Author: Laurie Forest
Title: The Black Witch
Genre(s): Fantasy; Dark fantasy; Science fiction
Series: The Black Witch Chronicles (Book 1)
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 2, 2017)
I cannot even begin to express how much I enjoyed this novel. From the very beginning it was quite evident that Elloren is a very unique and strong-willed young woman. After the tragic death of her parents, she was raised by her loving uncle who, despite the archaic rules that govern their society, taught her how to made instruments from wood. Although she was raised to appreciate a very simple lifestyle, her entire world changes when she is taken away by her high ranking aunt. Laurie provides readers with a clear understanding that Elloren is an important character that will evoke change and growth within her world. As she feels extreme pressure from her aunt to engage in a wand-fasting ritual with a high society male mage, Elloren must stay true to herself and the wishes of her uncle, even if it means enduring the punishments her aunt has in store for disobeying her. As she makes her way to University, she is faced with social issues that parallel what our own world is enduring. She must make a decision to join the hateful vengeance of those who want their race to rule the land or to stand for what she comes to believe is right. I really appreciated how Laurie brought social issues into an epic fantasy novel, however, I think she could have created some unique scenarios that conveyed what she was wanting to get across. Nevertheless, Elloren and her friends are not only faced with social issues that have a big impact on who they are, but they are faced with a much graver danger as a new high mage is moving towards getting exactly what he wants...to rule the mage society. There is a reason why this fits into the epic fantasy genre because it is a grand adventure that will compel your imagination to place you in Elloren's world. The scene and character descriptions throughout The Black Witch are expertly detailed, as well as the plot development. The second installment, The Iron Flower comes out in September and I honestly cannot wait!
A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining. So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa's heir - but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else. When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people - including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians - is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
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