Kristin's Reviews > The Near Witch

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
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's review
Aug 18, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: mystery, read-in-2011, ya, fairytale, romance, witches, ya-for-adults-club, brain-candy

Quick, easy read about the legend of a witch that turns out to be much more than a legend. I hesitate to classify this as fantasy because it comes off more like a fairytale or folk tale. The Near Witch is long since dead when this story about a little village (near a moor) begins. Lexie was raised to respect witches and view them as protectors, but not everyone in Near shares her view. One day a stranger shows up in town at the same time that children start disappearing from their beds at night. There's a bit of a Salem Witch Trials thing going on as the town starts blaming the stranger for the loss of their children, who are seemingly carried away by the wind blowing across the moor.

The author tries very hard to make the wind itself a character in the same way Maggie Stiefvater did with cold in Shiver. While The Near Witch is a well-paced read, I wasn't overwhelmed by her descriptions. This was the first book with the word "witch" in the title in what is becoming a long string of books this year that I decided to pick up, largely because the story seemed to stay within the vein of traditional folk tale storytelling while still feeling original. Witches seem to be the new vampires in YA lit now that the market has become so saturated with vampire stories, tv shows and movies that you can barely breathe. This was a good book for sure, but I'm not sure I'll be any more impressed with witches than with vampires.

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