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The Apprentice Witch

(The Apprentice Witch #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,979 ratings  ·  451 reviews
A special middle grade debut of magic and courage in a world of witches, written with the charm and enchantment of Circus Mirandus and The Apothecary.

Arianwyn has flunked her witch's assessment: She's doomed. Declared an apprentice and sent to the town of Lull in disgrace, she may never become a real witch-- much to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma.

But remote Lull is not
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Chicken House (first published July 7th 2016)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  1,979 ratings  ·  451 reviews

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Elle (ellexamines)
One of my goals for this year was to DNF more books and not bother with books I dislike. Never did I expect this book to get a DNF from me at only 126 pages. One of my favorite coworkers obsessed over this to the point where my expectations may have been too high.

To me, the characters here felt more comical than interesting. Arianwyn has two character traits: she's clumsy and she puts her foot in her mouth constantly. Plot points are based entirely around her putting her foot in her mouth. I tr
samantha  (books-are-my-life20)
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
this book is well written and has a interesting story it has a bit of old-school feel to it much like harry potter, sorry but It's really hard to read any story about teenage witches without comparing it to harry potter lol anyway This story was a little linear without many twists, and turns i could see how it was going to end half way through but it was cute, for some reason i think it would make a fun anime series but i feel it would be more fun to read for middle schoolers. but saying that i ...more
Lisa Vegan
For me it was slow to engage and I was thinking that maybe it was one of those children’s books truly more enjoyed by children than older people but I ended up liking it. And I did not guess everything that was coming, though the ending was not a surprise to me.

It was hard for me to decide between 3 and 4 stars. For much of the book I simply liked it but there were times, including the ending, that I really liked, so I’ll give it 3-1/2 stars.

I love Arianwyn. And I love her name. She is kind and
Emma Cook
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book follows Arianwyn as she is about to go into her witch evaluation ceremony. everyone else passes, except Arianwyn. so she is placed as an apprentice witch instead of a regular witch to the town of Lull. on her way to Lull she meets her new best friend Salle and they all encounter many adventures and hardships in Lull. Arianwyn learns to live her life without the help of her grandmother and overall just learns how to become a better witch in her apprentice witch training.
i would give th
Kat Drennan-Scace
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens, 2017
As a kid, I would have loved this book. As an adult I really enjoyed it but had some questions. Like, does she get paid? Where does she do her laundry? What year is this?

Maybe I am too practical as a grown up.

Still, highly recommended to grades 5-7! And grown ups too :) really liked the way they did magic and intrigued to learn more.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adolescent, fantasy
Yes, yes, yes. I may be in the minority here because I am thrilled to find a book that I can recommend to grandkids and look forward to discussing with them. While I would classify myself as a true novice in this genre, I know that it will appeal to my granddaughters and I relish the opportunity to get with them and talk about their impressions. Several of them in the age category I would recommend for this book (9-12) read constantly, and I am thrilled to have read a book that perhaps they hav ...more
Cameron Chaney
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol is a middle-grade fantasy about a young witch in training named Arianwyn. When she is the only girl in her class to fail her final magic assessment, she is sent to the remote town of Lull to work as an apprentice to further her magical education. When she discovers Lull is actually full of dangerous spirits and creatures, she takes it upon herself to protect the town.

This book was fine. The writing flows just fine, the characters are fine, the story (while not
Jenna Monaco
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enchanting, consuming, and brilliant. I just want to stay in Arianwyn's world forever. This is a MUST READ! ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I will admit I am not a huge fan of middle grade books but I did enjoy this one. The book does start off a bit slow but then moves along at a steady pace during the rest of the book. I wasn't immediately a fan of the main character, Arianwyn but became a bit more interested in her as the story moved along. Further into the book you see that she is not only a great friends, but she is also kind and brave. I really enjoyed the author's writing and world building. The descriptions of the ...more
Dec 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This was so cute, it took me back to the fantasy books I loved as a child. Kinda Wynn Jones mixed with Enid Blyton!

RTC - audiobook
J.A. Ironside
After James Nicol appeared as a guest on my podcast ( and I first heard about this book, I've been dying to read it - and it has seemed a very long wait. The book finally turned up a few days ago on my birthday and today I actually had time to sit down and read a few pages. That was the intention anyway. Just a taste. Now it's several hours later and I've read the entire book. I sincerely hope there's going to be another one in the not too distant future!

Karen Parisot
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The CWA (Civil Witchcraft Authority) is conducting evaluations of apprentice witches to see whom amongst them will be awarded a shining silver star signifying their status as full-fledged witches. Arianwyn Gribble has sneaked out of the apartment she shares with her Grandmother to report for her evaluation. Things don’t go quite as she hoped, and when she is given a bronze moon brooch instead of the silver star, she is just devastated. Her country is in desperate need of witches though, and so A ...more
La La
Absolutely enchanting! Perfect for kids who are a bit to old for The Worst Witch series, but still too young for most of the Harry Potter books.

