Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Review: The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

There's no way Halloween can exist without its witches, and this tale takes a look at one, which touches upon an orphan, curses and a hint of romance, according to the blurb. I just liked the cover and thought it sounded like a fun read.

I was going to bring this one out to day as a 'Happy Book Birthday' post, but it seems that a pinch of magic had this one coming out a week earlier than predicted. Maybe some of you have already taken a peek at this one?

Grab that pointed hat and a broom, and let's soar into some October fun! 

by Paige Crutcher
St. Martin's Griffin
352 pages

A deeper magic. A stronger curse. A family lost...and found.

Persephone May has been alone her entire life. Abandoned as an infant and dragged through the foster care system, she wants nothing more than to belong somewhere. To someone. However, Persephone is as strange as she is lonely. Unexplainable things happen when she’s around—changes in weather, inanimate objects taking flight—and those who seek to bring her into their family quickly cast her out. To cope, she never gets attached, never makes friends. And she certainly never dates. Working odd jobs and always keeping her suitcases half-packed, Persephone is used to moving around, leaving one town for another when curiosity over her eccentric behavior inevitably draws unwanted attention.

After an accidental and very public display of power, Persephone knows it’s time to move on once again. It’s lucky, then, when she receives an email from the one friend she’s managed to keep, inviting her to the elusive Wile Isle. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. However, upon arrival, Persephone quickly discovers that Wile is no ordinary island. In fact, it just might hold the very things she’s been searching for her entire life.

Answers. Family. Home.

And some things she did not want. Like 100-year-old curses and an even older family feud. With the clock running out, love might be the magic that saves them all



First off, I picked this one up sure it was intended for the young adult audience, and while I've noticed that it is placed in this category in some spots...it is not a young adult novel. Rather, this one takes with a Persephone in her mid-or so twenties. So, this is a solid adult novel. 

Persephone was an orphan, never knowing who her parents were, but harboring powers, which caused horrible things to happen. While working her latest job at a coffee shop, another incident, which leaves a kind man with burns, causes her to simply leave and run. Again. She ends up following an invitation she'd received long before from a woman to visit her on an island. Even the arrival to the island holds strange incidences, so when Persephone is told she's a witch, she's surprised but believes it might be true. However, she's more than a little uncertain, when she learns she's the third witch needed to end a hundred-year curse.

The blurb left me expecting a different tale, which, obviously, did change the way I read this novel, especially in the beginning. But I'm going to try to shove that aside as much as possible. This book has little to do with Persephone as an orphan, but rather, slides through her past with that bit included and sets off when she's already an adult in life. The tale isn't exactly as fast-paced as I usually prefer. Rather, Persephone's situation, background, and reasons for her emotions are well-introduced and give her that much more depth before the 'adventure' starts (about 10% into the tale). The author weaves poems, journal entries, and such into the tale to create lovely glimpse at what happened in the past. It is a lovely way to get needed information while keeping the information more interesting and giving it a mysterious touch. 

When Persephone joins the other two witches, the pacing picks up a bit (still, not as much as I like) and the tension builds. The atmosphere is haunting and magical, inviting to a darker story full of secrets. There's always an under-flowing uncertainty of who can be trusted and actual intentions, which I enjoyed. It's haunting and leaves Persephone to discover not only what her past is and the truth behind the curse, but also has her learning more about herself and dealing with who she truly is. It's not quite my thing but well-written for the right reader. 

And here she is...

Paige Crutcher is the author of THE ORPHAN WITCH. Her work appears in multiple anthologies and online publications, and she is a former Southern Correspondent for Publishers Weekly. She is an artist and yogi, and when not writing, she prefers to spend her time trekking through the forest with her children, hunting for portals to new worlds.

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing your honest opinion about this one. I'm not sure it'd be fast paced enough for me.