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Half-Witch

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  40 reviews
In Lizbet Lenz’s world, the sun goes around the earth, God speaks directly to his worshippers, goblins haunt cellars and witches lurk in forests. Disaster strikes when Lizbet's charming scoundrel father is thrown into a dungeon by the tyrant Hengest Wolftrow. To free him, Lizbet must cross the Montagnes du Monde, globe-girdling mountains that reach to the sky, a journey no ...more
Published 2018 by Small Beer Press
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Spencer Orey
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lots of fun stuff here and some heavy world building disguised as a friendship story. Huh. Really unique in a lot of things it does well. I'll think about it and write more later.
Megan
This book isn't coming out until July, which is a tragedy because I just want to talk to everyone about it now.

Half-Witch gave me the same atmospheric shivers that the Bear and the Nightingale gave me; it's got that same fairy-tale quality that makes every word seem a little bit like it's shrouded in fog, like you are discovering the book as you are reading it. And it has that same weird blend of folk-lore and Christianity that makes for a wild and excellent contrast of ideas and themes and mak
...more
Siavahda
Half-Witch, Half-Witch, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

*happy sigh*

Genuinely, though, I have no idea where or how I found this book. I can find no mention of it on my favourite book blogs, so presumably none of them recommended it to me. My friends have never heard of it. It appeared on none of the newsletters I subscribe to. Where did it come from? Did I just happen to stumble through the wardrobe while browsing Amazon and come upon it by pure chance? Did I wake up one morning with i
...more
Marathon County Public Library

Lizbet Lenz and her father Gerhard, a very unsuccessful magician, are always moving from town to town, usually quite speedily before being thrown out. Her father’s spells always seem to turn out wrong so they are forced to flee, but when they arrive in Abalia, Lizbeth, desperately tired of all the moving, really hopes they can stay. But after yet another series of spells gone wrong, ending with a spell causing Abalia to be rained on by mice, her father is quickly thrown into prison.



Frantically

...more
H.A. Callum
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
As I drifted through the pages of Half-Witch, I found my eyes slowing down, word by word. It was intentional, because it is one of those stories you don’t want to end. Finishing Half-Witch was bittersweet, but the journey from cover to cover was one of the most enjoyable fantasies I’ve had the pleasure of reading in some time.

Half-Witch is imaginative, witty, and instructive. But rather than being divisive in his social commentary of religion, class, and all things in between, Schoffstall uses
...more
Allen
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Note: I read an Advanced Readers Copy (arc) obtained at the American Library Association Mid-Winter conference.

I really enjoyed the book, especially after the midway point turn. It is a fun exploration into the unknown. There are a few character twists that were definitely unexpected. Several of the non-lead characters could have used a bit more exploration or at least explanation, especially the witch-lore (and the rules they live by). Yet, the world that everything is set in WAS explained (whi
...more
Hailey Stalter
This was very very good, though the verbage was a bit much to chew through as opposed to my regular fare, and the pacing was a bit slower than I'm used to as a result. A very fulfilling read, nonetheless, and entirely different from anything I've encountered before. Almost like a more developed Gaiman, in my opinion.
Doctor Science
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, hugo-poss-2019
A very different kind of fantasy. The world is German Early-Modern-punk in style, but with more magical creatures and demons. Lizbet, our heroine, is heading toward a f/f romance (though she doesn't know it yet), but is also sincerely and devoutly Catholic. When she takes Communion and prays to God, God answers back. The book has a combination of serious religious feeling, humor about bodily functions and other smells, and body horror that is very Germanic and frankly (ha!) refreshing after so m ...more
Rowe
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book! Though a tad tedious to read at times, I thought it was creative and adventurous to combine with Christianity and Paganism, using complex characters.
Miranda
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
"People say all sorts of things to be polite, without worrying about the theological implications."
"I don't think I would want a prince's heart at my feet. Ew." "So! Not for you the mawkish insincerities of a decayed and foppish aristocracy? I knew you were made of better stuff the moment I set eyes on you."
"Catarrh is expected in the spring, and the ague in winter, but neither is welcome."
"My new-born hopes perish upon the Tarpeian rocks! My spirit founders in the storm-wracked seas of expectat
...more
Sandie
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, fantasy
A bit too youthful for my taste.
Sarah
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Whitney Emeigh
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I tried really hard to like this book. I finished it. I wouldn't say I hated it, but I wouldn't say that I'd recommend it either. I felt that it was trying to do too many things. It was trying to be paranormal/fantasy fiction. It was also trying to be Christian fiction. The main character has a very candid relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, there were so many different ideas put together that none of them were executed very well.
Corinna
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witchy, foresty
I didn't really expect to love this, but it was splendid. Schoffstall manages to take the elements of a European-based fantasy and twist them around into something new and highly inventive. The episodic adventure structure coheres nicely and the magic is delightful and original. Enough of a touch of Grimm to give it proper darkness, but with a warm and developing female friendship at its core. Peculiar and lovely, blasphemous and devout.
John
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome
Superb. The best thing I've read in a long time. Beautifully fun and engaging. Highly reccomended.
Jas Kempner
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve heard it say “it’s raining cats and dogs,” but never mice. By the time mice started to rain in this book, I was completely hooked, an unusual development for an old fart who doesn’t read young adult or fantasy.

