The Nature of Witches

Sourcebooks/Fire. May 2021. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781728229423.
Gr 8 Up–Clara is the first Everwitch in more than a century. With a drastically changing climate, the world relies on witches to correct extreme weather events wreaking havoc on the Earth. With more witches becoming depleted from having to use their magic during their off-seasons, everyone is relying on Clara, who is the only witch with the power of all four seasons. Much to her teachers’ chagrin, she is afraid to fully tap into her power because of three separate accidents where her uncontrolled powers killed her parents, best friend, and teacher. With the stakes higher than ever, the school where she trains assigns Sang, a spring witch with a calming power, to train Clara to control her powers and help save the world. The intriguing premise is fresh and original, and the worldbuilding is vivid and charming. Each of the characters is flawed, well-defined, and at times predictable. The climax is somewhat bogged down by a romantic conflict that feels unnecessary, but overall offers a satisfying journey for readers. Clara’s ethnicity isn’t stated and Sang is Asian.
VERDICT This standalone novel ties fantastical elements, LGBTQIA themes, and climate change together into one neat package that will leave readers satisfied.

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