Reviews

~ The Black Witch ~

“Not everything is how it appears on the surface, Elloren,” she says stiffly. “You’ll have to learn that if you’re going to be part of the wider world.”

5/5 STARS

This will quite possibly be the longest review I’ve ever wrote. I’m hoping its not, because time is so short and it’s taking away from my reading time. But this book definitely deserves the long review, it really does. (Update after writing. This is the longest review I’ve wrote with a whopping 7,250 words! Not as big as the “Review”, but still decent size.)

People have unfairly rated this book, without reading it. All because of one review that … I don’t know if “viciously” is the right word, it does seem quite dramatic. But anyways, this review brutally (thats a better word) tore into this book, piece by piece, chapter by chapter, and word for word. And what that review so insanely lacked, was showing the full scenes of this story. The Black Witch has been labeled as racist, ableist, homophobic, and dangerous to anyone of a color that isn’t white. The Black Witch has been supposedly been written with no marginalized people in mind. This is ultimately a book for white people and no one should support it. Or so the reviewer says. I’m most definitely not saying her opinion is wrong, if thats how she felt then thats her feelings. But I don’t support the idea of telling people not to read it just because “said person” viewed as offensive. Let peeps find out for themselves.

Now, in my own opinion this book is neither of things. The Black Witch is a strong book about a girl trying to find her way into this world. She has grown up in hard times, in a very deeply rooted religious home where she is taught that no one matters but her own type of people. Anyone who is not Gardnerian is viewed as evil, sinful, and vile. But we follow the main character through her journey of being opened up to the real world, to the people around her. She has to overgrow her prejudices, her racist ideas, and become a better person. But of course, these thoughts of accepting others completely goes against everything she is taught. To me, this was a powerful book.

Yet, people who are enjoying this book, who are seeing the meaning to it, are viewed as horrible people. I have seen on Goodreads and social media, people labeled as racist, homophobic, and ableist just because they enjoyed this story. JUST because they didn’t share the “popular” opinion of hating on this author and the book. JUST because they didn’t jump on the bandwagon of destroying this novel and the author. Now, if you are one of those people, who feels like its your mandate from God to bring Social Justice to the world, good for you. If you feel like the world won’t be right if you don’t call them out for supporting this book, good for you. But just know, your bias and hatred makes you look like an idiot. Let people have their own thoughts. Let people have their own opinions on a story that they, uhmm, THAT THEY ACTUALLY READ. They took the time out of their life to read this novel as a whole, while you took the time to read a review, and decide that you know everything about this book. You don’t get to decide who is racist, ableist, and homophobic because you don’t know that person. You are calling “said person” horrible things because of A STORY. A fictional work that has FICTIONAL characters, FICTIONAL races. If you read the book and got offended because a blue human is a house worker, then okay I’m sorry. BUT don’t call people these hideous things because you didn’t enjoy the book. And don’t call people these things IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK. You, make yourself, look like the biggest fool ever.

You are entitled to your own opinion, I get that. But you trying to form a complete opinion on a book you haven’t read, and rating it one star is FOOLISH. You are messing with an authors career, and life. If you see from the review, that this book may be harmful to you, then okay don’t read it. That’s why there is trigger warnings and stuff to help readers know what they’re getting in to. But don’t go around telling people they’re disgusting for wanting to read it. Reading is meant for enjoyment and for the reader INDIVIDUALLY. Each person gets a different meaning out a story, and that’s what makes reading amazing. But if you can’t even read the book, and want to go around calling people stupid and disgusting and tell them they’re discriminating against marginalized people, just know that NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE WITH YOUR NEGATIVITIY.

Also, think of it like this, if you go to a restaurant, you might want to read the reviews just to see if its any good. But if you see on the review that something might not settle with you well, then you won’t visit it. Play it safe. But I have not ever heard of people rating and reviewing restaurants that they haven’t been too. Why? Because their opinion won’t be trusted or valid because they haven’t tried or experienced it for themselves. Its not rocket science folks. Rating without eating (reading in this case) is the stupidest thing ever. Maybe you know of a friend who has a certain problem with the type of food or service, so you warn them. SO warn people on your review that this may be harmful to certain people with these types of triggers. But you don’t go around calling out people who enjoyed it. I’m repeating myself, sorry, but some folks just don’t seem to get it.

