Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Apprentice Witch

Arianwyn's greatest fear is failing her witch's assessment, so when that happens in front of all her classmates and an auditorium full of people, she is mortified.  Because her grandmother is an important witch, she is allowed to continue as an apprentice witch and given a post in the remote village of Lull.  It may be close to the great forest, but the tiny village should be a quiet place for Arianwyn to hone her abilities before she is reassessed.

But she hasn't even made it into the town yet when her bus is attacked by a dangerous creature of dark magic.  It seems that Lull is not as peaceful as its name would suggest!

Arianwyn makes mistakes, but she comes to like the village and its residents, and she does a satisfactory job of keeping them safe.  Her confidence is shaken though when the mayor's daughter comes to town for an extended visit and turns out to be none other than Gimma, Arianwyn's main tormenter from her school days.

Arianwyn wants to trust Gimma, but she's not sure she should.  Meanwhile, a dark magic is growing in the forest and seeping into the village, and Arianwyn doesn't feel powerful enough to protect them.  To make matters worse, a powerful magical symbol that has haunted Arianwyn her entire life comes into her mind to distract her at the worst possible moments.  Could this glyph be connected to the growing darkness?  Will she have the courage to do what needs to be done?

James Nicol's debut novel is a wonderful foray into a magical world that feels both new and familiar.  This is one of the best magic books I've read in a while!  While Nicol wraps this story up by the end, there are plenty of questions left for sequels.  Highly recommended for magic and fantasy fans!

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