Books, writing, reading, words and images. I love them; do you?

The Spirit of a Witch, by Sarah Jane Avory, Reviewed.


This book came to me as a prize in a raffle at the Fantasticon 2015 fantasy convention in Hull. I doubt I would’ve come across it otherwise and don’t think I’d have read it. The novel is clearly aimed at young women and I suspect many of them, especially cat lovers, will enjoy it.

The central character, Briley, is a young woman with a troubled background and an understandable tendency to moan and be overly critical of herself: not a surprising trait, given the way society often deals with young women. She has a companion, Smokey, her cat, who she treats as her best friend. I enjoyed the snarky nature of the creature as it comments on her actions and converses with her once she’s been thrust unwillingly into the life of a witch.

This fantasy tale has a good story and the central idea of an individual magicked into another world works quite well. But there is a good deal of repetition and several instances of misused words, as if the author has consulted a thesaurus without fully understanding the actual meaning of the chosen suggestions.

For all that, I read the book to the end and I don’t do that if I’m not engaged. Briley, irritating and sometimes self-pitying as she is, did manage to hold my attention throughout the book. I had some sympathy for her and wondered what would happen.

This is the first in a series and, unlike many modern sets, this one does actually contain a fully formed story with beginning, middle and end and can be read as a standalone book. So, top marks to the author for that. I won’t, however, be reading the sequels.

Many cat lovers and young women who enjoy their fantasy with romantic but non-erotic content will find this book satisfying. And there is a well told story here.

This reviewer has taken the True Review Pledge.

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