Duffy Pratt's Reviews > Revenge of the Witch

Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
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Nov 09, 12

bookshelves: childrens, fantasy, horror
Read in November, 2012

There is a lot to like about this book. It's paced well. The writing is clean and simple. The characters are well drawn, and have more depth than I would expect from a book targeted at kids. I liked this well enough that I will continue with the series. I especially liked that Tom was not an orphan, and that the characters were not either totally good or bad (including some of the very bad characters).

The book is surprisingly dark for a kid's book. There are bone witches and blood witches. The former cut up their victims and use their bones. The latter gain strength by drinking blood, and the one here prefers the blood of children, the younger the better. From what I've observed, the gruesome nature would probably be fine with most kids that I know. But their parents might hesitate. Fortunately for the kids, the parents don't bother reading what their kids read, so they likely remain unaware of how dark these books actually are.

The other realization I had reading this book is that basically all fantasy literature is children's literature at heart. I can't think of very much to distinguish this book from much of mainstream fantasy. The language is a tiny bit simpler. But the plot and situations is not far removed from much of the "adult" fantasy I've read. And, sad to say, the level of characterization here is actually superior to much of the mainstream stuff I've read. So, why is this on the kids shelf, while Goodkind and Carey are on the adult shelf? The only answer I can come up with is the sex. Some adult fantasy has it (especially those two), and this book does not. But in almost every other way, I think this book is at least as grown up as theirs, and in many ways it is more so.

I'm looking forward to more in the adventures of Tom Ward and his master Spook, Old Gregory.
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