Witches Steeped in Gold

HarperTeen. Apr. 2021. 560p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062945983.
Gr 8 Up–Sorcery, spite, and superstitions: this Jamaican-inspired young adult fantasy novel is imbued with a dense magic system and, in the center of it all, two witches fighting a common enemy. Princess Jazmyne’s mother all but wiped out prisoner Iraya’s family, a former ruling faction on the island of Aicaya. While Ira seeks vengeance, Jazmyne herself realizes the unsettling cruelty of her mother and wishes to change the present way of ruling. Ira’s calculating style may clash with Jaz’s brash and at times impulsive ways, but they both aspire to have Aicaya under peaceful rule once again. Unfortunately for both of them, evil has a way of sifting to the top. The novel’s worldbuilding operates on a Caribbean form of mythos called Obeah. The inclusive cast includes protagonists with silver-tinted Afros and bronzed skin being the norm.
VERDICT A great choice for die-hard fantasy fans.

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