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The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 1) by [Laurie Forest]

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The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Black Witch Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,006 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—It is one thing to be the granddaughter of Carnissa Gardner, the legendary Black Witch, but it's another to be the spitting image of her. Elloren Gardner discovers this from the moment she is uprooted from her uncle's secluded house and enrolled at Verpax University, which is rumored to be "racially integrated," to Elloren's great shock (Elloren shares her aunt's opinion that the integration is "misguided"). While outwardly resembling a bildungsroman, albeit a fantasy one, this novel features a protagonist who remains naive for far too long and, unfortunately, is painfully slow to confront the racist attitudes that she has inherited and that are essential to Gardnerian dominance. By the book's end, readers will wonder if she has learned anything at all. Teens will have to get through hundreds of pages of stereotypical characterizations of marginalized groups (non-Gardnerians are hateful and ultraviolent, their blood is "polluted," they mate like animals, the non-Gardnerian women are trying to steal Gardnerian men, etc.) before Elloren begins to recognize that maybe Gardnerians are the bad guys in her realm. Although unlearning prejudices is a timely theme in YA, Forest handles this issue clumsily. In a particularly rough, tone-deaf scene, mean girl Fallon berates Effrey, a purple-skinned enslaved Urisk girl. Elloren eventually comes to the rescue, and Sparrow, another enslaved girl, approves of her actions with a smile—just one of the many white savior—like moments throughout. The world-building also leaves a lot to be desired: the Gardnerian creation story is an almost verbatim retelling of Genesis, and there are sporadic, vague mentions of martial arts and elemental spirits in this otherwise "Harry Potter" meets Tolkien universe. VERDICT Poor writing and character development contribute to an overall uneven handling of race and racism in a fantasy setting.—Della Farrell, School Library Journal --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review

ABA Indiebound – Summer 2017 Kids' Indie Next List Pick

"This briskly paced, tightly plotted novel enacts the transformative power of education, creating engaging characters set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own. A massive page-turner that leaves readers longing for more." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Forest uses a richly imagined magical world to offer an uncompromising condemnation of prejudice and injustice."
-Booklist, starred review

"Exquisite character work, an elaborate mythology, and a spectacularly rendered universe make this a noteworthy debut, which argues passionately against fascism and xenophobia.
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"I absolutely loved The Black Witch and will have a very hard time waiting for the second book! Maximum suspense, unusual magic--a whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy!" -Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"The Black Witch is a refreshing, powerful young adult fantasy. This strong debut offers an uncompromising glimpse of world-altering politics amplified by a magical setting in which prejudice and discrimination cut both ways." -Robin Hobb, New York Times bestselling author

"We fell under the spell of this rich, diverse, Potter-worthy university world!
Characters that come alive off the page, tangled relationships, swoonworthy romance!
Love the fresh way this also tackles prejudice. Prepare to fangirl!"
-Justine magazine

"A powerful start to a new series, and a very impressive first novel." -Locus

"This very engaging YA series deals with difficult topics such as prejudice, hate, intolerance, and stereotypes of other cultures and races...And, yes, some characters have supernatural powers and there is also romance. I would love to see this book as a movie." - American Booksellers Association
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01N0GLZKC
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harlequin Teen; Original edition (May 2, 2017)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 2, 2017
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6517 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 649 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,006 ratings

About the author

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Laurie Forest is a New York Times, USA Today and International Bestselling Author who lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. She is the author of THE BLACK WITCH (Book 1.0, The Black Witch Chronicles), THE IRON FLOWER (Book 2.0), WANDFASTED (Book 0.5 - a full length novel prequel) and LIGHT MAGE (Book 1.5 - a full length novel prequel) - both WANDFASTED & LIGHT MAGE are available in the print compilation - THE REBEL MAGES (her favorite book in the series), THE SHADOW WAND (Book 3.0 - a Publisher's Weekly Bestseller) and The Demon Tide (Book 4.0 - a USA Today Bestseller). Visit her realm at laurieannforest.com for links to twitter/facebook/etc. (where she posts most updates). The last book in the series, THE BATTLE FOR ERTHIA (tentative title of Book 0.5) is planned for 2023. Enjoy!

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
2,006 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

J. Shurin
5.0 out of 5 stars Disruptive new fantasy (with a few stodgy bits)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 9, 2018
22 people found this helpful
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ScottyB
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2017
19 people found this helpful
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Wendy
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2021
One person found this helpful
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Tinkerbellrf
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 25, 2018
4 people found this helpful
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Chris D
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2020
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