A young adult fantasy about an untrained witch and an evil warlock.
Every night Brayden dreams of a girl he has never met. Then one day she appears at the Inn where Brayden works. He soon learns that the young girl, Ariel is a witch – but not just any witch she is a high witch, resulting in a colossal amount of power. Although one of only three high witches in the world, her family beg her to keep her powers a secret, believing only bad things can result from them. As Ariel begins to learn to control her powers, the two hear of a plot by a warlock named Julius, who bends the power of high witches to his will, in order to preserve his immortal life. So Brayden and Ariel attempt to flee into hiding, in order to stop Julius’s evil plans, but how long can the couple keep running?
I really wanted to love this book. The plot sounds so interesting, and as I received the box set of the trilogy though LibraryThing, I could not wait to get my teeth sunk into this. I love a good witchy story and the novella does have its good points – I loved the idea of their only being three high witches at a time – as soon as one dies, another is born into the world, regardless if the parents are magical. This was a bit of a twist on the usual generation after generation of witches element that these types of story often have. I thought it was pretty interesting that she keeps her powers a secret, meaning she has so much untapped power and there were so many things she could learn to do and discover about herself.
This however, was where my enjoyment of the book ended. I know that the book is a novella, and Hanna obviously has a lot to cram into such a small word length but in the first twenty odd pages Brayden and Ariel meet, they fall and love and decide they are soul mates, they learn Ariel is a witch – but not just any witch, and that Brayden has witches in his family and can therefore teach her everything she needs to know. The whole book just felt a bit too Disney for my tastes. I felt there was so much potential for seeing Ariel grow as a character, learning to control her powers and use them to stop Julius, but these scenes are skipped over quickly in favour of longer romantic scenes and it left me feeling a bit disappointed that her magic was not more explored.
There were some enjoyable twists in the story – the introduction of Brayden’s mother and a few other little surprises that I didn’t foresee, if you’re a fan of romance novels there is plenty of romantic elements in the story – though that doesn’t particularly appeal to me. In true Disney fashion the novel ends with a wedding and a happily ever after so for me it felt a little too predictable, but hopefully with another two books to come perhaps there will be more opportunity to explore the magic and history behind the witches of this world. All in all a fun, enjoyable little novella with lots of romance and a pretty interesting plot.