Title: The Black Witch
Author: Laurie Forest
Genre: Fantasy, YA
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.
This book is not without its problems, and trust me, there are some.
What do you get when someone has been sheltered their entire life without access to the outside world and the reality of what that world is actually like?
But thankfully, because though the world is not perfect, books can have character development in which people actually learn from their mistakes and grow.
An amazing thought, right? Right.
Although the rest of the world doesn’t catch up and there lies the conflict in this novel.
I won’t tell you anything further because that would be a spoiler. I do want to say, while there were once more significant problems with this novel when it was released as an ARC, it seems to have been rectified, and I’ve read this twice and eagerly read the second one as well.
It is worth the read for anyone who likes fantasy, or YA, with lots of different magical beings and a pretty significant world built.