Half Witch is a delight to read. To a large extent because it takes the reader on a marvelous adventure in a peculiar, yet somehow familiar world, with so many twists and turns that I expected them to continue all the way to the back cover, and to an even larger extent because the two
...more
Morgan
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fun adventure and coming of age tale. I enjoyed the weird mixture of Catholic mysticism and fairy-tales.

In Lizbet's world, everyone can talk to God (and get answers) just by taking the Eucharist. Unfortunately, God isn't very helpful and mostly wants to talk about how to avoid sin. This means that Lizbet has to solve her own problems, and when her father is thrown in prison she goes adventuring to find the book that will set him free. Along the way she discovers what it means to chang
...more
Natalie Dyen
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One is never too old to enjoy a young adult fantasy novel if the story is imaginative, the plot compelling, the protagonist memorable, and the writing exceptional. John Schoftstall’s novel Half-Witch is all that and more. Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz series, Half-Witch is the story of a young girl’s quest to free her imprisoned father and ends up as an epic journey to rescue God from the legions of hell. Her travels take her to magical lands populated by witches, gobli ...more
Karyn Silverman
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z2018-reads, arcs, ya
So strange and delightful. This is either very religious or very sacreligious, and I am not sure which; God and Jesus talk to Lizbet, and they are... a little lame? But better than the alternative. This is an ide to friendship and a treatise on virtues, and also a weird and wonderful magical journey adventure. Totally original, with outstanding characters (including the big players). Hoping for a sequel, which I think the ending implies.
Sharon K.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book: funny, clever, unusual story or two girls on an adventure to save one of their fathers. Along the way, such characters: like a goblin who eats words. I recommend without reservation to kids of all ages (I'm over 60 and even though it's "young adult", I loved it!)
Christina
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
So fun! So charming! Really really enjoyable and creative.
Annarella
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss, fantasy
I wil be short: this books is wonderful and entralling.
It's a must read.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Big Mouth House and Edelweiss for this ARC
Charles
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a quest-adventure story, Half-Witch is pure entertainment. It takes two characters on a journey through an imaginative landscape full of hardships, dangers, and ever-increasing stakes. Those characters are fully realized and fun to spend time with. One is a hopelessly innocent, empathetic human girl, the other a sharp-witted, sour-tongued witch girl—and it's a delight to watch each of them become more like the other as they travel together.

The book would be worth reading if that's all it wer
...more
Fran
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Are you looking for a fun, sad, thought-provoking story, beautifully written fantasy book. Half-witch is all that and more. Schoffstall is as courageous as young Lizbet and Strix in exploring the nature of friendship and the difference of being good and being religious as they travel through an almost familiar medieval world full of untrustworthy adults and goblins. Both girls are the complimentary half to the other and it is through their journey they become whole, each transforming the other. ...more
Michelle
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'd never heard of this book or of John Schoffstall, but happened upon it at my local library. This is why the library is an authors best friend, and a readers too! I would maybe never have heard of this book if not for the library.

ANYWAY. Half-Witch is delightfully quirky, darker than it seems, sometimes gruesome, sometimes touching, sometimes funny, ALWAYS irreverent and unexpected. While it is nothing at all like The Princess Bride, I think people who enjoyed that book will enjoy this one. Di
...more
Stolpcal000
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Half Witch was a fairly good book in my opinion. Not the best I've ever read and not the worst I very much could see rereading it again or recommending it to a friends. it is fantasy and quite interesting as it takes place in a world with God the devil and all sorts of mythical creatures. I love fantasy! So it was very enjoyable and a fairly quick read. So if you like a strange adventure through a medieval land with a witch and eventually a half witch girl I would for sure recommend it and will ...more
n
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland -- flavored a little like an irreverent Pilgrim's Progress, made bigger, more complicated because of it. A light adventure novel that still manages to pull at your heart, with an expansive and entertaining world full of demons and magic and witches, a book concerned with souls, and bodies, and how they can be made and remade, and learning what's behind the systems of authority and, maybe, at the end of the day, defying them.
Hannah
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What was an interesting concept is executed very messily, with not enough attention paid to complex characterisation. The mishmash of folkloric witchcraft and Christianity was interesting at first, but the book as a whole felt rather as if it began to turn into a strange religious tract attempting to impart a Christian message - not of interest. Much in the vein of Enid Blyton's Land of Far Beyond or C. S. Lewis's The Last Battle. A real shame!
Anna
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely loved this book, the characters were just like the ones I remember from fairy tales I read as a child, only now they're just as interesting and wonderful as I remembered. The world was better than any I've seen before in fantasy, and the witch parts of the book so spectacular, so inventive and colorful! I highly recommend this book, to everyone!
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