*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and to Stuart Debar of SRL Publishing. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Six witches, six perspectives, one coven.
In the Delgosi Isles, magic was outlawed for witches years ago, and the girls want nothing more than to use their powers freely. The coven have been practicing in secret, right in the depths of Eastfall woods, and they have a plan.
A plan to change the way the world works.
All they need to do is convince the current king that they’re not dangerous.
With an invention and a great speech in their grasp, the six girls start their journey to Fairpoint, the capital city in which the royal family resides. If only things were that straightforward, though.
Their deadly quest for equality brings a crusade of trickery, corruption and loss.
The plan is simple, they just have to fight the royals and win.
Witches Aren’t Wicked is a middle grade magical adventure novel, featuring six young witches in a kingdom where witchcraft is forbidden.
The story is told from each of the girls’ points of view in turn – Clydia, Dru, Addy, Ottie, Flo and June – filling the reader in on their various backstories to explain how they met each other and joined the coven. Each girl brings different magical – and non-magical – skills to the group, and each has had to overcome their own hardships and struggles to make it as far as they have when the story begins.
Woven between the background histories is the ‘current day’ thread, which sees the girls heading to an audience with the King, where they intend to put on a display of their talents, then plead for their right to practice magic freely. Their plan is a complex one, involving all of the skills they have learnt this far, plus a fair amount of natural cunning and plenty of luck.
Along the way, the six witches practice their skills, deepen their sisterly friendship bonds, and make a few new allies which they will desperately need if they hope to succeed in their ambitious plan to change the whole of their society in one confrontation.
I did find that it was a little difficult to keep the girls separate in my mind at times to begin with, and I wondered whether we needed to hear from each of the characters individually, but I soon got the hang of them all once the story really began to unfold.
After all the build-up of their journey, the climax of the story was shockingly explosive and wrapped up the main plot quite neatly. I think Minishine (at 8 years old) would find some of the action a little too much yet, especially towards the big confrontation scene, but am sure she would love reading about these magical heroines in a few years time.
Suited for older middle-grade, or teen, readers who love reading about strong female characters and magical escapades, Witches Aren’t Wicked is a tale of equality, determination and sisterhood.
I’m a witch, or so I’m often told, but I’m not dangerous. I’m not wicked. I’m just a girl with an ability. An affinity for magic, if you will. The issue is, magic is outlawed for women in the Delgosi Isles, which is where I live. Wizards are common amongst the villages around us, but we must hide. If we don’t, we could be imprisoned. We could be killed.– Hannah Baldwin, Witches Aren’t Wicked
My sisters and I slowly found one another, drawn to the missing elements in our own magic. The elements we control are part of us, coursing through our veins like blood. Something that started with just two of us has grown into a coven of six strong witches. We nourished it, made it our own. Our strengths, our weaknesses, our bonds, our powers. Everything between us shaped what is not only a coven but now a family.
Witches Aren’t Wicked releases on 23rd March 2021 – preorder it on Amazon here.