I have read one, ONE, negative review on this book that actually makes sense. But the reviewer isn’t telling you that you shouldn’t read this book, (Cait you know I’m talking to you LOL.) She formed her own opinions on this novel and decided to not read the rest, but she isn’t going around thinking she’s the Angel of Social Justice, trying to tell people that they’re horrible for wanting to read this. THIS is the right attitude to have while reading and reviewing. Cait, my hats off to you for being mature and wonderful. ALSO, don’t come at me for trying to call me a hypocrite because im telling these people not to call others racist, when I’m calling them idiots. These are two very different situations.

NOW ONTO THE ACTUAL REVIEW BECAUSE I COULD GO ON FOREVER (doesn’t contain spoilers until I warn you about them)

Plot:
Our story starts off with young Elloreen Gardner. Elloreen, or Ren, has lived a very sheltered life. She has deep religious ties, and has grown up in only a male presence. Both of her parents are dead so she lives with her Uncle, who is more open minded I think, than any of the other Gardnerian people. Ren, is the granddaughter of the great Black Witch. So she is supposed to have these super strong powers, and everyone looks up to her and knows who she is because she looks IDENTICAL to her grandma (which you hear a lot and it’s really annoying.) But in the beginning of the story, her aunt comes to town. And her aunt pretty much wants to force her to marry a man named Lukas Grey. This marriage ceremony is known as “Wandfasting” and happens to most Gardnerian girls at the age of 13. It’s an arranged marriage, that she has never had to worry about because her uncle never pressured her to get fasted. But when her aunt comes into town she wants Ren to have a super easy and privileged life by fasting to one of the most powerful Mages. And her uncle wants her to go to the University so she can learn her apothecary trade, and worry about fasting after she graduates. Then of course, comes into play, the racist and prejudicial thoughts. This University is filled with all types of races and people from different backgrounds. You have:

~Urisk (ogre-ish -thats how I viewed them anyways- like creatures with all shades of color, the workers are better known as slaves)

~Lupines (obviously werewolf half breeds)

~Elve’s (full of different backgrounds and many different sub-divions of Elves), Vu Trin (asian descended, powerful witches)

~Amazkarans (this one is laughable because they’re literally the Amazons that we know in our world today, all tall and powerful woman)

~Icarals (the evil, demonic, sinful creatures who are the bad guys)

Elloreen isn’t really that scared to go to this school at all. She has heard gross things about all these races due to her religion and thinking that only Gardnerian are the pure, good race. BUT THEN, she goes to hang out with her aunt the week prior to school who drills HATEFUL, obscene thoughts into her head. Her aunt makes her racism thoughts and prejudice into something out of this world. But then again, this is the first female role model that she has ever had in her seventeen years of living. SO of course, she follows and clings onto every little thing that her aunt says. This makes her time at University HORRID. Her aunt turns her into this bag of hateful dung. There is girl/girl hate in this novel so if you don’t like then don’t read this. Because its BIG TIME. But, Ren is working her way through this school with her aunt pressuring her to wandfast to Lukas Grey so she can get MONEY. And then she’s dealing with the pressure of meeting new people, and new cultures. It’s all together a greatly rounded book!

Minor Spoilers:

And yet Elloreen has thoughts that these races aren’t near as bad as the Gardnerians make them seem. Sure, she hates the Icarals, because they are the great evil winged ones who are meant to destroy her race. Ren ends up lodging with two Icarals. And she is DISGUSTED and freaking out, also because she got attacked by Icarals in the story as well. So this hate is turned toward them because of religion. Pretty much all the religions view Icarals with disgust and disdain. THEY ARE MEANT TO BE THE BAD GUYS, SO OBVIOUSLY THEY WON’T BE LOVED. NO DUH, yet of course, because Elloreen hates them, she’s viewed as morally flawed, but they are the BAD GUYS. THE ANTAGONISTS. No duh she won’t like them. And yet her thoughts and opinions change the more she gets to know them. Her thoughts and opinions change on EVERY race that she meets in the school because she gets to know them for herself and not just what her people have told her about them. WHICH IS GREAT. I applaud the author for taking a stance on trying to make her main character naive, and trying to build her up as a human. I haven’t read a novel like this in awhile.

