The Witch Hunters have come for Brusenna, for she is the last. All the others have been captured by the Dark Witch. And without their magical songs to control nature, the world is dying.
Though young and untrained, Brusenna must succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the Dark Witch. Fight her. Defeat her. If Brusenna fails, there will be nothing left to save—for the Witches, for mankind, or for the young Guardian who has committed his life to protecting hers.
This book is YA fantasy. It exists. Can we go home now? No? Oh fine.
1. It’s too long.
When you’ve killed off both sets of (generic evil) protagonists at the 80% mark and suddenly introduce a new antagonist? Something has gone wrong. Then again, this book was only a hair of 300 pages. Clearly the book needed to be padded out to take this from novella to novel.
2. The characters are not developed.
Brusenna is a Mary Sue. When we met her, she is untrained and barely knows how to Witch. After a year of studying, on her own with only books (more on that in a minute) she manages to bring down the biggest Evil Witch that has walked the land. Oh. And she’s a Level Seven. And the only other Level Seven is the evil witch. And she’s a natural born leader; per the general of the army that was sent to capture her. Her Guardian and on and on.
Joshen exists to give our heroine someone to fall in love with. He doesn’t really do much else, if you really look at the story.
The protagonists are generically Evil and don’t seem to have much, if any motivation other than Kill the Witch. Yawn.
3. The magic system could use improvement.
The whole thing is based on song, so how does she learn it all from a book? Oh wait. That’s right. She’s a Level Seven Witch.
Also, and I hate to say it, but the rhyming is just plain cringe-inducing. Mother Goose is freaking Shakespeare next to her. Some aren’t so bad:
Wind, lift me high,
That my words reach to’rds the sky
Others are so tortured they should be mercy killed:
Guardian of Keepers and Witch friend decree,
But if thou betrayest, a poison be
Just…maybe rhyme wasn’t the best way to go? I do appreciate that she at least acknowledges that tone-deaf Witches can exist (though they seem to be more herb/medicine woman as opposed to a Witch) but we really don’t learn much else, other than cheesy rhymes seem to make plants grow.
I really wanted to put this down, but kept going in the hopes of finding something, anything to praise. About the best I can say is that Brusenna is willing to kill (even through her plants) which is nice given the circumstances. Other than that? Meh. This book exists. It’s not very good. You can find better.
Verdict: Skip it.