Witches Galore. The Hawkweed Legacy, Irena Brignull Spoiler Free Review

Well after having segued into dragons for a time I seem to be slipping back into reading lots of books about witches. I also seem to have regained the habit for reading book series out of order. But no one is perfect and 99.9% of the time the book is still worth reading if you can’t get your hands on the first title, a lifetime of library loans has taught me that. But in this sea of witch novels what makes The Hawkweed Legacy worth a read?

Goodreads Summary:

Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.

Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.

Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.

Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.

This book is a multiple POV type book with the character’s names listed at the start of the chapter so you know who’s point of view you’re in. Would have been really helpful if I’d noticed that from the beginning, perhaps I wouldn’t have been so confused by the time changes. Nice one Judith, ten points from Ravenclaw. But in general I think this is used well, it doesn’t feel gratuitous and I think it was a good way of dealing with telling a story from the past and the present at the same time without writing in big letters THE PAST at the top of the chapter.

I like Brignull’s writing style for the most part. At times the voice she captures feels pretty young but I think that’s what she was going for since the witches in this story are sort of shut away from society so they wouldn’t necessarily use the most ‘up to date’ vocab. They do use the word ‘yoke’ to mean ‘have sex with’ which is equal parts hilarious and cringe. You’ll laugh, you’ll wince, what’s not to like.

I do think that, had I read book one first, I would have liked these characters more. I know I say that all the time and it must be pretty irritating for those of you who have read the first book but I am just trying to recognise the way the book feels when you read it as a standalone. That being said, I did really enjoy a book with so many female characters who were not always fighting against one another. It felt like one of my TTT wishes coming true before my very eyes (now I just need more diversity stat!)

I liked Poppy, she seemed fairly realistic for a young woman who is suddenly queen of a bunch of witches and isn’t sure she wants to be. Ember was also a relatable character. I think there’s someone in whom every reader can find themselves in this book, that’s part of what I think could make or break it. Will people love that fact or will they find it dilutes the plot?

Let’s not go too far into the relationships or we might have to mention ‘yoking’ again and I’ll die of laughter. There are some relationships, some good, some bad, some involving sex that is somehow non consensual on the part of both parties (magic+sex=never a good idea don’t write it please) so warning for those who don’t want to read about that! There are also some really interesting mother/daughter and old childhood friends relationships that make for great chemistry between various characters and added something to the usual sister/friend/boyfriend element that usually springs around YA fiction.

Final Thoughts

This was a fun, quick, witchy read. Though there were elements that felt a little hastily thrown together (there is no explanation as to how magic works, it just does) but on the whole the story is quite enjoyable and I would say I had a good time reading it. I mean there were no mythical creatures of any kind so how can I be 100% happy but then again a girl can’t always get everything she wants.

My Rating: 3/5 (nothing to write home about but I wouldn’t say it wasn’t worth my time)

The Hawkweed Legacy publishes on June 1st so there is still time to grab hold of a preorder before then!

Are you excited for this release? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on twitter @judithcmoore. Can’t wait to hear from you!

J

By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of The Hawkweed Legacy from the publishers (Orchard Books) in exchange for an honest review (thankyou!). All opinions are, as always, my own.

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