Wednesday, July 19, 2017

REVIEW: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest - 4.5 stars

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 11:00 AM
Title: The Black Witch
Genre: YA Fantasy
Author: Laurie Forest
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication: May 2nd 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

You know those blurbs on the back of some books that say "Blah meets blah in this epic adventure from debut author blah?" It's meant to sell more copies of books to people who loved 'blah and blah'. Yeah, those. I hate those. Not only are they inherently wrong, but trying to capitalize on another authors success is kind of shady. I understand it's a business pitch but I'm actually less likely to pick those books up. So, yeah, me hating those means I would never us one in my reviews, correct? Nah. The Black Witch is one of the first books to make me a hypocrite on this topic. This book was really good. And believe me when I say it is an older version of Harry Potter, the ACOTAR books and a bit of Shadowhunters thrown in for good measure. That, dear readers, took a lot for me to say it. I never compare books. But this one, this one couldn't be helped. Oh, did I mention dragons? 

Plot:
Elloren is the granddaughter of the powerful Black Witch, Carnissa, who fought back enemy forces during the Realm War and ultimately saved her people. This is the war that killed Elloren's parents and thus she ended up living with her uncle and two brothers. Her uncle is trying to protect her from something so he raises her very differently than most other women are raised. Elloren' s aunt comes for her one day and that begins a while mess of Prophecy crap and weird relationships and it leads Elloren to realize that she is nothing like her grandmother and never will be. But what can she does when she has none of these amazing powers everyone thought she would have? 

You are not allowed to intermingled with other species. Or, at least, that's how the humans feel. But there is a lot of racism in each race/species. If you are a Fairy mixed with a winged Icaral, or anything dealing with Icaral, you will be despised by most races. 

So the overall plot of the book pretty much ends up being a group of teens at the prestigious Verpax University form an unlikely group that is out to end the injustices of the humans/witches of their world. And at the head if this group is the granddaughter of the very woman who made the world the way it is today. 

One thing that has been going around the book community lately is the displeasure of there being no diverse characters or diverse characters are portrayed as bad people in fantasy books. I don't understand why people would get upset about this in a FANTASY book but I took the time to note that there are diverse characters in both race and sexuality. Along with species. 

Characters:
Tons and tons and tons of characters makes up this book. Hardly any of them are just plain wider characters. They all have a story to tell.

There is Elloren, the focal point of the book. Then we have:

Brother 1
Brother 2
A very caring Uncle
An Aunt that needs to go in the trash
Some handsy level 5 fire mage
Some horrible level 5 ice mage
Some angry boy the MC still falls for
The ice mages cousin
Twin Lupine brother and sister
Some fairy people(lots of kinds)
Some flying demon people
Rude people
A Selkie(use google if you are confused)
Dragons(1 nice one)
Some icky army of human mage people
And a few chickens

Together, all of these characters make up a very unique world of unfairness. 

World building:
I really loved the world the author placed her characters in. It complemented them perfectly and added so much to the plot of the book. I kind of pictured the school grounds as Hogwarts meets The Shadowhunter's Institute. 

In the end, I am so glad I requested this book to review. It was 600 pages and there is no way I would waste my time on a 600 page book if I didn't enjoy it. I won't lie and say when I saw the book, reading it didn't became daunting. It's massive and size sometimes intimidates people. -cough cough- Anyways, I truly cannot wait for the next book. I need to know where this rebellion type situation is heading. But I have to wait a year and that hurts. The Black Witch now has a place on my favorites shelf and I will be eagerly anticipating the next book!

Overall I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.


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