Review snippet: The story is about witches who have become persecuted and deals with the specific experiences of a witch called Misadora. Misadora has several other names in this book, and given that several other characters have several other names, I lost the thread of who was who several times, which makes it difficult to write a good plot synopsis. At any rate, a man called Volatile finds Misadora floating in a river after she is attacked. He takes her in and shelters her, though he has a lot of trepidation about Misadora that I cannot share because it would be a spoiler. He lives, I believe, amongst what are called the Treemothers, women whom, when called by the witches, ran into the forests and merged with trees. These Treemothers exude a sort of sap/jewel called Amalis and only women can touch it. Misadora was caught wearing an Amalis ring and had all the fingers on that hand cut off. Friends who also have several names help her out with a bionic hand. Misadora has to stand up against the ever increasing persecution of the witches and the soldiers who try to kill the Treemothers, but at the end is faced with a horrifying truth that changes everything she thought she knew.
If this description seems very vague, that’s because I often could not get a grip on what this book was about. That is why it would have been better had this novella been written into a longer novel. To have multiple characters with multiple names, all the world-building with the towns, the history of the witches and the families, the Treemothers, Misadora and Volatile, and to cram it all into a book under 60 pages, is too much for the reader. That’s no insult to Romero because even though I have to review the book in front of me, it’s no small compliment to say that a book needs to be longer so that the author has to room to fully show off her chops. As it stands, this book is a small wave of names and places that will wash over the reader without being understood unless the reader is willing to take notes to keep track of who is who, which names are towns and what exactly being a sleepwalker may indicate. Finally, when you factor in that this book is told from different character perspectives, characters whose names switch in the book, it’s all a bit too much....more