Title: The Orphan Witch
Author: Paige Crutcher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Women’s Fiction
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.
Why This Book
The Orphan Witch is about Persephone and her lifelong search to belong and find family, especially since she has powers she can’t exactly control, making it necessary to move very frequently. My heart really felt for her from the very beginning. And then it expanded when she found her way to a mysterious island that’s been living under a curse for a hundred years. Taught by sister witches who happen to be feuding with the other family of witches, Persephone doesn’t take long to stumble into a library and meets its keeper, but she doesn’t really belong there. The witches, though, open their hearts and home to her, but things might not be as they seem.
On one hand, I loved this book because it was all about Persephone finding a home, finding a place where she belonged. Just when it seemed like she had, things start to happen and revelations are made. And my heart broke all over again for her. She just felt so tossed around that I just wanted her to find a home. But the ending has something else in store for her. It’s bittersweet, but really capped Persephone’s story well. It was absolutely not what I was expecting, so this is one ending that has stuck with me.
My review: “While the story itself was, overall, a bit simplistic, the characters were really interesting and the island and its history really shone. Parts of this story were sweetly bittersweet and others were just some really beautiful moments and some were actually a bit nutty. Overall, it’s a fun witchy read focused on the women and finding family”
Bookworm for Kids said “The atmosphere is haunting and magical, inviting to a darker story full of secrets. There’s always an under-flowing uncertainty of who can be trusted and actual intentions, which I enjoyed. It’s haunting and leaves Persephone to discover not only what her past is and the truth behind the curse, but also has her learning more about herself and dealing with who she truly is”
The Frumious Consortium said “While I did appreciate the plot twists, I felt like most of the writing that was meant to be the connecting tissue between set pieces wasn’t at all well thought out, and almost hurried through as the author shepherded us from one of her preferred scenes to the next, skipping some sorely needed world-building in the process. And the characterizations were absolutely dire, with immature, borderline idiotic dialog, inexplicable motivations and, at the very bottom of the barrel, an extremely unconvincing instalove romance plot.”
The Reading Raccoon gave this 2 stars, saying “the only intriguing part of the plot is her tragic curse which was introduced briefly in the beginning (when both a coffee shop patron and a barista co-worker try to kill themselves after catching her eye) and it never occurs again nor is there a logical explanation of why it ever happened and how to stop it. The next 90% of the book is witch relative drama, tea drinking, gardening, portals into other worlds, a library, pirating, a love interest with zero chemistry, gemstones, a grimoire and is overall a big convoluted mess”
Literati Lounge gave this 4 stars, saying “The author adds a good amount of tension to the story, by keeping you wondering who Persephone can trust. I found the resolution of the story satisfying”
Thindbooks Blog gave this 3 stars, saying “The ending was kind of rough in my opinion and could have been better. The writing style just wasn’t for me but the characters were great. I think those who love complicated magic systems would enjoy this book more so I recommend it to them”
Paige Reviews Books gave this 4 stars, saying “The Orphan Witch is well crafted, well researched, well written, and well edited which feels like a feat sometimes, to be frank. The pacing flows well, the conversations feel real, and the overall feel of the book is warm and inviting”
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Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.
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