Now know, this world is pretty much how I envision America to be about a hundred or so years ago. This is a very sexist world, to where men have all the power over the women. They are the powerhouse, and the strength, and the backbone to the world. This is a very hateful world, to where a lot of the races don’t trust each other due to constant oppression of everyone. This is a very real world. I honestly want to know what kind of frou frou world you expect to read about where everyone loves and respects each other. Because that’s so unreal and so fake, and doesn’t make anything interest. It doesn’t bring any conflict. And yet this story is overflowing with conflict and the question of what is right in this prejudiced world? THIS WORLD IS REAL. It has strict religious people who think that they are always right and that they’re the chosen ones from on High. There are laid back folks, who go with the flow and just seem to live life. There are people who have different beliefs from anyone else and this makes the world REAL. Well, as real as you can get with magic and dragons and Elves LOL

Now with this religion from the Gardnerians, it’s strongly based on Christianity. There is the great creator, the Ancient One they call him who created the world. The Ancient One has his angels who intermingle with the First Humans, trying to turn them to do evil deeds because they feel like the Ancient One shouldn’t be worshiped. This is literally Adam and Eve, being tempted in the Garden by Satan and Satan thinking he’s better than God. AND THEN the Ancient One casts these angels out of Heaven and turns them into the first Evil Ones. The Evil Ones are the evil, winged Icarals who are the epitome of sin and vile deeds. So pretty much if this was our world, the Icarals would be considered demons from Satan. And the Gardnerians are Christians, the pure ones who are meant to combat the evil. EVEN though we Christians (im not Christian, im Apostolic but I highly doubt anyone knows what that is) are not meant to hand to hand combat evil. Thats just unreal, thats not what God wants us to do. We are supposed to live our everyday life under Him and His Word.

But what I’m trying to get to with the “religious” section of this review is the hate. Some people have the sad backstory of growing up in an overly burdening religious home. Where they are taught to hate certain types of people because they are “Evil” and because God doesn’t accept that. Which He doesn’t, I’m just throwing that in there. But there is a strong difference in hatred toward what God doesn’t accept, and going with the flow of life and loving everyone no matter what. But Ren doesn’t have that kind of upbringing of everyone deserves to be loved to matter what they are. She has always been the taught the hard way, that if God (the Ancient One) doesn’t accept it, then you should hate them with every fiber of your being. THERE ARE REAL PEOPLE IN OUR WORLD WHO WILL BE ABLE TO CONNECT TO ELLOREEN SO HARD. This is some peoples life of growing up with hatred rooted in their hearts. SO NO wonder that it’s hard for her to get of this prejudice and hatred.

ALSO, I’m getting way into this review, and way into life, when its just a fiction story. But im so upset at the bookish community for attacking people who related to this story, and who wanted to read it. Real people are getting hurt because they try to overcome this hatred in their hearts BUT ITS ROOTED SO DEEP. So to you who have had a great life of not ever having hatred in your heart, lucky you. A lot of people aren’t that fortunate and struggle with hatred towards others due to their race, culture, diseases, sexuality, and like a whole bunch of other things. This is a very controversial novel that can be used to look at life today, in our real world. Honestly I’m shook by the daring behavior that Ms. Forest took with this book.

HERE COME THE  BIG SPOILERS. You’ve been warned:

So, with Elloreens hate. I don’t expect it to be redeemed by the end of this novel. This novel takes place in like maybe a few months, you cannot expect someone to get over their hates and prejudice over a short period of time. This is obviously going to be turned into a series, and this is where I expect a great ARC from Ren as a character. To me, this is just the beginning of Ren experiencing the world for herself. Now if the last book comes out, and Ren is still spewing obscene hate towards other races, I will probably rate it low and flip out. BUT im giving this a chance at Ren growing as the story grows. We are meant to view her journey over a series of novels, not her completely abandoning everything she was taught in a matter of months. I would be pretty upset if thats how this book ended with her completely forgetting all these years of hate in her head. Thats unrealistic and yeah just unrealistic. But (wow I use but a lot in my reviews, this is horrible) Elloreen is a very annoying character at times. I don’t feel bad for her a lot of the times, I really don’t. Her own hate and racism gets her into some stupid predicaments to where we’re supposed to view her as a good gal. No, I want to see her get put in her place for her racism, so she can grow from these mistakes. I want her to look back, three books from now, and see what a horrible person she was. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m excusing her actions at all, I don’t. She needs to learn from her mistakes so that this story seems realistic.

Here’s some quotes and scenes to where Ren’s privilege is shown. Where her hatred is shown, and to where she needs to learn from her mistakes. I have noted along my way while reading so I can see how she grows. I highlighted a lot of racial areas to where her hate does show. BUT I don’t have the exact pages because I read on my Kindle! Anyways, here it goes:
“A strange nature fixation like this smacks of Fae blood, and Uncle Edwin has warned me to never speak of it. We Gardnerians are a pure-blooded race, free from the stain of the heathen races that surround us. And my family line has the strongest, purest Mage blood of all. But I often worry. If that’s true, then why do I see these things?”
Note – Location 135
Obvious racial upbringing. She doesn’t think its right, but is battling what she must have been taught.

