Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover 416 pages
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Goodreads- A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.
Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.
I love witches. The Witch of Blackbird Pond remains one of my favorite childhood books. However, as an adult, I haven't found a lot of witch books that have lived up to my childhood favorite. Avery Roe and her tale is one of those stories. Avery is a strong minded girl, fighting her mother tooth and nail to return to her grandmother, the last Roe witch, so that she can learn how to use her magic. Avery's mother refuses to let her become the witch, declaring that she has ended the line. She has seen the life her mother lived and she doesn't want it for her daughter. But it's what Avery wants, she feels the magic crawling inside her, desperate to get out. And her mother is just as desperate to keep Avery with her, going so far as to marry a preacher, a wealthy one, and giving Avery a lady's education so that she can make a good match.
Then, Avery has her dream of being murdered and knows she only has a little time to become the Roe witch and change her fate, if that's even possible. She's a dream teller and she's never known anyone to change their fate, even when they tried. The islanders rely on the Roe witch for protection and safety. Love, happiness, wealth, fidelity, they believe that the Roe witches are responsible for it all. So, if a charm fails.....you know how it goes. The thought that there will be no Roe witch after Avery's grandmother dies is something no one wants to entertain. Avery feels a deep need to take on the role of the Roe witch, fighting against her mother, hating her for keeping her from her rightful place and her grandmother. She feels her roots in the island and an obligation, a sense of duty to the island. That she can't fulfill the duty makes her feel like she's betraying her island. She is both taunted and revered.
Tane is such a breath of fresh air on this island of sailors, whalers and widows. He comes from an island so far away it's taken years for him to sail to Prince Island. He and Avery make a striking pair, his magic is from a strange land and she cannot access hers. He seeks her out for her dream telling powers, but they both have something to learn from each other. Tane's patience with Avery is almost poetic, his willingness to help her more than brave. And Avery, in return was brave for Tane.
Yes, being the Roe witch takes sacrifice. Something no one ever told Avery. The lessons she learns one after another in quick succession barely allow her to catch her breath before she has to handle another seemingly insurmountable situation. Her life hangs in the balance many times. And Tane is there beside her.
I highly recommend this novel! If you love historical novels this is a great one. But if you love witch stories, I think you'll really love this one. For me to place it next to The Witch of Blackbird Pond, it is an incredible story. I loved it!
Thanks to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for an e-ARC through NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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