The Ash-Born Boy (The Near Witch, #0.5)
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The Ash-Born Boy (The Near Witch 0.5)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Before he came to Near...
Before he met Lexi...
Before they faced the witch...
Who was the boy named Cole?

Follow us to Dale, a city on a hill, where in a matter of days fire will devour everything. Meet the Lord and Lady, and their son, the boy destined to inherit all...until everything turns to ash.

It's time to learn the truth behind the stranger's story.

ebook, 61 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Hyperion
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Victoria Schwab
May 10, 2012 Victoria Schwab added it  ·  (Review from the author)
"The Ash-Born Boy" is just my way of saying thank you to readers! I sincerely hope you all enjoy :)
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)
Reaction(s) to learning Victoria had written a novella in Cole's POV.





Oh yes, I'm THAT excited; the Japanese Mcdonald kids excitement worthy.


UPDATE: I FOUND IT! THANK YOU Richard Denney FOR THE LINK! Anyone else who wants to read it, check out his review of the book to get the link and read it. :)

Actual Review:

Even though this book is a novella, it is beautiful. It's sad, heartbreaking, amazing, incredible, and everything that I love about Victoria Schwab's writing.

Will is such a brilliant ch...more
May 15, 2012 Ashelynn rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Ashelynn by: the author
Shelves: recommend
You guys, you will WANT to read this free short story prequel to The Near Witch. It is so, so good and written in the same lush prose TNW is. After I finished The Ash-Born Boy I wanted to reread TNW so I could pick up clues to who is Cole? which this story answers. SUCH an amazing story and I highly recommend reading it on May 15!

Where to read it? Right here.
Mairéad (stuck at the Edge of Nothingness)
5 Stars, without a doubt! o:

It would seem that the Schwab Effect has infected me. The prose is so beautifully lyrical. Just makes you want to savour it (hence the reason why it took me so long to actually FINISH this). It's poignant, short and tragically bittersweet. I have not yet read The Near Witch which is the novel of this prequel novella, but this really cements my yearning to read it now yes even with the x amount of books i have to read and whatnot. Regardless this short on its own real...more
As beautiful as words can possibly be!

If you read and loved The Near Witch you will love this, too.
And if you didn't read The Near Witch, read this and then I want to see you say 'no' to the book! :)
From the moment that Cole appeared on the pages of The Near Witch I was intrigued by him. What we did learn about him wasn't enough, and I could only hope that one day the author would write something in his POV. In The Ash-Born Boy my wish came true. Set before the events of TNW, we learn who Cole really was and what really happened that horrible night his entire village burned down. We also learn the extent of Cole's powers, how he came to learn about his powers, and what those powers meant fo...more
Before Cole got to Near, he was a different person. He had a different life that while not his favorite, was a good life. There was something different about him though. A magic that he had a hard time keeping under control. He had to control it otherwise there would be consequences.

Loved this peek into Cole's previous life. A life far more grand then you might've imagined. It really helped develop Cole into an even better character. Now I am super excited to re-read this story as soon as more...more
This was another great story from Victoria Schwab. It really dives into the backstory of Cole. It is a side you don't get enough of from The Near Witch. You get to learn really why Cole is the way he is and how he comes into his powers and what exactly it is that makes him that powerful. I loved getting inside his head and learning about his personality some more. This story makes me want a sequel to The Near Witch so badly. If you have read The Near Witch, I definitely suggest you read this fre...more
With a story just as haunting as The Near Witch, Victoria Schwab delivered another winner with The Ash-Born Boy. Her lyrical, beautiful prose is once again present in this one. As I finished the last pages of this one, I had this overwhelming urge to go read The Near Witch again, to discover the magic of The Near Witch! I just loved hearing more about Cole and his past, as he was such a wonderfully complex character in The Near Witch. The story was chilling and haunting and invoked so many emoti...more
A wonderful background story on an otherwise mysterious character. We finally get to see what makes Cole, well, Cole. This short story leaves you with a sense of awe and heartache alike. The glimpse is more than enough to satisfy The Near Witch fans and is bound to promote new ones. A definite win-win situation all the way around.
Patricia Riley
STUNNING! This prequel takes you inside the former life and mind of the most mysterious and drool-worthy character in Victoria Schwab's THE NEAR WITCH.