“My aunt is the absolute epitome of what a Gardnerian woman is supposed to look like—waist-length black hair, deep green eyes and swirling black wandfasting lines marking her hands.”
Note – Location 263
No indication to skin color – they aren’t defining themselves by skin color. With this, I noted that the skin color of Gardnerians are never spoken. I don’t think all Gardnerians are white, just because they have sparkling skin doesn’t automatically make them all white. They could possibly be different “real world” skin colors that also sparkle. This is never confirmed or denied.

“It doesn’t suit you,” he explains with a shake of his head. “I want you to pursue something…” He hesitates a moment. “Something more peaceful.”
Note – Location 372
Overbearing Uncle – obviously thinks hes better because he is simply, a man. Now this scene bothers me, a lot. Her Uncle seems to be really overbearing as a man in this scene. She is questioning not wanting to be apart of the apothecary world, and wanting to be on the council. He doesn’t think it’s a woman job, setting up this world for being male oriented. But I do think he may just be governing her as her father figure, in what he thinks is best for her as his child.

“Not everything is how it appears on the surface, Elloren,” she says stiffly. “You’ll have to learn that if you’re going to be part of the wider world.”
Note – Location 624
Aunt is still extra racist. Now I did quote this one above, and it’s a great quote, if you haven’t read the scene its from. Ren is thinking about how the creatures she was taught to hate, may not be so bad. But of course, her dumb aunt is always being extra and trying to guide Ren in the “right way.” This is garbage.

“The Kelts are not a pure race like us. They’re more accepting of intermarriage, and because of this, they’re very mixed.”
Note – Location 2060
Yet again, her upbringing is showing. I’m not excusing her actions at all. But this isn’t a weird thing to see at all. Many fantasy novels have mixed races who also have intermarriaging. Not weird and definitely not racist.

“I’m stunned. Why are they being so cruel? I’ve done nothing to deserve it.”
Note – Location 2285
Hatred of people roots deep, in what you are taught. Even though they don’t know her, they judge her alone on her race. I also, wanted someone to smack her when she thought this. She doesn’t really understand yet that this is EXACTLY WHAT SHE’S DOING TO THEM. She is being a hypocrite. But of course there is room for growth. As you will see if you keep reading this lol.

“I may be devoid of magic, but I’m Carnissa Gardner’s granddaughter, Vyvian Damon’s niece and favored by Lukas Grey.”
Note – Location 2741
Thinks shes special because shes favored by higher up people. She thinks she’s all that because of her status of family power. This thinking gets torn though, when she later realizes no one gives a crap about her upbringing or her family.

“They consider me an enemy, and I need allies against them—Gardnerian allies. And I need to look powerfully Gardnerian. Lukas’s words hang in my mind. Dominate, or be dominated.”
Note – Location 2936
Yeah she can never think for herself to be honest. It seems that she is always taking what other people tell her she’s capable of because of what someone above her status told her. She is cowering behind her own actions because she thinks a man will protect. She has been sheltered behind this thought of men always being there to protect her, no, she needs to realize she’s her own person and her own savior.

“She stares at me as if it should be obvious. “Because Elves are heathens, of course. It sounds as if I’m…glorifying their culture.”She gives me a wan smile. “At least, that’s what Father would say.”I’m thrown by the strict rules her family holds her to. Uncle Edwin has never been so narrow-minded with my brothers and me.”
Note – Location 3298
She wasn’t taught to not appreciate other cultures. It seems to me, like in our world, that everyone greedily protects their culture. No one is allowed to delve into it except their own race and people. This makes for a very divided society if we can’t all take part in the same things, and if we are judging people because they borrow from cultures. So what, I don’t care if white people are borrowing homemade tortilla’s and sombreros. ROCK THAT SOMBRERO NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE.

“It must be nice to be Gardnerian,” Yvan sneers as he smacks down the stove’s iron lever and throws in some logs. “It must be nice to live such a charmed life that the loss of a quilt constitutes a major tragedy.”
Note – Location 3845
Gardnerians – spoiled brats. Everyone seems to notice this, but them. They need to be redeemed of their narrow minded ways, in which I hope to see an ARC in the next installments.

