Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Black Witch by Laurie Forester Review

Title: The Black Witch
Author: Laurie Forester
Publish Date: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought

Summary by Goodreads.

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.
Elloren Gardner is the granddaughter of the last prophesied Black Witch, Carnissa Gardner, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. But while she is the absolute spitting image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else.
When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University to 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 a treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
As evil looms on the horizon and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, everything Elloren thought she knew will be challenged and torn away. Her best hope of survival may be among the most unlikely band of misfits…if only she can find the courage to trust those she’s been taught to hate and fear.

Penelope's Review
Well where to begin. I understand that there is a *huge* amount of criticism surrounding this book for various reasons so before reading ahead please keep in mind that this is my opinion and if you don't like it, no one is forcing you to continue reading. 

I actually did not read any reviews before delving into this book, so I went in with a completely open mind. I'm actually incredibly thankful I did that because I feel as though the multitude of bad reviews would have colored my judgement of the novel overall. It is only after I was finished that I went online and read tons of mixed reviews, but my opinion did not change. 

I happen to think that this was an excellent book for many reasons. It is far more complex than a lot of reviews have given it credit for and that's a shame because many readers now won't even give this book a chance. The writing style is very skillful and serves as proof that Forester is an exquisite author. I'm very happy to have been introduced to her work through this novel and will continue to enjoy the series as it gets released.  

Elloren was a wonderfully developed main character that made up her own mind about things as opposed to just following along with what her aunt and society told her to believe. While she grew up being told that other races such as the Urisks, Lupines, Kelts, Icarals, etc. were horrid half-breeds and Garderians (her own race) was the only pure-blooded race, she went off to University and discovered on her own that there more to these people than she initially thought. Right from the beginning Elloren questions everything which is something I admired about her character. She formed her own opinions about the people she met and made her own decisions about who to become friends with.

While I understand that the main area of controversy is around the racist/homophobic atmosphere of the story, I believe it was necessary for the character development. Not just for Elloren, but for characters such as Aislinn, Yvan, Wynter, and even Ariel. The novel encompasses the fact that yes, the world is racist and homophobic BUT when left to their own devices, certain characters are able to overcome the prejudices they have been taught, to form their own ideas about what is right and wrong.

Forester focuses on the building of relationships, the necessity of teamwork, and the enlightenment that people undergo in what they considered, at first, to be highly uncomfortable situations (ahem, Aislinn and her Chemistrie class at first?!)

Overall, I think the book touched on some real-world issues in a thoughtful and well-put manner, and I'm incredibly excited to see what Forester has in store for us next in The Black Witch Chronicles!

RATING: 4.5/5 Devils!


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