Hi there! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I know that it’s been warming up around Michigan so I’m excited to read outside! I was sent a copy of this book by Harlequin Teen for an honest review, and I’m pleased to shared it with you today.
Synopsis: 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.
Publisher: HarlequinTeen My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Expected Release: 2 May 2017 Source: HarlequinTeen/Publicist
I don’t read reviews prior to reading books. I don’t think it’s a bad thing if you do! I like to form my own opinions of books before I see what others have to say, it’s just a personal preference of mine. That being said, I read a few of the reviews of this book when I was about half way through the book. I had been enjoying the book so far and was adding it to my Goodreads (finally). It had a low, low rating of 1.88 stars (avg), and it really caught my eye. I found that there was a reviewer on Goodreads who expressed extremely negative opinions about the book calling it racist, homophobic, and ablest – to name a few. While I don’t agree with her opinion, what really bothered me was that people jumped right on board with her before reading the book themselves and began to rate the book as 1 star. I think it’s fine that she rated it so low! People are entitled to their own opinions! However, it is unfair of the other members of Goodreads to immediately assume that that reviewer’s word is gospel. Her opinion of the book is just that – an opinion. What I write in my reviews may differ what you think about the book, and that is okay! I am allowed to think what I think and you are too. I think one thing people are forgetting here is that we need to read and think critically. And that means that we need to encounter things first-hand to see if things match up to what is being said before jumping to immediate conclusions.
With that rant out of the way – here are some more thoughts I had about the book!
I enjoyed this book! It was definitely high fantasy and a little different from the ones I’ve read before. I liked the various descriptions of the people and how intricate it was. I did find that a little confusing at times though, but not enough for it to really be a bother.
I found Elloren to be really annoying at first. She was irritating and I hated the thought process she went through and how she viewed her world. However, stepping back I could see the perspective the author wanted me to take. I read in the author’s letter that she was trying to mimic and grow a person who is prejudiced deeply, and Elloren really shows it. One thing I didn’t understand was how much more progressive her brothers were versus Elloren because they were raised in the same environment.
The development of the other characters was a fun thing to read about. I liked seeing the veil of prejudice come up as Elloren attended University. I felt like it showed how sheltered she was and ignorant of the world. My favorite character is Diana by far. She is strong willed and fierce.
The language of the book was a little awkward and repetitive at times, but I felt like it was pretty good for a debut novel.
Overall a good book to read, especially if you have time!