“We’re supposed to be Gardnerians, the Blessed Ones, the First Children, blameless and pure. And all of the other races are supposed to be the Evil Ones, the Cursed Ones. But more and more it seems as if life has the disturbing habit of refusing to align itself into such neat columns. It’s all extremely confusing.”
Note – Location 4511
Finally somewhat realizing that not everything she has been taught is true. Thank the Ancient One. QUESTION THINGS WHEN IT COMES TO OTHER PEOPLE. Don’t just assume and judge, nothing good ever comes out of it.

“It will cleanse your room of the demon stain,”he tells me paternally. He leans in as if we share an unfortunate secret. “The Icarals may not love this, but I think you will find it soothing.”I inwardly stiffen. They have names, I think. Ariel and Wynter. But I don’t voice anything to indicate my newfound change of heart. “Thank you,”I say instead, taking the small tree from him. It’s heavy in my hands. But as much as I love seedlings, I don’t want it. Not if it will make Wynter—or even Ariel—uncomfortable.”
Note – Location 4660
Thank You Ren. Thank you. Growing out of her prejudices, still not like, all the way gone but what you expect? This is a small step. But even thinking along these lines is amazing. AND also, Wynter and Ariel are the two Icarals that she has to room with in this novel at University. I probably should have stated earlier that she has to room with the ones who are supposed to be evil, but she ends up respecting them and growing to be friends with them! You have no idea, how excited this scene made me!

“So,” I press, uncomfortably, “there aren’t any children working there?” Priest Simitri turns thoughtful. “If there are, I’m sure it’s out of the goodwill of their overseers—so that their mothers can keep an eye on them. Don’t let yourself be sentimental, Elloren. Urisk children are not like Gardnerian children. They are not First Children. They need structure and hard work to rein in their baser instincts. They lack the intelligence, the sensibility…the soul of our people.” My mind immediately wanders to an image of Fern laughing and blowing bubbles in the kitchen. No, she’s just like any other child. Just like a Gardnerian child, in fact.”
Note – Location 4678
This scene had me so excited. And for everyone on some back story. Ren is going to visit the Priest so she can ask about Urisk children being slaves. AND SHE SEES ITS WRONG BECAUSE SHE MET A URISK CHILD. Seeing for yourself is so important and Ren is starting to see that this is majorly important. She is starting to grow some feelings for these Urisk people, which she was taught, as seen above, that this wrong. But she’s thinking for herself now and I was super happy.

“All that wyvern blood floating around,” he explains, “interferes rather inconveniently with cherished ideas of racial purity. Which, in and of itself, is probably the greatest myth of all time.” His eyes gleam with mischief. “Gardnerians are touchy about racial lines not being clearly drawn. The Elves are even touchier. It’s easier to cast the Icarals as evil and shun them at birth than it is to admit that every race is a mix.”
Note – Location 4858
HOW BOU DAT. Ren pretty much just got told that even her own blood is touchy and not completely pure. I LOVED THIS. This professor that she goes and see’s puts her in her place about her race not being completely Pure. A lot of different races and mixes of people share blood, so no one is ever pure.

“You haven’t followed politics because you haven’t had to,” she snipes, raw resentment breaking through. “And it shows. You’re incredibly naive.” She leans closer, confrontation burning in her eyes. “Your people have huge families. Because you’re supposed to take over the entire world.”
Note – Location 5130
Naive. Sheltering too much makes you naive, and makes you dangerous to society around you. I enjoyed this scene very much. Gardnerians seem to think they’re top dog. But I really think there’s going to be a lot of smack down in this series to where they learn their lesson.
“People see what they expect to see,” he says sharply. “Through a filter of their own hatred and prejudice. You should realize this by now, rooming with two Icarals.”
Note – Location 5245
Everyone seems to see the racism in the world except Ren because she was taught she was the only pure kind. But as the story progresses, she is realizing that not everything is as it seems. ALSO, one of the Lupine is telling this to her and putting her in her place.

“You’re the biggest freak of us all, you know,” she goes on, attempting a look of hatred. “And you better keep the wild dog away from my chickens.”“He’s Lupine,” I clarify, irritated by her continual insistence on using racist language when talking to anyone but Wynter. But then I remember—it wasn’t too long ago that I harbored quite a few prejudices of my own.”
Note – Location 5369
CLAPPING. CLAPPING EVERYWHERE. SHE IS BEGINNING TO SEE THE WRONGNESS OF HER WAYS.

