Friday, September 29, 2023

REVIEW: The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

The Black Witch
My Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

I found The Black Witch to be a fantastic read. I read it before I was even aware of all the backlash it had initially received back in 2017 when originally published, having only heard about all that once I read the Goodreads reviews. And while I clearly recognized the fascist xenophobia apparent in the Gardnerian race right from the start, it was obvious that this extreme view was meant to negatively portray the kind of bigoted, closed-minded culture that Elloren grew up in. As a reader, you're meant to feel disgusted by it, and I quickly learned to abhor the strict Gardnerian views and prejudice. But then we get to see Elloren grow as an individual and question these same beliefs, while she learns that much of what she's been taught are fabrications or outright lies meant to indoctrinate and form impressionable young minds. What emerges is a girl who's finding her own mind and forming her own beliefs and impressions of the world based on the truths she's learned.

With all that out of the way, I have to say this is one of the best books I've read this year and I enjoyed it immensely. The fantasy world pulled together by the author is vast and vivid. Characters from many diverse races grace these pages—several of them unique to this series. The Gardnerians for example, are like a combination of Witch and devout Christian, if that's even possible, but Laurie Forest makes it believable and it works together wonderfully. The lush characters and world building drew me in to the story, making me feel as if I was right there and kept me glued to the pages. Definitely looking forward to the rest of this series!

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