Book Reviews · Reading

Review: A Witch Alone by James Nicol

download (11)Arianwyn Gribble is back!

During an eventful holiday in Kingsport, Arianwyn is recruited for an important mission: to retrieve the Book of Quiet Glyphs from its hiding place in the Great Wood.

But as she returns home to Lull, feyling refugees gather outside the town walls and hex plagues the forest. As tensions lead to fall-outs with her friends, town squabbles and magical mishaps, Arianwyn faces a sobering truth: she alone can find the Book, and wield its secrets ..

My thoughts:

  • I utterly loved James Nicol’s fabulous debut novel, THE APPRENTICE WITCH when I read it last year, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on his follow up novel. (To see my review of THE APPRENTICE WITCH click here).
  • I’m always a little wary about the second book in a series when I fell completely head-over-heels in love with the first book, but it’s always SO DARN LOVELY when the sequel is just as good, if not better, than the first.
  • Returning to Arianwyn’s world is like a hug from my mum, or a mug of tea on a freezing cold day–it’s comforting in the best way. James has this remarkable ability to make Lull seem simultaneously familiar and classic, and also SO original and intriguing.
  • This was a stand-out story, driven by the characters I fell in love with in the first book. I so enjoyed the challenges and hesitations that Arianwyn experienced, as well as the relationship between Arianwyn and her grandmother, and her friends Colin and Salle.
  • However, this doesn’t mean that A WITCH ALONE suffered from a lack of action. There was a distinct tension and heightened danger in this book, and I really really enjoyed the political intrigue, and how Arianwyn dealt with that.
  • I also loved the evolution of Gimma and Arianwyn’s relationship–it’s approached in such a mature, complex manner, which I think is FAR more interesting to read about. I actually really enjoyed Gimma in this book–I think she’s definitely improved herself from book 1.
  • So, I know it’s only February…but I already think this is one of my fav books of the year. Considering how much I adored THE APPRENTICE WITCH, I am blown away by this follow up. It’s everything I love in middle grade and more. Packed full of charm, friendship and with first class world building and an emotional punch, A WITCH ALONE is tremendous. GO READ IT. Also, I’m so so excited for the Arianwyn’s next adventure.
  • ALSO, when I turned to the acknowledgements (as I always do when I finish a book–they make me teary in a good way), imagine my surprise when I saw my name! What an honour. Def treasuring this amazing story for a very, very long time. Thank you, James!


*Thank you to Chicken House Books for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!*



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