I re-read THE NEAR WITCH the moment I finished this story and was blown-away by how different (in an even-more-amazing kind of way) the novel felt now that I shared Cole's secrets. :)
Jami Leigh
Plot: 5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Style: 5 stars
Pace: 5 stars

I'd give this max stars no matter the rating system used. I love this world, I love her style, and I love how even in this short story, she manages to create such a vivid world. Definitely an author who I'll be eagerly waiting for further releases from.
Gabrielle Carolina
I was completely satisfied with Schwab's conclusion to The Near Witch until I read this prequel! Now that I see there are other places dotting the vast Moor I wish to visit them all and meet others who control elements this instant!
This story was absolutely amazing. Within sixty pages Schwab managed what most authors can't in six hundred. I felt Will's pain as if it was my own and had the sense that I knew him. I would definitely recommend this.
A great reveal as to where Cole came from and just who he is. I never expected such sadness from his life. Whether you've read THE NEAR WITCH or not, it gives you a great perspective on things.
This was a wonderful story that gives the reader inside into Cole/Will's life before he met Lexi. A must-read for fans of The Near Witch!
Rebecca A. Rogers
Seriously, this is the most depressing story I've ever read. :( But it's an interesting prequel to The Near Witch. :)
Kate (Nomalicious Reads)
how did I not know about this until just now!?! SHAME ON ME!
Frk. Hyms
Wow.. Can't wait to read The Near Witch! Great writing and story!
Quite possibly the best short story companion I've ever read.
Beth Lehman

Explains so much. Gutted in the most perfect of ways.
Laina SpareTime
I - I - *sobs* Too many feelings.
Ashley Ferguson
Find this review and more at The A P Book Club

This prequel story answered all of the questions I had about Cole after reading The Near Witch! It was really interesting to see who Cole was before he came to Near, and especially to find out why he is the way he is. We learn so much about why he thinks and acts the way he does, and it's both heartbreaking and enlightening.

This story is written just as beautifully as The Near Witch, and I was so sad when it ended (even though it ends pretty much ri...more

Robert’s fingers dug in. “I will bleed this temper out of you one cut at time if I have to. Do you understand?”

Before Cole met Lexi, he was William Dale. Robert isn't his real father and it's a monster. William is capable of using the wind, but according to Robert it is something dangerous and it must bleed out of his body. His arms are filled with scars from the cuts he has to make. His mother doesn't agree with this method, but she accepts it silently. I...more
This review appears on my blog, Starting the Next Chapter.

At long last the answers to some of the most pressing questions about Cole have been answered! In The Ash-Born Boy, the tragic truth to Cole's past is revealed, along with his true name. In this 61 page whirlwind, Victoria Schwab has provided a glimpse into the ruthless, cruel world of court life, as well as its impact upon Cole. Just how did Cole discover the true extent of his powers? You'll find out the answer to that question and more...more
Victoria Schwab is a brilliant wordsmith, creating vivid descriptions and startling twists. I think her real strength lies in the care she give each and every sentence, making the simplest idea come to life. The Ash-Born Boy is a beautiful story that serves as a helpful back story to The Near Witch. I would definitely recommend it as a quick (only 61 pages!) and informative read (if you've read The Near Witch) with the occasional sentence that really makes you stop and think.

I didn't feel as co...more
Voilà donc le passé de Cole, ou devrais-je dire Will… Sans grande surprise, ça nous le rend encore plus attachant, on le prend en pitié et on est d’autant plus ravis qu’il soit heureux à la fin de The Near Witch.
C’est une nouvelle relativement longue, elle contient plusieurs chapitres ce qui nous permet de bien nous imprégner de la vie à Dale, l’histoire ne paraît donc pas trop courte, elle est satisfaisante en ce qui concerne Will, mais je me demande vraiment ce que pensait la mère de Will, ce...more
Morgan Colleen
William Hart's story is a tragic one. The Stranger in Near with whom Lexi meets is a witch of the wind and a boy born out of the ashes. This tale of the son of Dale is one that will intercept with the people of Dale and the Near Witch. My heart breaks for the boy who was left alone with his nightmares as his mother died and he was blamed for it. The real monster was his father. Lord Dale. I hope Lexi can help heal his heart. This boy of the wind. This "gray streak against the wind..."
Jun 29, 2014 Kit rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 5-stars
Fantastic, beautiful, breathtaking. The Near Witch is absolutely going on my must-read list.
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Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.
More about Victoria Schwab...
The Archived (The Archived, #1) Vicious The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1) The Unbound (The Archived, #2) New Beginnings (Everyday Angel, #1)

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“And whatever lie he would have given, it died on his lips as they met hers.” 5 likes
“And the boy whose temper seemed tethered to the air itself…they didn’t know what to make of him.” 2 likes
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