Emily has been helping out on the blog for a good while now, and over the course of the last few years her reading preferences have naturally developed, with a slightly reduced emphasis on fairies and more tolerance for darker elements in her books. This change comes through strongly today as this post sees Emily returning to a series she wasn’t very keen on when she first tried it; this time around, she sped through the books in a few days!
Before we start, a gentle warning – there may be spoilers ahead 😉
What’s the name of the book, and who is it by?
The book is called Wildwitch: Oblivion, and it’s by Lene Kaaberbøl (and it’s translated by Charlotte Barslund, review copy from Pushkin Childrens’ Books).
What’s it about?
It’s about a girl called Clara who is mastering her wildwitch powers, well trying to, anyway, when she gets a mysterious message from a kestrel saying to meet at the park one hour before sunset. The message has a small ferret head on it, which means it could only be from Shanaia, one of the witches who helped Clara in her first adventure. Shanaia asks Clara if she can help save her home in Westmark, so although Clara doesn’t want to go at first, she has to go anyway after some of her best friends disappear…
Did you like it? Why (not)?
I liked it because you never knew what would happen next, and The Nothing (half-human, half-bird) was very funny. I also like how cat always gets his way, even if Clara says no!
What was your favourite part?
My favourite part was when Clara used some magic inside her to get rid of Chimera’s wings! I also liked Viridian’s story because it was very interesting, but a bit sad 😦
Would you recommend this book to other boys and girls? Why (not)?
I know a hundred boys and girls that would like this 🙂
Emily, thank you very much.
You may remember Emily’s post a while back on the first book in the Wildwitch series, Wildfire, where she was slightly positive about the book, but a little put off by the blood and body count. After that, the rest of the books spent some time on a high shelf until one day after Christmas (when Emily was a little bored…) I asked her if she’d like to try the next one in the series. She plucked up the courage to give it a go – and then finished the others in a couple of days 🙂
I was pretty sure she’d get back to the books eventually as they’re a beautiful series, and she did enjoy the first one, despite its dark tone. Luckily, she’s read a couple of darker books recently, including one she got for Christmas, so she was in the mood to try something a little more challenging than her usual fare.
It helps that she was obviously already invested in the author’s world and keen to see what happens next with Clara, the young witch learning to cope with her powers. While the story begins quite normally, with Clara and her father getting used to a new house, it isn’t long before the magical world intervenes:
It was a bird of prey, not a very big one actually, but between the white walls of my room it seemed enormous. Fanning its tail feathers, pale apart from their black tips, it braked sharply, froze in mid-flap for a split-second, then made directly for me. I instinctively held out my arm and it landed a little clumsily on my wrist. Its yellow talons contracted and went through the sleeve of my jumper and into my skin, but even so the bird had to keep flapping its dappled wings to stay upright.
pp.9/10 (Pushkin Children’s Books, 2016)
That’s certainly an impressive beginning, with more than a touch of the Harry Potters about it (not sure why they couldn’t just email, though…).
I’m not going to say any more about the book (mainly because I haven’t actually read it), but rest assured that Emily loved it, and she’ll be back at some point to talk about the final two books in the series too (otherwise, somebody won’t be getting any new books any time soon…). And now that she’s a little more adventurous in her reading, I can think of a few more books she might like to try – stay tuned for a big year in Emily’s reviews 😉