Parents' Guide to

The Iron Flower: The Black Witch Chronicles, Book 2

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dramatic, overlong sequel tackles prejudice thoughtfully.

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Kids say (3):

Readers who like to get truly lost in emotionally intense fantasies for as many pages as possible, editing be darned, will adore this hefty sequel. Those who prefer stories tautly told, carefully pared down to what's necessary, may be frustrated with the 100 extra pages and dozen or so unnecessary characters author Laurie Forest crams into this sequel. There are also a few too many dramatic moments for one story. Elloren, the main character, bursts into tears over tragedies so many times you'll lose count. It's about as many times as she stares at Yvan longingly, and that's a lot.

Still, this series explores social justice themes with freshness and real depth. That's enough for four stars right there. Gardnerians are the closest things to humans, with some added iridescence and magic ability, and they are the latest warmongers in this planet's constant cycle of genocide. Elloren is supposed to be the catalyst for all this bloodshed, but she's the catalyst for hope instead. Her metamorphosis at the end of The Iron Flower promises an enticing Book 3.

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