Parents' Guide to

The Black Witch: The Black Witch Chronicles, Book 1

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Overlong but engaging fantasy tackles prejudice.

The Black Witch: The Black Witch Chronicles, Book 1 Poster Image

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Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+
This is an absolutely riveting book that both adults and teens can enjoy. The plot structure is excellent. The characters grow and become well fleshed out throughout the book. The writer tackles pretty tough topics racism, bullying, sexism, religious intolerance, love, and friendship. The message of acceptance of others is beautifully woven into the story as the main characters learn to overcome all of their previous prejudices and work together to fight the evil forces that threaten them all. The story gives the reader a sense of what Nazi Germany with the rise of the evil mage Vogel who who wants to torture and kill people of other races. It essentially gives a historical lesson within a fantasy setting, and as we all know if we don't learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it. There are some swear words but no more than might be found in a pg 13 movie. I would recommend this book for 13 and up so that they can have a fuller understanding of the plot and of the issues that are tackled.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This overlong but engaging tale highlighting racial tension and prejudice between the Gardnerians -- the ruling magical "chosen people" -- and other oppressed races resonates with our times. Civically engaged teen readers looking for parallels to today's social movements and the world's ongoing strife will find much food for thought here. Those who'd rather focus on the characters will enjoy Elloren and feel for her struggle to stay true to herself, find romance, and find her place in the world. Her naiveté and fear of other races at the beginning of The Black Witch is understandable given her environment, and her growth as a character into someone who senses her own power to change things, with or without a wand in her hand, is admirable.

This series is off to a fine start but could have used one last purge of 100 pages or so. There are too many scenes in the kitchen, too many furtive glances between Elloren and Yvan -- we get it, he's mysterious and hot -- and there's too much time setting up Elloren's first few horrible days at the university. With Cassandra Clare's fantasies sometimes clocking in at 700-plus pages, most editors probably don't bat an eye when YA books overdo. But new writers and their editors would do well to take their time to make a story truly great.

Book Details

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