Hi book lovers! I hope you’re in a whimsical mood today because I have an enchanting book to review! If you follow my Instagram, you probably saw how much I enjoyed this book, but now I’ll share all of my thoughts!
I received the opportunity to review Witchlings by Claribel Ortega in late March thanks to Colored pages blog tours, scholastic, and Claribel Ortega.
Witchlings is a fantasy, magical, witch-infused middle-grade book. Author Claribel Ortega is a former reporter and now writes fantasy books inspired by her Dominican heritage. You might have heard of her debut novel, Ghost Squad.
Seven Salazar is a witchling living in the magical town of Ravenkill, and she’s super excited to join a coven with her best friend. But on the night of the Blackmoon ceremony, Poppy is sorted into a Coven, but Seven and three other witchlings are left out. Witchlings without a Coven are called Spares, and they’ll never have the opportunity to grow their powers or learn advanced spells.
Seven refuses to live a future as a spare and decides to invoke the impossible task, a super dangerous mission, and if the witchlings fail, they’ll turn into Toads!
I received my copy of Witchlings a few weeks ago, and I ate it up over the weekend. Witchlings is a cute, fantastical story with themes of friendship, courage, and love.
I liked the theme of friendship in this story. Seven juggles her broken friendship with Poppy with her developing friendship with Valley and Thorn. Seven struggles to let go of Poppy, but her friend’s actions only confuse and hurt her. They make up eventually, but I think it’s clear that they are growing in different directions. It’s a hard thing to reckon with, but it does happen at every age. I loved that this was one of the themes of this novel, and it was sort of cathartic to read about given my own recent experience.
Courage is also a big theme in this novel because it just so happens that a lot of adults are bullying children in this story. Yes, there are some mean Karens in this book, but there are also a few immature adults who need to chill. However, courage emerges in this novel in the form of speaking out against these bullies as well as standing up for oneself. I thought this theme went well in this novel because it’s also something everyone must confront at all stages of their life.
Love’s a common theme in a lot of novels, but in Witchlings, it’s interwoven so well with the other two themes that it just makes the reading experience even more enjoyable. Because of the bonds of friendship, Seven loves her new partners in crime Valley and Thorn, and they all encourage each other on their journey. All in all, when Seven and her friends encounter danger, they uplift and encourage each other to face it head-on. And I think the beautiful message is what sold me on this novel.
But of course, how could I forget my favorite side character in this story, Edgar Allen Toad. Seven’s toad is always sneaking into her coat pocket and accompanying her on dangerous adventures.
I loved the whimsical atmosphere of this story. It worked super well with the main mission the witchlings faced. Witchlings is an adorable novel that anyone could read. It has a fantastical world to get lost in, plus some loveable characters. I recommend this read for a rainy spring day (f you live in southern California, rain is super rare, but an animal crossing rainy day playlist sets the mood!), it’s also a relaxing read if you have a lot on your mind.
My Content warnings for this novel: death of a sibling, adults bullying children, parental abuse, and murderous adults.
If you decide to read Witchlings I hope you like as much as I did but until next time, I’ll be living in libros,
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Happy Spring for all of us in the Northern Hemisphere! Spring is the perfect season for those of us who crave…Keep reading