Book Review

The Nature Of Witches

The Nature of Witches

  • Author: Rachel Griffin
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2021
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. I am providing my honest opinion voluntarily.

CONTENT WARNING: death, blood

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.

In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.

In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.

In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.

In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.

This was the book I have been waiting for and didn’t even know it. I was caught up in the story right away, and couldn’t put it down, devouring the entire story in a single day. 

The story combines the idea of witches with power that is tied to the sun and seasons, and fighting against climate change. Naturally, I loved the idea. Each season has it’s own weather challenges, and the witches from that season have certain personality traits and struggles. As the weather becomes more erratic, the consequences for the environment, and the witches trying to manage it, become more harsh and dangerous. 

Clara seems to be the key for managing this, but she’s reluctant to use her magic. In the past, her magic has killed the people closest to her, and she’s been lost in grief, fear, and guilt. The school has been pushing her to practice, but has also isolated her, and she’s internalized this need for isolation. She spent a lot of the book having a one-woman pity party, and it got frustrating to watch her work so hard to push people away when they clearly wanted to be around her and be supportive. 

I liked seeing how things flowed throughout the story. Sang was one of my favorite characters. The relationship between him and Clara developed so naturally, and I loved how it was written. It felt genuine to see the people around Clara break through the walls she had built up around herself.

This was a really enjoyable story, and addresses some really deep themes in a powerful and beautifully written story. The way that each season is experienced differently and the connection to the different parts of the year made me appreciate the world and how it changes throughout the year. However, it also makes me hope that we can all show our world a little more love. This is a book that is going to stick with me for quite some time.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 6

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