April 10, 2018

#BookReview with #TheBookAddicts: The Black Witch (The Black Witch Chronicles #1) by @laurieannforest @HarlequinTeen

About the Book:

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.

Reviewed By: Jessica P.
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Recommended Age: Young Adult 
Genre: Fantasy 
How I Acquired this book: Author 
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author:
Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. THE BLACK WITCH (Out Now - Harlequin TEEN, Book One of The Black Witch Chronicles) is her first novel, and WANDFASTED (THE BLACK WITCH prequel, Out Now - Harlequin TEEN) is her first e-book novella. Coming in 2018 are THE IRON FLOWER (Sept. 2018 - Harlequin TEEN, Book Two of The Black Witch Chronicles) and LIGHT MAGE (Spring 2018 - Harlequin TEEN, e-book novella).

Visit her realm at laurieannforest.com

Noteworthy experiences while reading this book: This book is totally truly an epic story! 

Check out author's other books? YES, and you should too! 
Recommend this book? YES!!!! READ IT NOW!!! 

Notes and Opinions: I do not say this very often about books, especially when those books just clear 600 pages.  But this book is out of this world!  If you haven't picked this one up yet you need to. Then you need to take out like a full week of reading time to take your time reading it. (wow that was a tongue twister).  

First off I want everyone to understand that I have had heard all of the bad things said about this book. But after reading it I have to wonder if those people have read the book at all.  Because this book is about so many things at least in my eyes. First off it's about a girl named Elloren that has lived a sheltered life away from the prying eyes of those in power only to be thrust into a world at University where she is confronted by everything she is supposed to hate.  She can not go against her religion and her values right off the bat. That just doesn't make sense in a story such as this. This is a story that is trying to show you how not accepting people is bad! That we need to accept others and with everything going on right now in the world with immigration etc. I would think that this would be a wonderful book to read. For that main fact.  

Ok so into the real review. This book was beyond amazing. It had a slight Harry Potter feel to it that I loved with the wandfasting (basically think of the unbreakable vow.) this is something that our MC's Uncle didn't want for her. He wanted Elloren to wait two years and sending her to University was the best thing for her.  Here she is made to live with two beings called Icarals which in their society are little more than winged demons.  She also has to go to school with werewolves called Lupine twins.  Which are also considered evil.  Elloren realizes after a good portion of the book that all is not as it seems and even a lot of her friends feel the same way.  I really loved the fact that the author started out with Elloren being pretty much like everyone. She was removed from the main society even learning how to create violins with her uncle which is a trade as a woman she wasn't supposed to be doing.

I also loved her determination. Even before she became friends with some of the creatures/beings that were seen as evil by everyone else. She stood fast to the ideals and promises that she gave to her Uncle. To not wandfast until school was over no matter her situation. She took to working in the kitchens with other, not of her kind and never complained.   And once she realized what was really going on she didn't hesitate to help in any way she could.  It really stands true that Elloren was one strong character even if she didn't have any magic per say or knew how to fight. 

The other side characters also didn't disappoint I really loved everyone from the Icarals to the dragon to the Lupines and more! Everyone pulled their weight in the book and it was almost like it was in multi-POV even though it wasn't.  It was one book that once you got into it with the characters you didn't want to put it down at all.  

The next thing I want to cover for this review is the hatred that is in its pages.  So much racism goes on in this story but it fits the dark theme of the story well.  I loved every bit of Elloren figuring out that all is not as it should be as she went out to discover what was really going on. Even so much as going to a teacher that she both disliked and was scared of, knowing he would tell her the truth.  As they say History is written by the victors.  So if we take away all of the books about say the Holocust or other Interment camps and only use those stories that are cheery and happy what does that leave us with. Yes, the cruelty in this book might be dark, sad, and sometime over the top but that is the nature of our world.  There is so much nonacceptance in our world today.  We have school shootings and mail bombs going off and little kids who are 3 and 5 defending themselves via being deported. (that was on the new btw) So although this is a much darker theme than many might be used to it is one that we should not turn a blind eye to.  I hope that those who choose to read this wonderful story learns acceptance and that it opens their eyes to the world around them.  For me I found this book very realistic to our lives today. Although we're all the same species unlike Elloren and her friends. 

All in all the world building (was out of the freaking world man!!!), characters (everyone had a voice!), and the story (MIND BLOWING) all came together to bring one of the most amazing titles out there today! I am so happy to have had Laurie on The Books Addict this past month and I really hope that she comes back for her next title.  She offically has a new stalker in me that is for sure.  Auto buy is on for this author and I can't wait for the next one!  

For those of you out there that haven't read this one yet. I tell you read it for yourself then make a choice. Don't let negative reviews steer you away.  You might miss out on some amazing titles.  I know I have in the past.  

Go Into This One Knowing:  READ THIS ASAP!!! 

 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. This money gets used to buy items for giveaways. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 

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