“Is that…” Liesbeth whispers, horrified, “…the Lupine male?” Auralie gasps, and both sisters touch their heads, then their hearts, as they murmur the familiar prayer: Oh, Most Holy Ancient One, purify our minds, purify our hearts, purify Erthia. Protect us from the stain of the Evil Ones.”
Note – Location 5493
Religion teaches them to be hateful. Religion plays a big part in this book, in hatred towards other. This is why they can never seem to grow up, because Religious ties RUN DEEP. Some people have really life religious upbringings as well as their parents drilling into them that others aren’t “pure.”

“You are not going to hell. You don’t really believe Jarod is evil, do you?”“No!”she cries. “I just… My whole world is upside down. I should never have taken that class with him. Oh, Elloren, what am I going to do?”
Note – Location 5654
This is what quite a bit of people are taught in their religious lives. Now in this scene, we have a Garnerian girl, who is falling in love with a Lupine boy. This I practically treason in the Gardnerian world and would get her kicked out and shunned. She is afraid of going to hell just because she loves the Lupine boy.

“It is the nature of men.” Andras’s head jerks toward his mother, his brow tight with offense. “To beat women senseless?” I question, incredulous. “To be cruel,” she replies. “To attempt to dominate women in any way possible.”
Note – Location 6143
Just quick, shoutout to this scene because it was so WUZZAH, and I loved it.

“You are not making any sense!”“My apologies. I forgot that your religion is the only correct one.”“You are mocking me again. He is mocking me, isn’t he?” she asks all of us. Jarod, Andras and Trystan are attempting to stifle grins. “No, Diana, I’m not,” Rafe laughs. “I’m trying to make a point.”
Note – Location 6391
They’re getting along. Now in this scene, we have Lupine, Icarals, Gardnerians, and thats about it I think mingling together. But it also shows that not only the Gardnerians think they’re the right religion. Everyone thinks they’re right and I think no matter who the story is told from, everyone believes that their religion is correct. No one wants to denounce what they think is true for what other people have to say.

“I’m sorry,” I murmur. “I’m sorry I was so ignorant…and wrong, when I first came here.”
Note – Location 7197
Genuinely sorry. This whole scene was powerful to me. Because it is so hard for some people to even begin to apologize for what they have always been taught is right. OH its just a book you may say, yeah but literature affects us all and portrays real life. This would be considered a huge milestone to some people in their life!
Now, thats about it on all I have for quotes and stuff. I didn’t go into near as much detail into the story because I don’t want to spoil EVERY SINGLE THING. I want people to read this for themselves and to form opinions for themselves. But I do want to talk about some of the characters and their interactions with each other and how this was viewed!

Since the University was a mixed place of races, I feel like this automatically makes this a unique story. There are so many different folks from different backgrounds who are intermingling together. Seeing the Lupines and the Icarals and the Gardnerians hanging with each other was fun! For our Lupines, we first meet them as these disgusting vile shape shifters who go and take their mates into the woods. Umm you can figure out the rest of what they do in the woods. And we see them to be gross and immoral. BUT when Ren meets them, she starts to realize that none of that is true, and also it isn’t too different from Gardnerian tradition. It takes getting to know people, and their culture first hand to truly understand what they are like. And the author does a great job at bringing all these cultures together! Also with the Icarals, even they themselves think they’re evil. And they hate it but thats how their IMAGINARY race is. They’re taught by their own people that they’re evil. BUT yet again thats grouping people into a giant LABEL that not all of them are like. REN has to meet these Icarals and interact with them to realize that they aren’t as bad as they seem. I AM SO IMPRESSED WITH THIS BOOK OKAY.

AND with the love in this book. It was done weirdly. There is an immediate case of instalove in this novel thats REALLY GOOD AND I LIKED IT. But then the story goes on and I hated it and ended up shipping her with herself because she needs to find herself before she finds love in my opinion. Anyways, she falls for this Kelt boy at the school, and it goes against everything she’s taught. So of course she’s going to bring it up everytime she see’s him. SHE is worried about her future and her upbringing. ITS NORMAL to question yourself, but of course its a hot burning attraction LOL THATS SUCH A LIE AHAHAH

NOW onto my thoughts on what this book has been labeled as:

Racist:
The characters in this book are racist sure. BUT this world isn’t racist. For one, there aren’t even real “Earth” races. EVERYTHING IS FICTIONAL. There are lots of people who think equality for all is great. They want it, but no that isn’t going to happen. There is prejudice in every book. IN every popular series it seems to be, but no one is throwing fits about them? To name a few and their problems~

Harry Potter: Now this book is strangely a copy cat of Harry Potter. There are so many concepts and ideas pulled from that series, that this seems like a spin-off fanfiction of Harry Potter. IN Harry Potter we have houses, in The Black Witch we have Mage Levels. In Harry Potter there Is hate towards muggles and mudbloods, in The Black Witch there is hate towards everyone who aren’t your own race. In this book, they despise the Lupines. Because they think they’re vile and disgusting. But do they not think the same way about the werewolves in HP? DO they not throw fits and try to pull their kids out of Hogwarts because (spoiler for Prisoner of Azkaban) Prof. Lupin is a werewolf? THEY DO. But I don’t see anyone having a hissy fit over Harry Potter.

