Cheryl Bentley

Cheryl Bentley grew up in Manchester and now lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, two children and their dog. She works part-time as a children's nurse. She has been an avid reader ever since she was a child. In her free time, Cheryl likes reading to her children, painting, jewellery making and taking her dog for walks. She says "I have an over-active imagination and like to write stories for my children."

Paperback £9.99  €11.95  US$12.95

ISBN: 978-1-907230-45-5

e-book £3.99   €3.99   US$4.99

ISBN: 978-1-907230-47-9

Published by Sparkling Books

Give someone an imaginative tale!

Printed book


See right for other stores


Petronella & The Trogot

Cheryl Bentley

This book is suitable for ages 8 to 14 according to reading ability

The story

Petronella moves to Charis Cottage hidden in the thick dark woods at the bottom of a track on the outskirts of Fort Willow. Everything is perfect. Except for one thing. Since she moved an enormous black tree has appeared in her back garden in the shape of a giant with a big black circle on the ground under it. Petronella finds out it is a deep pit and is terrified to go near its ridge. But one night...

How is the tree linked to

  • the strange night-time visits by the Hooded Horseman?
  • the boy ghost, Percy, she finds in her bed one night?
  • and the invasion of ghosts of the ancient Strincas population all over Fort Willow?

Praise for "Petronella & The Trogot"

“Full of ghosts and ghoulies, this is an imaginative tale.”  Bertrams Book Wholesalers

“This is a cross between fantasy, horror and mythology. It reads like a fairy tale and I liked it.

“Petronella and her cat are living in her cottage and doing well without the other villagers. Being a bit odd, she has a snail garden. And, one day, she notices a big black tree that she can't recall having been there before. She doesn't know it's going to play an important part in her life.

“Her cat is the one that starts it all. He digs up a skull and some bones and takes them home with him. When the villagers find some other bones in the same vicinity, they dig them up, too. They think they've found a missing family and that Petronella is the killer. When the bones come back to life and they find themselves confronted with people who died long, long ago, the villagers get concerned. Especially since the murdered peasants are reclaiming their homes and land...

“The Hooded Horseman (another peasant from the past) visits Petronella and tells her that she is the chosen one and has a quest to do to help the peasants and right the wrongs of the land and people long dead. Petronella is willing, even if it means visiting the equivalent of hell.

“The author does a nice job of writing a tale that is unique and interesting to read. I couldn’t stop reading until I found out how it all ended. I bet you won’t be able to either.

“Happy reading.”

Jo Ann Hakola, Bookseller, USA

“I loved this book. The plot was unique to me and the creatures were amazing, there is no need for illustrations as the description of the characters is so good that they leap into your imagination in picture form.

“This book has mild horror, adventure, and morality which all work so well together. The main character – Petronella – becomes a much loved focus of the book and the change in the village is masterfully worked. Some children may find the old English speech of some of the characters hard to adjust to but I am sure that they will get there in the end. This does make distinction between the modern time people and the ancient characters much easier.

“I would be delighted to read more by this author as I found this book totally enthralling and give it a star rating of 5/5 – I loved it.”

Adele Symonds, Reviewer, UK

“This was presented as a supernatural chiller and I must admit…it was a fantastic and unique read for MG and YA readers.

“I do think that the author showed wonderful imagination in creating this world and these characters.”

Jolene Haley, Librarian, USA

“Petronella & the Trogot is introduced as a supernatural chiller. People who lived almost 1,200 years ago, members of the Strincas civilization, start appearing and living in modern day Fort Willow. Needless to say the Strincas resurrection scares (off) many modern day citizens. If that were not enough, Bentley adds a hooded horseman (think Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and a black, evil monster tree in Petronella’s back yard.

“In Part 1 one you get to know Petronella our protagonist, modern day Fort Willow inhabitants, the Strincas, and the evil Lord Fortesque. In Part 2 Petronella and Percy, a Strinca, investigate the tree and find themselves on a journey. Their journey is similar to Dante’s Inferno with a modern twist...

