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Witchlings: 07/27/22

Witchlings

Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega (2022) is a middle grade fantasy set in a world where magic is real and society is built around covens. It's similar to the Upside-Down Magic series by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins.

Seven Salazar has been training her whole life to be part of the lavender coven with her best friend. When it's her year to participate in the Black Moon Ceremony she isn't placed in the coven of her choice. Worse yet, she's not placed in any coven; she's a spare and stuck with Thorn and Valley. When the sealing magic to make them a coven of three doesn't take, Seven invokes her last ditch option: the Impossible Task.

The majority of the novel is Seven, Thorn, and Valley's work to complete their impossible task within the allotted time. Failure to do so will result in a very harsh punishment: being turned into toads. This is a rigid society with little room for those who don't fit in.

The task the girls are given reveals problems with their town and the twelve villages as a whole. The closer they get to their goal the more they realize that a lot of what they've been told is false.

The novel covers some heavy but important topics: child abuse, worker's rights, prejudice, food insecurity, and political corruption.

The novel, as well, sits on the road narrative spectrum. As witchling-spares, the three girls are marginalized travelers (66). Their destination or goal is uhoria, namely the uncovering of a long buried crime (CC). Their route is offroad (66), namely, through the cursed forest where their impossible task takes them. Thus the novel can be summarized as marginalized travels going to uhoria via an offroad route (66CC66).

Five stars

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