The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (384 pages)
After Losing Control of Her Magic, Clara Has Lost Trust in Herself in The Nature of Witches
Clara is the first Everwitch in a generation, which means she’s the only witch whose powers are strong all year. The rest of her friends watch their powers wax and wane as their chosen seasons pass throughout the year. And with the climate spinning out of control, Clara’s strength may be the only hope Earth has. Clara knows how dangerous her power can be when she loses control and what can happen to loved ones in her wake. So she’s unwilling, at least for now, to bear the burden being thrust upon her by humanity.
Heading into Autumn, Clara is still reeling from the fallout of the last time she lost control of her magic, its volatility too much for her to reign in. She’s not interested in practicing her magic or learning to control it, nevermind gearing up to save the world. And as Autumn falls into Winter, Clara watches the world literally burn as fires and storms ravage the planet. When she finally accepts that she’s the only one who can help, Clara begins training with a witch named Sang and as she grows stronger, so do her feelings for Sang. Clara’s love for Sang grows quickly given the intimacy of their training which makes accepting her role as savior even more punishing. By the time Summer arrives, Clara must decide between saving the world and living a normal life, the age-old decision all chosen ones have thrust upon them.
Something Lush to Transition Between Seasons
September is the perfect time to pick up this book as we meet Clara in the Autumn, giving readers the perfect dose of that fall feeling we’re all craving after a hot summer. The way Griffin walks us through the seasons helps us stay in tune with Clara’s feelings, as in tune as we can be with a witch anyway. While Clara’s fantastical struggles may not be something we’ve experienced, her hesitation to step into a new role and her longing for the mundane might ring a little more true. Watching the events of this story unfold throughout the year really helps build momentum for the climax.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
I’ve read a lot of books about witches, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. And while I’ve read a fair few about witches whose powers are tied to nature, the power set in this story was pretty unique. The way Griffin ties this story’s central conflict to the climate crisis was also well done; the parallel is clear without being heavy handed. The atmospheric descriptions are moody and engrossing even though the characterization is a bit lacking at times. All that being said, The Nature of Witches was a great read for this time of year when I’m not quite ready for something really spooky but I’m ready to move on from my lighter reads.
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Rachel Gomes is a 30-something high school English teacher who lives with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband and their son. Rachel is a voracious reader who loves to learn and has her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She’s happiest listening to podcasts and talking to friends about the latest news in nerd culture.
Favourite book: Don’t make me choose between A Song of Ice and Fire and Harry Potter
Favourite brunch spot: The Farmer’s Table