The Black Witch

The Black Witch

The Black Witch Chronicles Series, Book 1

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Believed to be the prophesized heir of her grandmother Carnissa in spite of having no magical abilities, Elloren pursues her dream of becoming an apothecary only to discover that the University poses threats against members of her family. Simultaneous eBook. 100,000 first printing.

“Potter-worthy.” —Justine magazine

“A whole new, thrilling approach to fantasy!”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Tamora Pierce

“Powerful” —New York Times bestselling author Robin Hobb

“Exquisite.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

A new Black Witch will rise…her powers vast beyond imagining.

A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining.

So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa's heir—but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else.

When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people—including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians—is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Harlequin, 2017
ISBN: 9781488015397
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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May 05, 2019

Loved it !!! Could hardly put it down !

Jan 30, 2019

Oh my goodNESS. I cannot describe to you how much I loved this book. I was a little bit iffy on it at first; reading some comments about the book containing "racism" but I couldn't find it. There are different species of creatures, yes, and each have their own dislike for each other, but that's normal. There was no blatant racism, except for the use of "roach" by ONE person to describe the main character, Elloren, a Gardnerian who wears all black clothing.
The way each chapter in the book is set up is unlike any book I've read before, and the transition between them is a bit strange, but I looked past that with ease.
The characters are all very memorable, and I found myself flipping pages wanting to know what happens next. I finished this book (nearly 600 pages) in two days. I was THAT infatuated with it.
I currently am reading the second book, "The Iron Flower" and it's just as good.
This series is a MUST read! The author's imagery and the way she tells the story is just amazing. I'm so happy I learned of this book, because it's easily going into my Top 10 for this year. 10/10

Nov 13, 2018


I really liked this book. It breaks from the usual fantasy tropes, and the author introduces many new fantastical species instead of just falling back on the Lord of the Rings’ dwarves/elves/humans trope.
CHARACTERS: I really liked Elloren, because she was really believable and I liked her attitude toward being blackmailed by her Aunt. Instead of caving in, she worked with her situation and eventually became on good terms with her Icaral roommates. That is another thing I really liked: the Urisk, Icaral, Kelt, and Lupine characters. These are completely new species that the author has created and uses to great effect in the book. The Urisk are a stratified, colorful mineral-inhabiting species, the Kelt are… interesting? Not sure exactly what they are, but I read this book late at night so that may be my fault. The Lupine are not werewolves, but like wolf selkies, and the Icaral can technically be any species but with wings and are shunned by literally everyone.
PLOT: This book is definitely building up to something big. That was how I felt. There is a lot of school feuds, especially between Fallon and Elloren, and then some talk of the Black Witch and this prophecy, but this book really felt like a prelude… the main concerto is still to come.
ACCURACY: I just really liked how the author came up with her own races instead of deferring to the norm. Even the elves she has are different than the ones in Lord of the Rings.
RECOMMENDATION: I really liked this book, 3 and a half out of five, and I recommended this to my friends. It is pretty PG, so younger and older teens can read this.

Sep 11, 2018

I loved this book. This book really resembled Harry potter because the book was about a magical boarding school. Elloren is the granddaughter of the black witch, who drove back the enemy forces and saved the Gardnerian people during the Realm War. A girl named Elloren is sent to Verpax university/ the magical boarding school. She soon realises that the students in the boarding school have magic powers, but she doesn't. She also soon realizes that the university is filled with her sworn enemies. So she has to find the courage to trust the ones she taught to hate and fear. I loved how this book resembled Harry potter because it was giving me the magical theme same as Harry potter.:)) Rating 4/5.
@momo of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Nicola Rummery Apr 18, 2018

Not a bad fantasy YA book, and the general story was interesting. I found it a little slow at the start, particularly due to the lack of creativity with Gardenarian Wicca mushed with Christianity for both terms and concepts used. However, the story eventually became interesting enough to become engrossed in - especially in the moments where they add in more subtle racism issues.

Mar 16, 2018

I started out unsure how I felt about this, but I really ended up loving it. I enjoy the different characters and their races, and I am really looking forward to their adventures in the next book!

Jan 22, 2018

So I think this is supposed to draw parallels to the racism and issues currently going on, but man is it hard to get through. Elloren's naiveté and close mindedness is painful and so much of the books is dedicated to her slowly learning that not everyone else is a lesser being that I kind of forgot this was supposed to be a fantasy book. Elloren's sudden desire to impress her aunt in the beginning really doesn't make sense, along with her abrupt decision to withstand her aunt's blatant blackmail.
All of that aside, there was also the very redundant story of a girl with secret powers no one tells her about, and the discount version of Hogwarts that left much to be desired. I regret sticking with this book as long as I did. Give it a hard pass.

Aug 31, 2017

Amazing fantasy novel that you can't put it down! The only downside is, that this is a trilogy, so we need to wait for second book to come out in May next year and that is not soon enough! Enjoy!

BostonPL_JordanD Aug 28, 2017

What an amazing book! This was one of the best YA novels I've read in awhile. While this is a fantasy novel involving lupine (werewolves), fae, and others not completely human, it is a story about racism and one young woman's realization that everything she grew up believing about the other cultures was a lie. I appreciated how realistic her transition was from being clueless to eventually understanding what was actually going on in the world. I liked the world building, and the richness of the cast of characters, one of which was asexual (major props for that!), and another side character was gay (I hope he finds a boyfriend in the next book!).

I am now eagerly awaiting book two, and wish it was coming out sooner than next May, though there is a prequel I'll need to check out. :-)

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was perfect, easily understood, and with a nice voice I enjoyed listening to, even though I usually prefer male readers.

As a librarian who has worked with both teens and adults, I highly recommend this book for both audiences. This is a timely read for everyone.

Aug 15, 2017

***may contain spoilers***
I can't believe how many negative reviews this book got. I nearly didn't pick it up even though I liked the blurb. I'm glad I decided to judge it for myself. It looked big and intimidating when I got it but it was a surprisingly quick read. I enjoyed reading this book and I kept trying to understand what did people see so horrible about it. Yes, there's themes of racism and a male dominated society, but in no way does it promote it (my impression anyway). I thought it seem to take issues we're facing in the world right now and uses them in a fantasy.

The beginning of the novel may be rough to get through seeing how naive and ignorant Elloren was but she starts being more open minded. I didn't find her annoying as I usually do with female protagonist. If there's anything negative I can say about it is, aspects of it don't seem very original to me. The protagonist is off to school and is unaware of her infamous status and is bullied by her peers for being famous. It reminded me of Harry Potter. It's also riding on the idea of a girl who's about to spark a revolution. I've been seeing that a lot lately, in the Hunger Games, Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, Divergent, just to name a few.

Other than that I can't wait for the next book. I'm dying in anticipation for when it will be revealed that Elloren is actually really powerful (I spent the whole book wondering: is this the moment? is this the moment?)

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BostonPL_JordanD Aug 28, 2017

BostonPL_JordanD thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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