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Yes, this novel revisits well-trodden themes of unrealized magical powers and coming of age. However, Forest brilliantly addresses this subject matter in a unique and fresh manner. With a basically good but flawed main character, the first few chapters are disturbing and force the reader to examine some of their own preconceived ideas. Yet as the protagonist grows, the story unfolds with understanding and hope. Any of these quotes could apply to this story:
"History is written by the victors"
"You've got to be taught to hate and fear"
"When you know better, do better"
Recommended by Sandy
— From Young Adult Fiction
"Maximum suspense, unusual magic--a whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy "
, #1 New York Times
bestselling author Powerful magic. A deadly legacy. A world at the edge of war. Prepare to be spellbound by The Black Witch.
Elloren Gardner is the spitting image of her grandmother, who drove back the enemy forces in the last Realm War. But while her perople believe she will follow in her grandmother's footsteps and become the next Black Witch of prophecy, Elloren is devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at Verpax University. But she soon realizes that the university may be the most treacherous place of all for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
As evil looms and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, Elloren's best hope of survival may be among a secret band of rebels...if only she can find the courage to trust those she's been taught to fear.
Critics are raving about Laurie Forest's incredible debut, The Black Witch
"We fell under the spell of this rich, diverse, Potter-worthy university world "
"Forest uses a richly imagined magical world to offer an uncompromising condemnation of prejudice and injustice."
, starred review
"Exquisite character work, an elaborate mythology, and a spectacularly rendered universe make this a noteworthy debut, which argues passionately against fascism and xenophobia."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Briskly paced, tightly plotted...set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Books in The Black Witch Chronicles: The Black Witch
The Iron Flower
The Shadow Wand
(ebook novella)*Light Mage
* Also available in print in The Rebel Mages