Page Count 352
On Sale 09/28/2021 by St. Martin’s Griffin
“Mystical, magical, and wildly original…If Alice Hoffman and Sara Addison Allen had a witchy love child, she would be Paige Crutcher. Do not miss this beautifully realized debut!”— JT Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Her Dark Lies on The Orphan Witch.
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.
Thank you so much, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and St. Martin’s Griffin, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.
Persephone May has been always alone. Abandoned as infant, grown up in foster care, strange things happen when she’s around, weather changes, things take flight and so on. So Persephone, to protect her heart and feelings, decides not to get attached, not to make friends or to date anyone, always ready to move from town to town. After another scary and accidental display of power, she’s ready to move again and she, luckily, gets a letter from the only friend she’s managed to get: Hyacinth, inviting her on Wile Isle. The timing is perfect, but as soon as she arrives Persephone understands the island isn’t an ordinary one. She can feel its power and mystery and Hyacinth and her sister Moira will open a brand new world for her, making her feel at home, accepted, loved and protected. But answers and family come with a price and Persephone finds herself involved into a 100-hundred-year-old curse, family feud, a Library of the Lost, a rude and fascinating librarian and, maybe, a way to save them all.
I really loved reading The orphan witch. It’s a brilliant fantasty story, captivating, the plot full of twists, secrets and discoveries and Persephone is a wonderful main character. She’s very realistic in her longing, pain and desires. She wants to belong to somewhere, to someone, she’s looking for answers about her past and family, finding more she was looking for, involved in a world full of magic, curses and so on. Persephone is dragged in a complex and scary reality, where she discovers her powers, where she belongs and her role in everything. The setting(s) are truly mystical and enchanting…and enchanted, too.
The island is beautiful, rich and evocative and its description made me feel like I was there with Persephone, discovering it slowly, smelling the flowers and the sea, the herbs, learning magic and connections, falling in love and so much more. On the other side the library is another captivating setting, with the rude and mysterious Dorian, books and secrets, voices and clues, scattered everywhere.
If the setting is evocative and intense, so the characters. As I’ve already written, Persephone is brilliant and a very relatable character. She’s also brave and stubborn and she’s, as she will discover in time, surrounded by love and bonds. Except for Dorian, the book presents only female characters, wonderfully complex and intricate in their feelings, emotions, past traumas, connections and mistakes.
The jovial Hyacinth and her struggles and pain, the strong and stubborn Moira, hiding her past and losses behind a facade, the mysterious and elusive Ariel and Ellison, the witches Amara and True, who started everything years and years ago. The side characters, as the main one, are brilliantly written, very relatable in their actions and feelings.
The writing style is captivating, it was impossible not to feel Persephone’s feelings and longing, her desires and fears, her dreams, to be involved in her adventure, following her discovering herself, her strength, her family and her love.
It’s an intense and magical fantasy with romance, action and sisterhood.
The orphan witch is a book about family and bonds, about belong to somewhere and someone, the sacrifices one would do for love and the right things, about being brave.
It’s a wonderful, evocative, sometimes sad and others funny, fantasy story about sisterhood and love, action and magic, family and curses to be broken.
Paige Crutcher is a former Southern Correspondent for Publishers Weekly, an artist and yogi, and co-owner of the online marketing company Hatchery.