The Hunger Games: Are there not Districts in the Hunger Games that are viewed down upon by the Capitol and by the lower Districts? Everyone seems to hate everyone in the Hunger Games. It’s a very brutal world built by class systems and power. AND SO IS THE BLACK WITCH. Power and race (in the HG its your District) means everything. ALSO OUR WORLD TOO PEEPS.

A Court of Thorns and Roses: WOW talk about prejudice and hate in a series. The Fae and the Humans HATE EACH OTHER SO MUCH. They even built a WALL to keep each other out. The Fae had human slaves, but yet no one is complaining about that series being crass and racist? It took Feyre a long time to get over her fear of the Fae and to get used to fearing the Humans. THERE was no compromise of territory in this book. It was humans and fae hate which could be considered racist and prejudiced.

Three very popular series who have lots of followers but that also has it’s similarities to the Black Witch. IF anything the Black Witch is just a copy cat book to be honest. I see no harm in it all for PoC, or for anyone (but yet again thats just me.) If this story rubbed you the wrong way, then I, by no means mean to belittle you because you didn’t agree with this novel. AT LEAST YOU READ THE BOOK.

Ableism:
I don’t even think there was anyone with a disability or mental illness in this story. In the “Review” It is talked about that the Icaral would cut herself and Ren was disgusted. That wasn’t in the finalized copy of TBW. So no, I saw no hate to anyone because of their disabilities. Unless I missed something completely crucial about mental illness or disabilities, then someone tell me because I didn’t see none of that.

Homophobic:
Now this scene was tricky. Very tricky. SO Ren’s brother comes out to her as calling Yvan, a Kelt boy, beautiful. AND REN LOSES HER CRAP. Wow, I was shocked by that scene because umm I wasn’t expecting it all at when I got to it. And Ren was being very hateful, telling im he had to change or he was going to die for get disowned. BUT THEN ALSO, do you not realize that thats how some people view coming out? BUT what isn’t shown in the “Review” is that Ren, immediately feels terrible. She is fearful for her brother. And is crying over the fact that she might lose him because of this. THIS IS A REAL WORLD PROBLEM FOLKS. I honestly think that Ms. Forest took a great leap with this scene because this one is tricky okay. It really is. Because even at the end of the book, Ren tells him that who he loves doesn’t matter to her, only that he stays with her. She genuinely cares for her brother, and is worried to no end about him, due to the hating world that they live in. But yeah, anyways this scene is different.

MY OVERALL THOUGHTS:

I loved the book. There is simply no way around it. I loved that Ms. Forest took a chance at writing something risky like this. BUT also I love her writing, I love her ability to pull you into the story. ALSO, it has dragons, and I’m trash for dragons. The book, if you were to take away the controversy, could possibly have been a best seller. Or top charts because it was THAT GOOD. It has good action, and politics and just good stuff! But then again I also do think this is very similar to Harry Potter. There are so many similarities that I wanted to laugh sometimes because it was so unoriginal. But I also don’t see any difference in the hate in Harry Potter than the hate in this book? If HP was written from a more YA stand point, I think they would mirror in comparison to their hatred. I think the only reason JK couldn’t get excessive with her hatred is because its a childrens story. Harry Potter has Death Eaters and Vampires and Voldemort, the Black Witch has Icarals and Lupines and stupid people who think that they’re always right.

Also need to re-throw this in here. I DON’T EXCUSE ELLOREENS ACTIONS OF HATRED. I don’t. BUT I expect her to grow within these next novels and to see how her ways were wrong. If this was a standalone then yeah sure I could see why people would get upset. BUT she needs to grow, especially since this one only took up about six months time. Give this book a break from all the hate!

But if you do feel like this story might be harmful to you. Then don’t read it, I definitely understand being triggered by things and being hurt by things. But also, please don’t call out people who did enjoy the story. It’s hateful and rude, and you might as well just change your race to Gardnerian.