“Let me put my teacher hat on for a minute…I think this novel would be a good companion to students reading Dante’s Inferno. As much as I enjoy the Inferno, a lot of time must be spent on background information. Who are all these people in Dante’s hell? What did they do? Why did he punish them in this particular way? In Petronella & the Trogot, you know who all the offenders are. I enjoyed reading the novel.”

Rebecca Wallace, Educator, USA

“I enjoyed reading Petronella & The Trogot; it was a chilling tale however I wasn’t fully hooked until the second part... I would liken the second part, Petronella’s journey into hell and investigation of an evil, monstrous tree in her backyard to a miniature version of Dante’s Inferno. Because Dante’s The Divine Comedy especially The Inferno is one of my favorite pieces of literature I was hooked immediately. It was almost in the same structure as the inferno as well with various ‘sinners’ having punishments that put a cruel twist on their crime. I also really liked Bentley’s creative use of language, some of the characters, ex. Strincas, had a cool old-Englishy way of speaking.

“So overall this is a good read that I recommend especially for those who have a fond spot for The Inferno. It has spooky creatures, adventure, and some romance.”

Patrice Caldwell, Reviewer, USA

“Petronella and The Trogot is a slightly creepy, and enchanting book. Cheryl Bentley created this very interesting and original storyline for this book. This book is a twist between supernatural and urban fantasy.

“The people of Fort Willow hate Petronella, who is slightly green, walks around bare foot, and her house is in front of a giant mysterious tree. One day Petronella’s cat digs up a skull, and that day will change Fort Willow forever. After the cat digs up the skull then the skull's torso it brings to Petronella’s house, it brings the ghost of the Hooded Horseman. In the field where the cat dug up the skull torso, more skeletons were found and every skeleton put back together brought that person back to life. These people are the Ancient Strincas, and Petronella is the Chosen One who decides what happens to them.

“Petronella was a fun and interesting person to read about. She was really loving and caring. Yes, she has a rough outside but on the inside she is a generally caring person. The Strincas were really interesting and fun to read about also...

“For me this book was not that scary, it was thrillingly fun to read. The storyline grabs you and traps you in it for an action packed ride.

“I really liked this book. Cheryl Bentley did a beautiful job on this book. Petronella and The Trogot is a riveting and action packed novel. I recommend this book for any one looking for a thrilling but fun read.”

Brittan Hardy, Reviewer

“Petronella, a woman who is described as ugly, moves into a village, Fort Willow. But all is not well Strincas, the village’s inhabitants from thousands of years ago are waking up and moving in to the village and a hooded horseman tells Petronella she is the chosen one, the one that will rescue his people from the Trogot, a large tree in her garden that leads into a sort of hell/eternal punishment. Petronella, and a strincas boy Percy have to navigate their way through the Trogot to save the Strincas...

“I did enjoy Part 2 of the book... It was soon revealed that the Strincas were brutally murdered by the Lord of the Manor when a thief hit his wife’s head. The hooded horseman gives Petronella a device that is able to control the Strincas and a black box that will save her but only seven times. He also tells her she is the chosen one, although he doesn’t explain what that means. Now we come to the titular Trogot, the massive black tree in Petronella’s garden, which is a gate to hell. Petronella and Percy (a Strincas boy that used to live in Petronella’s house) venture into the Trogot to look for Percy’s parents, who have been trapped there.

“I have to say, the Trogot journey was my favourite bit of the book. The ideas of punishment and the way that Cheryl Bentley presented the punishment and the guardians were very interesting ideas I just wish they were a little more developed.

“...I did find myself chuckling at some of the funnier lines.”

Laura Noakes, Reviewer, UK

“Kids will like this. Girls will like it for romance and boys will like it for the scare factor.”

Ann Klausing, Bookseller for Books-A-Million



Read interviews with the author by izzy's book blog and whimsically yours


The sequel

Petronella and the Janjilons available now.


Other kids, middle grade, YA titles


ISBN printed book: 9781907230455

ISBN e-book: 9781907230479