Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: James Nicol
Publisher: Chicken House
Ariawyn Gribble didn’t pass her witches exam. To her embarrassment, she is made a lowly apprentice witch. Ariawyn is assigned to a small, forgettable town named Lull. The town is skeptical because she is just a apprentice but are happy to have anyone to help them. She helps with simple tasks like stunning people’s pesky bogglin’s, banishing crawlers, and taking care of hexes. As time goes on, however, there seems to be some darkness creeping into her spells and strange things happening around the town. As things escalate and the entire town’s lives are in danger, it becomes apparent that Ariawyn is the only one who can make things right and save everyone. The things that made her feel different from her peers become her strengths, and she is able to save everyone.
This is a wonderful read that keeps the reader engaged. The story is uncommon because the witches are not feared and kept secret; in fact, they are civil servants that are fundamental to society. Ariawyn is different from the other witches and is bullied by her peers. She has a rough beginning, but overcomes and stays optimistic despite her struggles. In many instances, it would have been easy for her to seek revenge on those who had wronged her, but she is quick to bury the hatchet and provide service to everyone who needs it. In this book, the author creates an enchanting world with unique creatures and one-of-a-kind magic system.