And to the three reviewers I saw who gave this wonderful book two stars because Middle Grade is too simple for them, why are you reading it then? MG is for 7-11 year olds, so of course it's not as complicated in plot and characterization as books for older readers. Middle Grade is a readership category, not a genre.
Monica Edinger
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great fun. I will always rue that I was suppose to be at a dinner with the author and managed to get the date wrong. Oh well, still like the book --- lively, well paced, and will be enjoyed by kids who like their fantasy not too terribly dark. Sort of more early Harry Potter than late:)
Hilary Scroggie
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Pratchett-y, Wynnes Jones-y, very glad this is coming to Canada next summer (and will update to the stunning new cover when it shows up here).
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was a lot of fun. Gave me some early Harry Potter vibes.
I would highly recommended to grades 5-7!
Meredith Mara
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super cute, middle-grade read. 4.5/5 stars :)
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
When Arianwyn fails her witching test she is shipped off to the small town of Lull on the outskirts of the Kingdom. There, as she meets the locals and uses her magic to help them with their day to day problems, Arianwyn gradually regains confidence in her witching abilities, makes new friends and learns to trust her skills, until she is ready to face some bigger more dangerous foes...

This is a beautifully written witchy middle grade book, that reminded me of so many different things. It's like a
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew this story would be good from the start! The cover is enchanting, for one thing. Vines enveloping a round bottle with a rabbit leaping from within.
The fast pace of this story keeps it going and each chapter is a quick, intriguing read. I never got tired of characters. It is a well-weighted book that doesn't dwell too much on specific details. It gives you enough to go on and leaves the rest to the reader's imagination.
Completely Melanie
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Cute story. It was a fun read. I'd give it 3.5 stars. ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun middle novel that had a good combination of a fast-paced magical plot with elements of loyalty and friendship. Thank you for the free review copy!
This was such an adorable book! I loved the characters, storyline and message. I would have loved reading this as a child, and even as an adult found it sparking my imagination and leaving me with a similar feeling. I felt the ending could have read as an opening for a future book, and hope that Nicols will continue writing.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

My book taste is fairly wide-ranging and I always have my eye out for great middle grate fantasy. Thus, when The Apprentice Witch arrived in the mail one day, I was understandably excited. The Apprentice Witch centers on a young girl named Arianwyn who wants nothing more than to become so I was understandably excited to see this one arrive in the post/mail.

I think my favorite thing about this book was the setting and the story set-up. I love the lit
Abigail  F
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Noakes
This book, you guys, THIS BOOK. I love anything and everything witchy, and The Apprentice Witch is witchy done good. Actually, scratch that--it's witchy done AMAZING.

Arianwyn, our heroine, is just beautifully developed throughout the story. She grows SO much during The Apprentice Witch, and really comes into her own as a person, and as a witch. There's so much I adore about Arianwyn--I love that she's got a stubborn streak, I love that she makes mistakes, but admits to them and tries to learn fr
M.E. Vaughan
Praises for The Apprentice Witch , the wonderful debut novel from James Nicol. An enchanting read from start to finish, the book follows the tale of Arianwyn Gribble, an apprentice witch who, upon failing to pass her evaluation to become a fully-fledged witch, is designated to the sleepy town of Lull, in disgrace. But Arianwyn soon discovers that there are lots of strange and magical things lurking in the shadows of the forest, and that Lull has plenty to offer her to keep her in trouble! Amids ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: shelf-awareness
I liked this better than I thought I would. It started slowly and with a weak main character, two things that are hard for me to get around. I don't like helpless protagonists--you're a protagonist! Act like it! And if the story is too slow it's hard to maintain desire to continue reading.

Once Arianwyn (stupid name) got into the town and started to find the swing of things I enjoyed the book way more. It had action and fun imaginary creatures and a solid amount of danger (which is always a plus
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Such a delightful little story. I loved all the mentions of afternoon tea. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
Angie Crabtree-Liezel and Angie's Book Blog
The Apprentice Witch captivated me from the very first page until the last. The characters, plot, and descriptive surroundings are a readers dream come true. You can simply close your eyes and visualize yourself in Kingsport, Lull, or the Great Wood and even having a feyling as a friend or a sprite as a pet.

It's no secret that I love reading books that are different and this was different. I've read plenty of books about witches, feys, demons, sprites and other magical creatures but none like t
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Realized a bit in this book is for grade 4-6 audience (thought it was YA). This is a quick and readable book. No romance or anything too violent. I wish the characters were a bit deeper, ex. friend Salle just went on auditions with little deeper development. There seems to be potential for follow up books which would make sense with some things potential plot points that were written about but not developed fully.
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I always knew I wanted to write the kind of fantasy novel I had escaped into as a child, somewhere that felt safe and filled with characters that did brave things and had lots of fun at the same time. But I wanted the magic in my book to be part of the world, not a secret, and I wanted to see what happened after a witch was trained and was sent out into the world to work. When I was thinking about ...more

Other books in the series

The Apprentice Witch (3 books)
  • A Witch Alone (The Apprentice Witch #2)
  • A Witch Come True (The Apprentice Witch #3)

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