With all that, I just really want to make it a point that I’m not trying to un-validate anyone’s opinion IF THEY READ THE BOOK. You should know by now how I feel if you haven’t read the book and think you’re an SJW Archangel. SO, if you’ve read the book, then I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! And please keep this CIVIL. I don’t want to have to deal with negativity just because I enjoyed the story.

Hope you have a great day!

~ Solo

26 thoughts on “~ The Black Witch ~

  1. Hi!! I just saw your review on Goodreads so immediately came here to read and comment! (btw I am Prabhleen haha)
    I don’t feel like rating before reading that book is good. LIKE IT ISN’T OK.
    I also feel so bad for the author because her career is literally at stake as everyone is rating her book one star before even reading it and that too because of that one review.
    I never really had any interest in reading this book from the start (this is before that review) because I wasn’t really interested?
    BUT now I am indeed going to read it just because I am so tired of all the SJWs. I don’t know when I will be reading it simply because it’s huge and I am in a slump since November 😦 I AM GOING TO POSITIVELY READ THIS FOR SURE.
    Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HELLO!!! Im so tired of seeing all the rating without reading because it seriously is ruining some authors careers! And its so upsetting! I was really interested in it because im obsessed with witches ahaha but I hope you do get around to it, even though its huge! AND SINCE NOVEMBER?? THATS SO SAD AGH!!! aha Thank you so much and hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review and pic! I personally am not super interested in this book just because the plot doesn’t appeal to me? Like my fantasy TBR is a mile high so I’m trying to be picky about what else I add. But I really liked reading your review and seeing “the other side” of this debate so thanks for being so thorough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you Destiny! Ahaha yeah the plot is pretty similar to Harry Potter so its not like a super magical plot… and I FEEL YOU on the tbr, mine seems to grow every single day! But thank you again Destiny, it means a lot!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this was such a great review! Yes agree! there will always be prejudices in every book… I don’t understand what people want anymore… You can’t talk about anything anymore because it’s so triggering which I admit that some books are, but the main reason for writing/book is to tell a story. You can’t have only sunshine and rainbow, because that’s not realistic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Chia!!! I love the fact that it seemed like such a real book because of this prejudice and racism. There wasn’t an overabundance of it which was great, it just seemed very realistic to me!

      Like

  4. Great review Solomon!!! (I’m Grace, from GoodReads, if you couldn’t already tell lol) So glad to finally see another review from someone who has actually READ THE BOOK. I’m really looking forward to eventually reading this and seeing these things for myself, alas, my Tbr is VERY long so it might take me awhile. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on a copy soon!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Grace! (ahaha I figured it was you) Im excited for a lot more people to read it! I need more people to talk about it with!!!! AHA good luck with your TBR though!

      Like

  5. Sensational review, spot-on. As an author myself I am horrified that Laurie Forest has been persecuted for what I too thought was a 5-Star story. I loved TBW, love Elloren’s arc, and am eager to tackle Book II when it’s released

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review!
    I had a partly different interpretation for the scene with her uncle though. It is also mentioned (not sure the page but at the end of chapter 11) that their uncle didn’t want Rafe to apprentice with the military either. I had the feeling that he didn’t like where Gardnerian politics was going, all the hatred and warmongering, and wanted to protect the kids from that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! And oh okay that makes sense as well! Ive seen quite a few different takes on what that whole scene meant and so far they all seem valid to me ahaha

      Like

  7. Just found this review through a friend and it’s great to see such a refreshing new view on the whole subject! I’m friends with Laurie and this definitely makes me want to read her book even more! Thanks for braving the hate and writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this review so much. I think it’s important to hear both sides of the argument from people who have actually READ THE BOOK lol I’m so sick of people jumping on other’s opinions so that they don’t have to bother forming their own. If you don’t read something then you have no business skewing the ratings on Goodreads. I wish they would crack down on it more. Ugh! Great review! I followed your blog – I run Forgotten YA Gems with Destiny 🙂 If you have a chance check me out at http://www.noveldescent.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you soo much!! I really wish people would give it a chance instead of just writing it off as a blatantly terrible book! I will definitely check out your blog and thank you again for the kind words!

      Like

  9. Pingback: ~ May Wrap Up ~
  10. BUT ITS RACIST! JK, JK. This is a great review, truly. It is maddening to see so many people jumping to rate a book they haven’t read. And I am so happy you talked about other books with these “issues”. It makes sense that one kind of people who don’t understand other kinds of people will feel they may be better, or fear the other. If we had aliens touch down on Earth I’m sure lots of people would be ‘racist’ because they are ‘frightening’ ‘different’ etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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