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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In her debut novella, Rios de la Luz examines the lives a small family of water witches living near the US-Mexico boarder. Exploring issues of race and trauma along with beauty and magic, Itzá is a powerful reclamation of body and identity.
Paperback, First, 143 pages
Published September 16th 2017 by Broken River Books (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Itza is a novella whose story is conveyed through short glimpses into the life and legacy of four generations of women. It walks the line effortlessly between magic and reality. Fantasy elements are grounded in real life experiences and struggles. The writing is never overly-worded, yet brings an undeniable intensity.
The sentimentality of your oldest memories and dreams. The extreme measures you sometimes took to cope with your demons as a child. Fighting strongly as you come of age. Lessons
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I wanted to become a fading star in the darkest night of the year. I wanted to step outside of my body as a ghost and watch my corpse decompose, with my bones leftover for coyotes to discover."

Itza was my introduction to Rios de la Luz's work, and I enjoyed this novella! This story is about a couple different generations of women in a family of water witches living on the border of Texas and Mexico.

I would classify this book as speculative fiction. It's not a chronological novel - it's a story
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm still processing all my thoughts and feelings, but this is a beautiful, episodic, dreamlike novella that's full of magic, trauma, and powerful women. It reads more like poetry or a dream than prose, and although it feels so surreal at times, it is rooted in truth and reality. I want more stories like this in my life, and I can't wait to share this with my nieces when they're older
Tracy Robinson
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I sit in awe. Review up today on

My friend Emily sent me this book for my birthday. She read it and loved it and gambled that I would, too. She was right. Why did she think I’d like this? Perhaps because Itzá is dark and disturbing. Or maybe because it’s a coming of age tale focusing on a pair of sisters. Perhaps because de la Luz can and DOES write her ass off and this book is beautiful. Yeah, all of those.

I went into this book without having read de la Luz before or
Andrew Stone
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is both wonderfully magical and beautifully tragic. It invites us into to lives of a family of water witches, exploring they daily life and the traumas they must work through. It's about coming of age, taking control of your body, and using it as best you can. And at the end of each day, what do we have but our bodies?

I absolutely loved this book, one of my favorites of this year (and any year) guaranteed.
Kelby Losack
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ITZÁ is the debut novella by Rios de la Luz, author of the Wonderland Award-winning collection, THE PULSE BETWEEN DIMENSIONS AND THE DESERT.
ITZÁ is about four generations of brujas living in a border town. It is the story of fighting to exist while discovering what that existence is.Aside from being the most relevant and powerful book I've read all year, it is one of the most lyrical and vividly imaginative books I've read, ever.
There is magic in these pages--a magic of language, of imagery,
World Literature Today
"The novella follows four generations of women as told through the experience of Marisol. Simultaneously entrancing and harrowing, Itzá captivates readers with a rebellious, testimonial form living in the hybrid boundaries of fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. By using first-, second-, and third-person voice as well as writing outside of linear time, the novella acts like a crystal releasing its vibrations, which come through in the voice of a child, a sister, or a disembodied grandmother." ...more
Jo Quenell
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A magical novella about family, trauma, and the ties that bind. Much like her past work, Rios De La Luz has a writing style that is simple yet profound. Her prose is uncluttered and she strays from two dollar words. Yet she catches so much emotion and detail in her sparse sentences that I found myself re-reading passages to ensure I got everything I could from this. Itza us strongly recommended.
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
I think I'd like to reread this before giving a star rating. Currently in the middle of 4 and 5.
I read this in one sitting on an airplane. It was super engaging and dark and kind of weird in that great way. I fully plan to read again before the year is over and will likely highlight so many amazing parts.
V. Castro
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to be a water witch
Identity. It’s a beautiful unique thing we are all born with, but who we are changes over the course of time through good and sometimes tragic life experiences.
You aren’t children so I don’t have to tell you life can be a motherfucker that will chew you up and spit you out.
@riosdelaluz explores life from a child to a woman through the lens of the Chicanx experience. There is as much magic in being a woman as there is pain. I wish I could express all the ways this
Thomas Joyce
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Rios de la Luz book and it is AMAZING. Equally heart-breaking and heartwarming, de la Luz's style is magical and poetic, forcing the reader to feel every emotion on the page. The traumatic events of Marisol's childhood at the hands of a terrible adult are unflinching and brutally honest, and I often had a lump in my throat. But, also, the love shared between Marisol and her sister, and the love they had for their abuelita and abuela shone throughout and gave this reader hope. I ...more
Julia (Shakespeare and Such)

2.5/5 stars

Plot: 2.5/5 - The problem with this plot, in my eyes, is that it under-delivered in what the reader was promised (a story about a family of water witches), offered up instead a very different but equally interesting premise (a coming-of-age tale that deals with trauma and identity), and also under-delivered on that plot. This is perhaps the nature of the beast with a novella- that the reader is often left wanting more- but I personally feel that if the author had chosen to focus on
Matt Neil Hill
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simply one of my favourite books. I've read it three times over the last couple of years, but never felt able to do it justice in a review. I still don't, but...

Itzá is the story of four generations of water witches living in the borderlands of America. It opens with the magical description of the family's great-grandmother found dead in her bed in the middle of a forest, and shows us the family in life, death and the afterlife.

This is a book of pain and joy, told in plain language with poetry
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m pretty sure some of the metaphors went over my head but this book still managed to move me. Ríos de La Luz writing is very poetic. Trigger warning for sexual abuse, I didn’t know that going I . I also wanted for magic scenes with the water witches. That’s what it was marketed as. Part 2 was the only part of the book that really stole my heart. Overall solid read.
Alma Rosa
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so sad to have finished this book. It had been one of those for me. Itzá is a book that follows a family of water witches, mostly a little girl by the name of Marisol. This book touches on sexual assault but counteracts the trauma by also talking of magic, water, protection, reclaimation and healing. This is such a special book and Rios is such a special writer. ...more
Hailey Laine Johnson
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Miraculous and deeply physical writing that is transcendent of the form-- an absolute gem of a novella. The writing is wild, free, and yet still retains a dreamlike realness that is beautiful. It would be easy to classify this book as magical realism, but it goes beyond the form. This book is magic itself.
Donyae Coles
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was like reading a dream, very poetic and magical even in the most mundane moments. A compelling but slightly disjointed narrative. That doesn't detract from the story, that is the story. It's a collection of memories and is startlingly beautiful and sad all at once.
B.R. Yeager
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous example of narrative as grimoire, or grimoire as narrative. Magic here emerges equally from culture, family, and individuals, is constructed from both joy and grief, and becomes enacted through rituals both age-old and newly formed. Lovely.
Elizabeth Mendoza
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the imagery. Such a beautiful, weird story about Latinx women and the strong ties of womanhood and family.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is staying with me. Im so happy to have found this magic, itza has given me such solace. Tearing me out of my mind and putting me back in the mud, in the waves, in the clouds
Sara Khayat
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A body story. A story of resilience. Nightmares & hope. Water witches & fire & goats.
Eric M
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Putting the real in magical realism.

I loved this book.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: latinx, ownvoices, poc, queer
This is one of those books where just knowing the synopsis isn't going to help you at all because it's far less about the plot than it is the reading experience. de la Luz's writing is raw and hungry. She explores trauma and generations of aggression against brown women through flowery prose and abstraction. If you're ready to be carried away on a current of emotion and hazy half-thoughts, then let Itzá take you under.
Tim Jones-Yelvington
rated it it was amazing
Dec 18, 2017
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Sep 24, 2018
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Vicki DeLeon
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Sep 19, 2019
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Aug 23, 2019
Zach Savage
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Mar 18, 2019
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