August 31, 2021

#BookReview: Witches Steeped in Gold (Witches Steeped in Gold #1) by Ciannon Smart

Synopsis: Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom - and vengeance. 

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power. 

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain - except the lengths they will go to win this game.

This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes.


Rating: 1 Star
My Review: This book didn't work for me at all and I am so sad about that becuase I had that beautiful Fairyloot edition.  I started reading it hoping it was going to be amazing. I mean I was hoping it was going to make my witchy heart soar but sadly that wasn't the case.  I only made it a few chapters before deciding that it just really wasn't for me.  The world building and pacing was ugh and the writing was just blah.  The pacing was slow and the plot was boring. I skimmed a lot of the rest of the book just to see if it would get better but found that the romance was just flat and nothing really stood out.  This book didn't need to be as long and it could have been amazing if more care would have been taken.  It could have been I would say 200 pages shorter and would have been much faster paced.  Content editing and story editing are a must if you ask me.  I wish whoever read this one would have realized that it was a slog. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Sorcery, spite, and superstitions: this Jamaican-inspired young adult fantasy novel is imbued with a dense magic system and, in the center of it all, two witches fighting a common enemy. Princess Jazmyne's mother all but wiped out prisoner Iraya's family, a former ruling faction on the island of Aicaya. While Ira seeks vengeance, Jazmyne herself realizes the unsettling cruelty of her mother and wishes to change the present way of ruling. Ira's calculating style may clash with Jaz's brash and at times impulsive ways, but they both aspire to have Aicaya under peaceful rule once again. Unfortunately for both of them, evil has a way of sifting to the top. The novel's worldbuilding operates on a Caribbean form of mythos called Obeah. The inclusive cast includes protagonists with silver-tinted Afros and bronzed skin being the norm. VERDICT A great choice for die-hard fantasy fans.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Carroll Elem. Sch., HoustonĪ±(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Aglow with detail, Witches Steeped in Gold is a thundering waterfall of magic, vengeance and intrigue. Smart spirits the reader straight to the heart of a vivid and perilous world, where power rests in the hands of women and fate turns on the bonds they break and forge." -- Samantha Shannon, New York Times & Sunday Times bestselling author of THE BONE SEASON & THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE

“A bloody and deadly delight, Witches Steeped In Gold puts power into the hands of Black girls — the true, beating heart of magic!”

-- Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles series

“This delightfully delicious tale of witches and magical intrigue will have you reading late into the night.” -- Rena Barron, author of Kingdom of Souls

“A richly realized tale.” -- Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Ciannon Smart can typically be found painting abstract canvases, playing netball, or teaching herself new scores on the piano. Witches Steeped in Gold is her first novel. You can learn more about Ciannon at

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