Review: The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
Tuesday September 23, 2014 at 3:00 am |

thewitchsboy-kbPublisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Published: ARC Expected Publish Date September 16, 2014
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 372
Form: Paperback
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived.  But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.

Meanwhile, across the forest lives Aine, the daughter of the Bandit King.  She is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.” When Áine and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms?

My Thoughts

  • This book reminds me of a middle school, watered down, version of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, but not necessarily in a bad way.
  • The power of the magic seems a bit confusing, as far as how powerful it is, how to wield it, who can use it, and so forth.
  • I think this is an appropriate and lovely story for middle schoolers.  But as someone who has read the aforementioned series, I couldn’t help but feel the author incorporated a lot of the elements present in those books.  Even down to a character who has a thick tongue and terrible lisp and the main character sharing his name with the patriarch of the Stark clan from Game of Thrones.  I don’t know if that was the author’s intention, but it’s just how I felt and what I picked up on while reading this novel.
  • Continuously having to  read Ned’s stutter throughout the novel got on my nerves.

For me the story was cheesy, yet endearing.  I think that it will thoroughly captivate and entertain the audience it was written for.  As for me, I found it entertaining but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

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