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Witchlight

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 ratings  ·  238 reviews
Jessi Zabarsky's lushly illustrated shoujo-adventure comic that introduces Lelek the witch as she blows through town one day, kidnapping the peasant girl Sanja. The unlikely pair grow more entangled as they travel together, looking for the missing half of Lelek's soul – the source of her true magical abilities. Both women are seeking to learn, in their own ways, how to be ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published December 3rd 2016 by Czap Books
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,150 ratings  ·  238 reviews


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Amber
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my first classes in college was an Intro to Philosophy class. The professor used "she" as the default pronoun. It blew my teenage mind. Similarly, Witchlight's world is overwhelmingly populated by queer female characters. They are the default. It's a similar kind of breath of fresh air. ...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Ehhhhh it was okaaaaaay.

Witchlight had a lot of potential and a fairly cool story-idea, but I felt that it wobbled hard on the execution. I liked that it did have some pretty awesome fat-rep, but I felt that the witch (forgot her name) was tokenized by her skin color, and there were some depictions early on of her that felt dehumanizing and othering.

It got better, but there were some aspects that I didn't really enjoy.
...more
Nore
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was.... okay. The art style was pretty (if inconsistent - it goes from a fairly unique style to a Steven Universe knockoff by the end of the book), and the character designs were nice, but that's about it. The story fell completely flat for me; there's very little solid world building, no basis for the character development we're shown, gaping plot holes are never addressed, and the development of their relationship is inorganic and forced. As a result, even the emotional climax left me col ...more
Lata
Two young women come together, initially because young, angry witch Lelek kidnaps Sanja for her sword fighting skills (and actually also, in a way, rescues Sanja from her family who only see her as a useless girl). Lelek has secrets, and over many months, Sanja finds out what these are, and the two also become close.
This is kind of a sweet story, and it was great to see a variety of body types portrayed in this story. And the way the trust grew between Lelek and Sanja.
Cecelia
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently moved houses and “pared down” my book collection. I gave away 8 bags of books, and when the movers came I still had 16 boxes for them to haul… (!!!). Jessi Zabarsky's young adult graphic novel Witchlight moved with me, and I’m glad I finally got around to picking it up. The combination of girls doing things, a Black main character, cooking, sword-fighting, and witchy magic was delightful, escapist, and just the thing to kick off my first summer as a teacher.

Sanja and Lelek’s world is
...more
Valeria
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
BIG SIGH. I liked the concept! I love lesbian fantasy novels, especially a graphic novel! But! Their relationship makes no sense at all!!! I feel like if there were beta readers for this, the book could've been a lot more fleshed out, but this feels like a very vague first draft of the series of events that the author wanted to happen. Every major thing that happens comes out of the blue and falls completely flat. Also, she can't seem to draw even one good face. How. ...more
Rod Brown
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute and sweet tale about a witch who kidnaps another young girl. Stockholm syndrome sets in, secrets are revealed, drama unfolds, and a good time is had by this lucky reader.
Lindsay♫SingerOfStories♫
As someone who loves graphic novels--especially in this style--this one just missed the mark. I constantly found myself looking back a few frames because I thought I missed certain details that weren't even there to begin with. The whole thing just fell short. I just wanted more in terms of our main characters, Lelek and Sanja, their origins and their meeting, and the ending of the story (which, by the way, was really good!). So do I think its worth a read? Yes, maybe. But could it have been dev ...more
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
3.5 stars!

I really enjoyed this queer young adult graphic novel! When Sanja meets Lelek at the market, she impresses her with her swordfighting. So, witch Lelek kidnaps her and asks her to teach her. Sanja has a terrible family, so it's kind of a blessing in disguise. As the two girls travel from village to village, they slowly go from enemies to travelling companions to in love.

Unfortunatley the ntroduction of Sanja's brother who does [spoilery bad thing] was a bit abrupt for what functions as
...more
Elise
4.5 stars. I wrote a whole review for this book and it didn’t save so here goes again 😂

Set in a pre-industrial magical world where queerness is the default, Sanja has been born into a family that values boys and thinness; she is neither. Lelek is a witch born into a village that demands salvation from their neighbors; she does not save them.

Brought together by a scuffle in the local market, Lelek kidnaps Sanja and asks her to train her in sword fighting. Soon, the two travel from village to vi
...more
Dakota Morgan
A young girl is kidnapped by a witch, who she quickly befriends, and the pair go off on a low-key adventure. Is there a YA graphic novel genre of "cozy fantasy"? Witchlight feels like the epitome of that style. The art is soft, round, and colorful. Characters have strong emotions, though often repressed. There's at least one scene of struggle, but the plot otherwise meanders.

I guess I enjoyed Witchlight, particularly the art, but I couldn't really relay the narrative back to anyone. The kidnappe
...more
Jenna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsey
Lelek is a witch searching for half of her soul, taken from her when she was a child. When she steals Sanja away from her hometown and family, the two seem unlikely to work well together, but as they grow and learn more about each other, anything is possible.

