A review by Maria.
First I would like to thank writing team C.N. Crawford for allowing me to read and review their book, A Witch’s Feast, the 2nd book in The Witching Elm series. I had the opportunity to be apart of the Witching Elm tour earlier this year.
A Witch’s Feast picks right up from when The Witching Elm ended. The Battle of Maremount is over and Tobias, Fiona, and their friends are back in modern day Boston, having left Thomas and Celia behind in Maremount. Tobias and Fiona are still reeling over the death of Tobias’ girlfriend Eden, and Fiona’s boyfriend Jack who was exposed as the ultimate evil. Tobias is searching for revenge while Fiona is just looking to survive. Regular citizens like Munroe and her family are hunting witches after the attack on their school in the previous book. Munroe’s family invite the displaced students from school to live with them for the duration of the year. But their safe haven with her family is far from safe, with witch hunters around every corner.
Tobias is consumed by revenge in this book. His character turns a complete 180 from good to kind of evil and he strikes a pact with an evil god to try to get his revenge on Jack. He won’t let anything or anyone stand in his way, and pushes his friends away by lying to them and keeping secrets. He experiences a certain amount of guilt over his girlfriend’s death and focuses it on revenge and also blaming his friends since he felt like he spent too much time saving them in the battle. He also blames Fiona since he saved her first instead of his girlfriend. Tobias also feels conflicted for being attracted to Fiona while his girlfriend is dead.
Fiona was a more heavily featured character in this book making her and Tobias the leading characters. Fiona was smart, brave and compassionate. I grew to like her better as a character in this book. She becomes more confident in her magic and how to hide it from the witch-hunters. She’s in a very dangerous situation but able to keep a cool and smart head. She is also dealing with a huge amount of guilt after finding out her boyfriend Jack was evil and a murderer.
Jack was a more compelling antagonist in the last book. In this book everyone now knows he’s evil but he doesn’t do that many evil things. He’s still murdering people and eating hearts but his evil side definitely takes the back burner in this book. He spends most of his time plotting and obsessing rather annoyingly over Fiona. I would have liked more of his dastardly deeds to be featured so I could remember why I was supposed to hate him.
Thomas was the character I sympathized with the most. He was left behind in Maremount and he must adapt to the customs of the barbaric society. But he still views right and wrong like a modern man would. For example, chopping off a child’s arms and leaving them to die as punishment for stealing is clearly wrong. Thomas lands himself in prison for saving a child from that fate. There, he ponders a way to escape and travel back to his time. He’s brave, resourceful, and incredibly smart even at the face of certain death and some PTSD.
A Witch’s Feast had all the magic and fantasy which had made me love the first novel. It blended modern times with past fantasy. The book also included historical facts and small tidbits in it, which I enjoyed. Most of the novel went by fast but I found the chapters featuring Jack’s and Thomas’s perspectives went a bit slower for me. However I still enjoyed this second installment very much and am eagerly waiting the next book in this series!
This book did have some graphic violence in it, so I’d recommend it to older teens and adult readers
My rating: 4/5 stars.
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