Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge: June Reviews

Here are the reviews for May for the Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge.

Lots of books this month!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
All things must end...I started my reread of the Harry Potter series with much enthusiasm and I was rewarded every step of the way. But I was dreading this one.  Not because of the deaths or the loss, but because this was the end, no more Harry, no more Hogwarts, no more of the world that enchanted me and millions of others.
J.K. Rolwing is a genius. Pure and simple. While I thought some of her later books could have had a deft hand at editing I find in the end I would not want one line changed.  The best thing about this book, and the last one, is you really, really get a feeling of how and why Ron and Hermione got together and why Harry and Ginny are together.  The movies, as fantastic as they are, glossed over this subtle storytelling.
Every fan of fantasy needs to read these books.
Witch Count: Hundreds

Witches with the Enemy: A Novel of the Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee
Book 3 of the Mist-Torn Witches series sees Céline and Amelie Fawe heading back into the land of their birth, Shetâna, to do a job for Prince Damek who once tried to have them killed.
Like the previous two books this one involves a mysterious murder, but the murders keep happening and it is soon obvious that no one is what they appear to be at all.  This one grabs you from the beginning.
Hendee is great at character development and it was nice to see Céline get some much needed growth and the spotlight for a while.  The previous book featured a lot of growth for Amelie.   I also like that the witches may have made a terrible new enemy by the end of the book.
The potential for this series really is unlimited. I would like to see some new powers or new nuances to their powers for the sisters, but I also see no end of their troubles.
I think what I like the most about this series is that both the two main female characters and the two main male characters are allowed to be strong when they can.  That is, one character or gender does not show strength at the expense of the others. They all have the potential to work as a greater team but finding their roles is the trick.  In any case there is plenty of more room for future character growth and that is exactly what I want in my series reading.
While these books are set in a fantasy realm of magic, witches, ghosts and even vampires these are solidly murder mysteries.  Can't wait for Book 4!
Witch Count: 3-5 (including hedge witches)

Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave
The classical Russian tale of Baba Yaga and the brave young girl Vasilisa.  I actually read a couple of different versions of this tale over the month, but since they only differed by a detail here or there I am counting this as one.
Witch Count: 1

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston
This one has all the elements I like. Welsh countryside, ancient witchcraft, new you witch coming into her power.  It just didn't grab me like I thought it would.  Now by the end of the book things had gotten better.  I liked the character Morgana and I liked how her magic worked.  The author is quite good really, I just found the pace a bit slow for my liking.  I think if I had not just come down from my Harry Potter fueled high I might have enjoyed this one a lot more.
Witch Count: 3

Books read: 18
Current Level: Crone,  Read 16 – 20 Witchy Books

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