The art is solid, and the representation, both of queer ladies and of all different shapes and sizes, is delightful. That being said, I spent the majority of this story in a vague state of confusion. The art alone didn't tell the story well
...more
Krista Ivy
A quick, fun read with wonderful artwork.
✨Emily | Procrastinating • Bibliophile
The graphics were beautiful, though the story was a bit meandering and lacking in the magic. The sapphic romance was adorable, and I overall enjoyed following the story.
Larakaa
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful read! :)
Sarah Schanze
A cute story with a very intriguing world. I'm less than impressed with RHG's publishing quality, though. ...more
Laura
Fun fantasy, with the tail of a witch who is searching for her missing half, after her entire village is wiped out, and Sanja, who is kidnapped by her, but remains for the adventure.

I love how Sanja is not beautiful, but a strong little welsh pony, and smart as well. Lelek is a bit of a lost soul, understandably, and Sanja grows to care of her.

Good story. Surprising.
Tasha
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen, graphic-novels
When Lalek and Sanja meet at the marketplace, their lives could not be more different. Lalek is a traveling witch while Sanja works at her family’s market stall. Lalek also sells fake items, which lands her in some trouble. It’s during one of those incidents that the two girls meet, with Lalek taking Sanja hostage and forcing her to teach Lalek how to fight. Soon the two reach an understanding where Lalek won’t use her magic to force Sanja to comply, Lalek will stop cheating people, and Sanja wi ...more
Michelle
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Witchlight by Jessi Zarbarsky is a fantasy graphic novel exploring the growing bonds between peasant Sanja and witch Lelek. First a relationship of pure necessity, readers watch the pair grow to trust and love each other throughout their travels. A quest to return half of Lelek's soul to her propels the duo just as much as their desire to outrun the past. Unfortunately, trauma has a way of catching up to us all, and Sanja and Lelek must rely on their personal strength and loyalty to each other t ...more
Nathan Bartos
This was overall pretty good. It's definitely a story that you have to be okay with some loose ends and not getting answers for how things worked or a ton of backstory. I think that's okay, and I have found it happens quite a bit in fantasy or magical realism graphic novels. It was great to see that almost every character in this story was a badass queer woman. Honestly, I'm not sure why I wasn't more drawn to it; it just didn't fully capture my attention, and I don't feel like it's something th ...more
Lara
I think I wanted to like this one more than I actually did, but there were still elements that I loved. I think something about the the way the story is told didn't quite work for me, though. I wanted a little more depth, I think, especially with Sanja. The developing trust and friendship between her and Lelek is sweet, and I liked seeing Lelek's backstory unfurl, I just wanted more of a spark or something. But I liked the art a lot, and I would absolutely read more by Zabarsky! ...more
Matt Parker
I loved this so much. It's beautifully drawn, with some of the most striking facial expressions I've ever seen, and the story is superbly paced (though I would've liked a few more pages at the end). The whole thing kinda evoked Earthsea feelings in me: magical drama playing out in small towns and on the journeys between them. But with great warmth and humor. ...more
Emma
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2020
I really loved the premise of Witchlight but found myself wanting a lot more out of the story. It seemed like the plot took a back seat to the art, which often left me confused about what was happening and why it mattered. A lot of the plot developments relied on the reader making assumptions based on the limited context clues and dialogue that's provided. ...more
CJ Juntunen
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story and illustrations are beautiful. The pacing felt a little off, but honestly for someone's first full graphic novel that's to be expected! I wish this was more of a series rather than a stand-alone, but the epilogue provided good closure to the story. Sword-fighting, representation of many skin tones and body types, wlw, and witches are all great elements for me! ...more
Kathleen
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the first couple of pages to be confusing - why does the witch think the girl cowering behind the farm stand is chasing her? - but it's a solid and satisfying story overall! We're introduced to a wide range of characters, each of who has a lesson for our protagonists, the biggest one being that there isn't just one "right" way to live your life. ...more
Rachel Kelly
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You can only give love, you can’t make someone accept it.”

This is a super cute juvenile graphic novel. It’s got a good group of diverse characters and wonderful themes. The color scheme is also very pretty.
Shelby Brynn
Jul 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a cute little graphic novel. But it definitely would have benefited from being longer and having more world building. I was definitely confused about some aspects of the magic system and parts of the ending.

Recommend for those who want short, cute read.
sallanvaara
So cute! I loved the art style and character design SO MUCH! The pacing and the plot were a little off, however, and I feel like it ended a little abruptly too. But mostly I really enjoyed it. Great diversity.
ᴳᴵᴼᴵᴬ
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in love. Witches and lovely graphics just work perfectly! Mix in a little love and adventure and you‘ve got yourself the whole (perfect) package.

This is the most 𝓬𝓸𝓽𝓽𝓪𝓰𝓮 𝓬𝓸𝓻𝓮 thing I‘ve ever read and I regret 𝓷𝓸𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰, in fact, I‘ll give you all the stars. A special thank you to page 147, my eyes have been blessed.
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