger-than-life characters, portal fantasies! This interview will tell you about them all!

Learn about Wherewithal’s folklore origins in the article Tales as Old as Time

How do you plan an epic fantasy series? I spill the beans in this Middle Grade Mavens podcast

Listen to this Words and Nerds podcast interview for an insight into how to plot, plan, and maintain an epic fantasy series.

Seven Wherewithal Way by Samantha-Ellen Bound, an epic folklore-inspired portal fantasy series published by Affirm Press

28 September 2021
RRP: $18.99
ISBN: 9781922419224
Paperback, 400 pages
198 x 128 mm
Middle Grade Fiction

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25 October 2022
RRP: $18.99
ISBN: 9781922848062
Paperback, 400 pages
198 x 128 mm
Middle Grade Fiction

Seven Wherewithal Way #2
Across the Ice & Into the Jungle


One year ago, Celeste Barden went on the adventure of a lifetime. Now, the next one is about to begin.

Rebellion is brewing in the Realms, and Ferd is on a mission to discover who is behind it all. So when Wherewithal receives word of an attack in the Realm of Jungle, Celeste finally has her chance for another adventure. But when they go to investigate, the portal plummets them not into a tropical jungle but a freezing lake. Somehow, they’ve ended up in the treacherous Realm of Ice.

Worse still, another hagstone is under threat. The group is determined to find the hagstone before the enemy can, and Celeste is determined to prove that her past heroics were more than a one-off. But when a souvenir from her last adventure threatens the rescue mission, Celeste is left wondering if this time, she might be the reason they fail.

Return to the Realms of Seven Wherewithal Way in this magical and action-packed second instalment in Samantha-Ellen Bound’s epic portal fantasy series.

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26 March 2024
RRP: $18.99
ISBN: 9781922863638
Paperback, 416 pages
198 x 128 mm
Middle Grade Fiction

Seven Wherewithal Way #3
Over the Mountains &
Through the Desert


Celeste Barden is about to face her biggest challenge yet.

Celeste, Esme, Logan and Ferd are summoned to the Realm of Mountains to answer for the part they've played in the growing rebellion, and Celeste soon finds herself in a brand-new kind of trouble. Separated from her cousin and forced to work with the trickster Pan, Celeste must navigate the wild landscape, dodge dangerous creatures, find Ferd, save a Guardian, recover a hagstone and rescue a friend. No pressure.

And this adventure is just the beginning. A shocking discovery in the Realm of Mountains changes everything, and when Wherewithal seeks allies in the Realm of Desert, they find the outpost in chaos and a deadly creature on the prowl. The Realms have never been so perilous – and Celeste has never had quite so much to lose.

Return to the Realms of Seven Wherewithal Way in this magical and action-packed third instalment in Samantha-Ellen Bound's epic portal fantasy series.

Book 04 - Seven Wherewithal Way: Realm of Fae coming April 2025

Read a Storylinks review here

Read The Book Muse review here

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