Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Shortly after a stranger arrives in the village of Near, children begin disappearing one by one. The children, it seems, are being lured away from their homes by the Near Witch who was thought to have been banished and killed a century before after an unfortunate incident which she was wrongly accused and convicted.
The villagers of Near don’t trust outsiders, nor do they believe that the Near Witch is back and causing the problems. They would rather grab the first stranger who wanders into town and crucify and blame him for their problems rather than face the real truth.
Enter 16 year old Lexi Harris who discovers the real truth about what is really happening, and thankfully for everyone involved. She keeps a clam level head when dealing with the missing children, including her own sister Wren, and doesn't flay around, or whine that there is nothing she can do to stop it from happening again.
I've actually found a YA novel that is well written and one that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. In a YA world filled with 3-way relationships, this one goes outside of the box and tells the story beautifully about a 16 year old girl named Lexi who has picked up the mantle of her deceased father as tracker and hunter. She's not your typical female who likes to stay home and bake bread, and get married at like the rest of her peers.
I absolutely loved Lexi and her tenacity and determination in doing what she was trained to do and not let a little thing like a man slow her down. Lexi picked up where her father left off by being a hunter and a tracker. She shoves away numerous attempts by the village Rico Sauvé to fall head over heels in love with him, and stay at home like all the rest of the women of the village.
I even enjoyed the sister witches Magda and Dreska Thorne and the part they play in this storyline. Yes, they are old crones, yet, they had a relationship with Lexi’s father that went beyond friendship and respect, and now Lexi is trying to pick up that mantle as well.
An example of the amazing world building that Schwab has created:
"Of every aspect of the moor, the earth and stone and rain and fire, the wind is the strongest one in Near. Here on the outskirts of the village, the wind is always pressing close, making windows groan. It whispers and it howls and it sings. It can bend its voice and cast into any shape, long and thin enough to slide beneath the door, stout enough to seem a thing of weight and breath and bone."
"People know, but they try to forget," I say shaking my head. "They see witches as scary stories, as monsters. When my father was alive, things were better. He believed that witches were blessings. They are closer to nature than any human, because it is a part of them. But most people believe witches are cursed."
“Watchful eyes turned out at night; keep the evils out of sight.”
“Because children taste better in moonlight.”
Recommended to those who enjoy YA, Mysteries, and Suspence.