Well of Witches: The Thickety, Book 3
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Well of Witches, the third installment in the Thickety series, finds its two central characters, good witch Kara, now 13, and her younger brother, Taff, fleeing would-be killers -- including their own formerly loving father, who's been possessed by the spirit of a ruthless persecutor, thanks to a witch's parting spell. In the cosmic clash between the evil witches and those who hunt them, there's gore, murder, soul-snatching, and assorted monsters, and the kids' quest to save their father takes them to the underworld, where witches are enslaved and then turned into zombie-like "Faceless" when they can no longer work. Against this dark background are many positive messages, especially about kindness, empathy, and forgiveness, as Kara and Taff struggle to do the right thing and save their loved ones.
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What's the Story?
Following the events of Book 2, 13-year-old witch Kara, now without her powers, and younger brother Taff are on an urgent mission to save their father, a quest that takes them into the underworld WELL OF WITCHES. That's their only hope of reversing the spell that turned their loving parent into a ruthless witch-hunter hell-bent on killing them. And that's not to mention the evil witch recruiting vulnerable girls for her planned takeover of the world and the gusto with which she and the witch-hunters torture and kill one another. As cosmic conflict looms, the kids dodge death and betrayal while trying do the right thing. Along the way, acts of kindness often have many unexpected benefits -- often at just the right moment.
Is It Any Good?
There's lots of action, plot twists, creepy images, and heartstring-tugging as J.A. White's young heroes face human and supernatural monsters in a desperate quest to save their father and their world. Striking a nice balance between world-building, character development, and thrilling adventure, Well of Witches sets up the finale in Book 4. Along the way, it delivers many messages about kindness and empathy that resonate strongly with our own world as well as the Thickety's, such as this, from the founder of a magic academy, on why witches in training had to submit to a period of living as ordinary people with no special powers:
"[It] would have been a very poor school indeed if we focused only on how to use magic and spent no time on the when and why. In my day those with the gift were revered and admired from birth. They were exalted above all others. Imagine if you had been told your entire life that you were more important than other people. Something truly terrible might happen. You might start to believe it! You might begin thinking, 'Why should I help any of these sheep around me?' For those with true power, such thoughts are the first steps down a dark, dark path. That's why it was crucial that students experience firsthand what it was like to be powerless, poor, downtrodden -- to understand life from a different perspective. Nothing quells the dark temptations of power better than empathy."
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about magic and witches in Well of Witches. Why do you think magic is seen as a good thing in some stories and an evil thing in others?
How would you feel if you were really good at doing something and then you could never do it again?
In Well of Witches, one of the characters is willing to sacrifice herself to the dark side to help a good cause. What are the dangers of such a choice?
- Author: J.A. White
- Illustrator: Andrea Offerman
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: March 7, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 18
- Number of pages: 528
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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