The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull

Received from NetGalley for review.

DNF @ 115 pages

The Hawkweed Prophecy has a fascinating premise – two girls, Poppy and Ember, switched at birth, one a witch, one normal, in order to ensure a prophecy about a powerful witch queen, born of a Hawkweed witch, works in Raven’s (naughty witch lady) favour. I loved the opening:

The babies were born as the clock struck twelve. A bat fell from the air mid-flight. A silver salmon floated dead to the surface of the river. Snails withered in their shells, moths turned to dust on the night breeze .and an owl ate its young. The spell had been cast.

It just screams old school magic and witchy goodness at me, and I felt that same vibe for the first part of the book; the descriptions of the dell and forest near Ember’s coven were vivid and luscious, full of whimsy and nature, and the story felt very magical for the first seventy pages or so, and I enjoyed the dual narrative between Poppy and Ember.

I enjoyed the characters of Poppy and Ember, although I had a hard time figuring out how old they were – a clear voice is created but it’s quite vague whether they are younger or older teenagers. They’re both girls who feel out of place and are trying to figure out where they belong in their respective worlds – Poppy in the ‘normal’ world and Ember within her coven, despite being a seemingly useless witch. They were definitely my favourite aspect of the story, and I may revisit the book at some point to see how their relationship develops.

I was really looking forward to this book, I wanted to enjoy it so badly and I did enjoy it – up to around seventy pages in. I was enjoying learning about Poppy and Ember and their emerging friendship, as well as finding out more about Ember’s coven, but then Leo came along and it just became flat. Usually I’m up for a romance, even a well done love triangle, but Leo’s appearance seemed redundant to me, like he was going to be there just to become the boy between Poppy and Ember. I didn’t want that, I wanted female friendship, the girls figuring out where they belong, and, of course, witches. I imagine all these things are in the book further along (having only read a little over one hundred pages I can’t be sure) but I can’t care enough about Leo’s presence to wait it out and see.

Read: July 4th 2016

2/5 stars


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