Witch Rising (Witch Song) (Review)

INFO:

  • Title: Witch Rising (Witch Song)
  • Author: Amber Argyle
  • Pages: 46
  • Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal, Scary Stories, Coming of Age,
  • Price: $0.99 (as of 10/31/2014)

DESCRIPTION:

A ship burns, sinking into the dark sea. There is only one survivor—a child hunted for the power of her song. Hidden away on an isolated island, Lilette buries her power deep, convinced it caused the deaths of those she loves.

But she can’t run from who she is. And when her secret is revealed, the only thing that can save her is her song. It’s time to rise up and become what she was always meant to be: the most powerful witch ever born.

 

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REVIEW:

In Witch Rising, Lilette is a young witch subjected to tragedy after tragedy. While running away from her enemies, she comes upon an island where she meets a wise man named Fa. Fa takes her in and hides her – but is Lilette truly safe on the island?

While I liked this novelette, several parts of the story were confusing because the reader jumps right into the action without understanding what’s going on exactly or why. Although I know this prequel was meant to be short, an extra word, paragraph or page would have gone a long way towards clarifying the confusing points.

Argyle has a specific voice for the novelette which is clearly heard through most of the story through her thoughtful descriptions. She did a great job creating emotional bonds between people in a short period of time by using clever plot devices and descriptions to quickly build relationships that seemed overall natural and believable. For a prequel, this is an action packed, adventurous story with a coming-of-age theme featuring a well-developed female protagonist.
 

Loved:

  • Concept: the witch’s power comes from singing, not wand-waving
  • Emotional moments are brief but tender
  • Character development allows the reader to see inside Lilette’s mind and heart as she makes decisions, likewise we see nuanced personalities for some of the villains as well

Didn’t Love:

  • Nautical terms were not well defined or explained for an unfamiliar reader
  • Rushed pace; too much action made it confusing to follow along at some points

Excerpts:

  • ”Perched on the edge of her bed, Lilette stared into the darkness beyond the porthole” (opening sentence)
  • “He’d once told her he would not burden her with endings, but teach her to celebrate beginnings. So she would focus on her new life.”
  • “She could finally go home, to the city where songs and magic were one and the same”
  • “She didn’t want to think about the secret woven like shadows between them”
  • “’I learned long ago that you cannot keep those you love. You must set them free. You will learn this also.’”

RECOMMENDED FOR: children/YA; people interested in orphan, magic, or nautical stories

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