Young Adult

The Nature of Witches

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Book Information

Title: The Nature of Witches
Author: Rachel Griffin
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Contemporary | Fantasy | Romance
Publication Date: June 1, 2021

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Never let anyone make you feel bad about the things you’re capable of. Some will insist you step into the shadows to make them more comfortable. But I’ll tell you a secret: there’s enough light for us all.

-A Season for Everything

The Nature of Witches Synopsis

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.

The Nature of Witches Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This standalone contemporary fantasy sets climate change into a new light for young adults. Climate change is an extremely important issue throughout the world; weather events are getting stronger and more frequent around the globe. In The Nature of Witches, shaders (non-magical peoples) have, despite numerous warnings by the witches, refused to change their behaviours involving the use of the Earth and the harm they are doing to it. As a result, the witches, who are maintaining the climate, are losing control of the weather as normally out-of-season weather ins present and the witches of that season’s magic is not capable of dissipating the weather.

In this world, Witches are born on the equinox or solstice and control the magic of that season. Each season’s magic ebbs and flows around the seasons and each season of magic is different from the others. Summer full of passion and strength, Autumn which is full of easy transitions and power, Winter is cold and pointed and spring which is calm and tranquility. Normal witches harness the power of one season; they can experience the full, no-holds-barred brunt of their power for three months out of the year. In the other nine months, they are almost a shadow of their on-season selves. This is where Clara comes in. She is an Everwitch, meaning that her magic is strong and changes to match the current season. She is the first Everwitch in over a century and her magic is uncontrolled and harmfully seeks out those she loves when unleashed. Clara is the last hope for the Earth in the Witches’ fight to maintain the earth’s balance, but she must first learn to control her magic and decide if she what she can live without: her magic, or those she loves.

Clara is in a bad way when we are first introduced to her. She is isolated and emotionally closed off. She hates her magic and has plans to rid herself of it. After a weather event that changes her relationships with her teachers, she decides that what she is doing is not helping herself and she must make a choice. Sang is an advanced studies botanist who is also tasked with helping Clara harness her potential as he has no connection to her emotionally and therefore is safe from her magic. But the time they spend together may put him at risk as they develop their friendship.

This book is written in Clara’s POV. It’s 360 pages so the events are fast paced, but at the same time there is room in between to take a breath, so it is not jammed packed with action. The characters are well developed. This tale of overcoming self-doubt, self-loathing and growth is beautiful. The debut novel bu Rachel Griffin was an inventive, engaging read that should appeal to a large number of readers!

I would like to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for sending me a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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About Rachel Griffin

Rachel Griffin writes young adult novels inspired by the magic of the world around her. She is the author of the upcoming The Nature of Witches, releasing from Sourcebooks Fire on June 1, 2021, with a second standalone novel to follow in 2022.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Rachel has a deep love of nature, from the mountains to the ocean and all the towering evergreens in between. She adores moody skies and thunderstorms, and hopes more vampires settle down in her beloved state of Washington.

On her path to writing novels, Rachel graduated from Seattle University with a Bachelor of Science in diagnostic ultrasound. She worked in healthcare for five years and taught ultrasound at her alma mater before making the switch to a small startup. She has been mentoring in Pitch Wars since 2017 and now writes full-time from her home in the Seattle area.

When she isn’t writing, you can find her wandering the PNW, reading by the fire, or drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea. She lives with her husband, small dog, and growing collection of houseplants.

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