War of the Witches review

War of the Witches review

War of the Witches is probably best suited to girls under eighteen who will be most drawn into the intricacies of its magical plot – it’s a total witch-fest. If you’re already a Twilight fan, War of the Witches has some real meat to it – no vampires, but more witches and witchcraft in one book than you’ve ever seen in your life.

When her mother disappears without a trace, Anaid is baffled. Taken in by friends, she learns a shocking truth: Her mother is a witch. Not just any witch… Anaid’s mother is the Chosen One, prophesied to end a bloody war with the cruel Odish clans who are intent on attaining eternal life, at whatever cost. As Anaid struggles with this discovery, she starts developing powers of her own, and sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her mother (and ultimately, herself). This magical fantasy by internationally acclaimed author Maite Carranza delves deeply into the unspoken ties between mothers and daughters and the mysteries of growing up.

One of the most unusual things about War of the Witches is that there isn’t a single man in it. Anywhere. Oh, wait – there’s Sam, who we never meet but who Anaid’s mother had a secret fling with in the City. And some guy who appears for two paragraphs at one of the few parties that Anaid has ever attended. But mostly it’s women, witches of all kinds – cruel witches, fluffy witches, conniving witches, cynical witches…

One of the very best things in this book is the rivalry between the Onan (think Hufflepuff) and Odish (think Slytherin) witch clans, with politics everywhere, and witches fighting with each other, and on top of this, you have a lonely girl who’s never kissed a boy, never been to a party, never looked as good as her glamorous mother, who suddenly discovers she has certain powers and maybe even be able to help fulfil her mother’s destiny.

War of the Witches may not crossover into adult books as well as some childhood classics, but neither does Twilight – and this magical fantasy has enough invention, adventure and teenage tension running through it to satisfy any young woman who’s yearned for a little more magic in her life.