The Black Witch: An Epic Fantasy Novel (Hardcover)
Elloren Gardner is a young woman who comes from an impressive lineage - her grandmother was The Black Witch, a fearsome magic-wielder who waged bloody war to make the Gardnerian people the dominant ruling power in the land. Elloren is nearly her exact replica, minus one detail: she has almost no magic, which makes it confusing when certain people begin to suspect she will be the next Black Witch. Raised by her uncle in the countryside, Elloren is both excited and nervous when her aunt decides to whisk her away to the city for her debut into society. Her aunt is determined to see her Wandfasted, the Gardnerian equivalent of marriage, but Elloren is headstrong enough to convince her aunt to let her attend University first. There, she is exposed to many different races of magical folk, and her one-sided view of the world begins to change in the charged political atmosphere of the University. This book has gone through some controversy due to its racial and religious content, but in the end I think the author expressed the topics with understanding. It is, as always, up to the reader to decide.
Recommended by Megan
"Maximum suspense, unusual magic--a whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy "
--Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author Powerful magic. A deadly legacy. A world at the edge of war. Prepare to be spellbound by The Black Witch. Elloren Gardner is the spitting image of her grandmother, who drove back the enemy forces in the last Realm War. But while her perople believe she will follow in her grandmother's footsteps and become the next Black Witch of prophecy, Elloren is devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above all else. When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren joins her brothers at Verpax University. But she soon realizes that the university may be the most treacherous place of all for the granddaughter of the Black Witch. As evil looms and the pressure to live up to her heritage builds, Elloren's best hope of survival may be among a secret band of rebels...if only she can find the courage to trust those she's been taught to fear. Critics are raving about Laurie Forest's incredible debut, The Black Witch: "We fell under the spell of this rich, diverse, Potter-worthy university world "
--Justine magazine "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 "Briskly paced, tightly plotted...set in a rich alternative universe with a complicated history that can help us better understand our own."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review Books in The Black Witch Chronicles: The Black Witch
The Iron Flower
The Shadow Wand
Wandfasted (ebook novella)*
Light Mage (ebook novella)* * Also available in print in The Rebel Mages anthology.